Luke Laird, Lori McKenna and Barry Dean Unveil ‘The Songwriter Tapes Vol. 2’

Luke Laird, Lori McKenna and Barry Dean are prepping The Songwriter Tapes Vol. 2.

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On Thursday (March 9), the hit songwriting trio announced that the second installment of the three-part series will be released on March 17. Vol. 2 features Little Big Town’s Grammy Award-winning hit “Girl Crush” written by McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey and performed by McKenna; Jon Pardi’s chart-topping hit “Heartache Medication” performed by Dean that he co-wrote with Pardi and Natalie Hemby; and “So Small,” Carrie Underwood’s first single that she co-wrote with Laird and Lindsey that Laird sings on the collaborative project.

The album is being previewed with McKenna’s stripped-down version of “Girl Crush” layered with acoustic guitar and her rugged voice. “Girl Crush” won Song of the Year and Single of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards and Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

“One morning in Nashville, Tennessee, I told Liz and Hillary that I wanted to write a song called ‘girl crush’ and Hillary Lindsey sang the first four lines of this song exactly as they are,” McKenna recalls of writing the hit song in a press release. “ She just picked up a guitar, moved her fingers around a bit, and sang them. Like she already knew the song! She looked up at us and said, ‘like that?’ Yes, like that, that’s a gift.”

What started as a text thread between McKenna, Laird and Dean turned into an idea to release three albums containing three hit songs penned by one or more of the writers, along with an unreleased song. Vol. 2 closes with Laird singing “The Good Parts,” which he wrote with Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins.

The Songwriter Tapes Vol. 1 was released on March 3 and featured Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” and “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” and “Settling In,” which was written by all three writers and is sung by McKenna.

Photo Credit: Micah McNair/Courtesy of IVPR

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