4 Great Songwriting Trios in Country Music

Nashville is built on co-writes. While other genres might herald artists composing a song from start to finish alone, Music City acknowledges the merits of collaboration.

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While many artists like to switch it up, some keep their circle small and call upon the same names to write their hits. Those recurring songwriting groups are what we’re dissecting today.

Today, we’ve detailed four of Nashville’s most prolific songwriting supergroups. Check out our round-up and their biggest hits, below.

1. The Love Junkies (Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey)

Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey joined forces to create a songwriting supergroup. Each of the women was focusing on their own writing career when their publishers put them into the same room in an experiment to see what kind of magic they could drum up. The end result was an enduring partnership dubbed The Love Junkies.

Among their writing credits are “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, “It All Comes Out in the Wash” by Miranda Lambert, and “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood.

“We hole up for three days,” Rose once told American Songwriter. “We write in our pajamas. In the morning the songs we write are our coffee songs. And by the late afternoon, with the sun starting to set, we write our wine songs.”

2. Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST

Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST have started a trend in country music today of big-name artists appearing in the writer’s credits together. The trio mostly sticks to penning songs for their own projects when all together, though their individual songwriting catalogs are similarly lauded.

“Everybody truly does such different things, and we all bring out the creativity in each other,” HARDY told Billboard about their collaborative efforts. “ERNEST might say something that would sound like something I would never think of, and that would spark a lyrical direction maybe they wouldn’t think of. We do what we do, and bring out the best in the rest of the triangle.”

3. Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark

If you’re a fan of Kacey Musgraves, you have to give Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark their dues as well because many of her biggest songs were penned with those two by her side. On top of her own project, the group has penned songs for other artists as well. Among the trio’s credits are the uplifting “Follow Your Arrow,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” and “Dandelion.”

“I can almost instantly tell when I hear something Shane has written,” Musgraves once said of McAnally’s songwriting voice.

“For me, to really sink my teeth into a song, I do have the characters in my mind, and they grow,” Clark explained of her process. “When I’m writing a song, I can picture the kitchen they’re sitting in and what their TV set looks like. Those are the things I have to do, just getting into that spot in your mind where the story is taking place.”

4. Miranda Lambert, Luke Dick, and Natalie Hemby

Miranda Lambert, Luke Dick, and Natalie Hemby have forged a golden partnership over the years, producing several tracks for Lambert’s album Palomino including, “Carousel,” “Strange,” and “Pursuit of Happiness.”

“Her voice had this rebelliousness to it that I loved and related to,” Hemby recently told American Songwriter of her first meeting with Lambert. “I met Luke later on and we instantly clicked. Now we’re a little trio.”

Photo courtesy American Songwriter

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