It started on a horse ranch outside of Nashville. A bunch of musicians hanging out, playing music and telling the songwriting stories about where their hit songs came from. The mood was upbeat, people were smiling, and everybody was having a great time. That’s when Marc Oswald had an idea.
“My wife and I kind of looked at each other and said, ‘You know, if we could really capture this on television…,” Oswald told American Songwriter.
And so, it was born. Launched last year to resounding success, The Song – Recorded Live @ TGL Farms has just begun airing its nationally syndicated second season to televisions in over 140 markets across the nation.
“We felt like there was a lack of really cool live music programming going on, especially on network television, that really emphasizes the songwriters,” says Oswald, show creator and Executive Producer. “Usually when there’s a show about songwriting, it’s pretty slow paced and sort of PBS style. Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome if you have people that are really dedicated to that deep dive, half hour, hour conversation about the song.”
The problem is most television audiences aren’t conditioned for that type ofslow-drip programming. Bearing that in mind, Oswald and show hosts Krista Marie and Damien Horne set out to create a show just as insightful but one that moved along at a quicker clip.
What they created is something more akin to CBS Sunday Morning, but music focused every week for the entire episode. While the first season was shot exclusively at that horse ranch just outside of Nashville, this new season has the crew visiting the artists in their homes for some conversations and live performances. Not limiting themselves to any one genre of music—one week they visit Jason Mraz at his family farm to discuss coffee beans and avocados along with “I Won’t Give Up” and another they’re riding horses in Colorado and talking “Save Your Soul” with Jewel. Another week it’s back to the west coast to talk wine and “Drive By” with Pat Monahan of Train and then to Nashville for Clint Black. Gavin DeGraw, Richard Marx, Stephen Marley; all join in telling never-before-heard details behind their hit songs, the inspiration and how they became woven into the fabric of popular culture.
“The goal was to have Austin City Limits level performance, 60 Minutes level interview quality and Saturday Night Live level fun.”
In addition to the artist centric episodes, The Song – Recorded Live @ TGL Farms built a few episodes around particular themes and included a multitude of artists. “Grammy Winners” features CeeLo Green, Rick Springfield and Train while “Party Anthems” is comprised of Don McLean, Gretchen Wilson and Rome Ramirez.
“Our whole thing is to honor the music and to honor the songwriting process,” adds Oswald.
The Song – Recorded Live @ TGL Farms airs in over 140 markets predominantly on CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC affiliates. AXS TV acquired all ten episodes from Season One, which will continue airing through 2022. Fans can log onto TheSong.tv for full performances, exclusive behind-the- scenes content and a complete channel listing. Music from the show can also be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, Pandora or wherever great music is heard.