Lori McKenna, Luke Laird and Barry Dean Team Up on ‘The Songwriter Tapes’

Three of Nashville’s top songwriters are banding together on a collaborative EP.

Videos by American Songwriter

Lori McKenna, Luke Laird and Barry Dean are releasing The Songwriter Tapes, a series of four-song EPs that feature three hit songs they’ve written and one that has been unreleased, with each songwriter performing a new recording of the song they wrote. The Songwriter Tapes is a three-part series that started as a group text thread between the three writers wherein they collaborated on which songs to record.

The first installment, The Songwriter Tapes Vol. 1, includes Tim McGraw’s hits “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” performed by Dean (co-written by Dean, Laird, and Jonathan Singleton) and “Humble and Kind,” written and performed by McKenna. Rounding out the project is Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids,” with Laird providing his rendition of the song he co-wrote with Shane McAnally and Rodney Clawson before the EP comes to a close with “Settling In” that all three writers wrote together and is sung by McKenna.

Dean has shared his cover of “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” which was released as the final single off McGraw’s album, Sundown Heaven Town, in 2015. McGraw’s version reached No. 3 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and No. 11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Dean says in a press release that there were rumors that George Strait was interested in cutting the song, which didn’t end up happening.

“We assumed that might be the end for this song, then Tim McGraw made it his,” Dean recalls in a press statement. He adds that it was nominated for Best Country Song at the 2016 Grammy Awards, “and remains a song that people bring up all the time. I think it might be because there is nothing better than country music when you’re trying to make peace with moving on.”

The Songwriter Tapes Vol. 1 will be released on March 3.


(Photo by Jackie Butler/Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

Review: Ron Sexsmith Takes His Own Unique Musical Path on ‘The Vivian Lane’