Behind the Scenes
Last month singer-songwriter Rick Brantley arrived to a room of familiar faces and long-time collaborators at SIR Studios in Nashville to rehearse for the world premiere of Schirmer Theatrical and Greenberg Artists’ newest symphonic experience – Country Hits: Songs from Nashville. After hand-picking a drummer, guitarists, and his co-star from amongst Nashville’s best musicians, Brantley worked closely with Grammy® Award-winning arranger Jeff Tyzik and Creative Producer Robert Thompson to curate a program that paints a picture of country music in America, one that transports audiences to a honky tonk bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville.
On creating the setlist for Country Hits: Songs from Nashville, Brantley explained that “On the whole, all of these songs are fun to perform. That’s a big part of why we chose them. Music, a live show, is supposed to be FUN, more than anything and this is going to be quite the show.” Starting with the Carter Family’s rendition of the popular hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” Country Hits will take you on the transformative journey through the expansive genre as the torch is passed from legendary performers to the artists of today.
Brantley hopes that audiences leave the show feeling the same way he felt while creating it: “With a smile on their face and with a greater appreciation for this incredible music and art form. [He] certainly learned a lot through [the concert development] process about the magic of earnestness, the complexity of honest storytelling, and that country music is, at its best, a hell of a lot of fun.”
- Will the Circle Be Unbroken
written by Charles H. Gabriel and Ada R. Habershon, recorded by The Carter Family
- Callin’ Baton Rouge
written by Dennis Linde, recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys
written by Stephen Earl and Miranda Lambert, recorded by Miranda Lambert
written by Willie Nelson, recorded by Patsy Cline
written by Jerry Lieber and Billy Edd Wheeler, recorded by Johnny Cash and June Carter
- All My Ex’s Live in Texas
written by Lyndia Jean Shafer and Sanger D. Shafer, recorded by George Strait
- Good Hearted Woman
written and recorded by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
written by Bobbie Gentry, recorded by Reba McEntire
- Independence Day
written by Gretchen Peters, recorded by Martina McBride
written by Natalie Nicole Hemby, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Lee Musgraves, recorded by Kacey Musgraves
- Devil Went Down To Georgia
written by Charlie Daniels, Tom Crain, “Taz” DiGregorio, Fred Edwards, Charles Hayward, and James W. Marshall, recorded by The Charlie Daniels Band
- Always on My Mind
written by Johnny Christopher, Wayne Carson Thompson, and Mark James, recorded by Willie Nelson
- Wide Open Spaces
written by Susan Lauralee Gibson, recorded by The Chicks
- Brand New Man
written by Leon Brooks, Don Kirby Cook, and Ronnie Dunn, recorded by Brooks & Dunn
- When You Say Nothing At All
written by Paul Overstreet and Donald Alan Schlitz, recorded by Alison Krauss & Union Station
written by Alan Eugene Jackson and Jimmy Ray McBride, recorded by Alan Jackson
- Wichita Lineman
written by Jimmy Webb, recorded by Glen Campbell
written and recorded by Dolly Parton
- I Will Always Love You
written and recorded by Dolly Parton
- 9 to 5
written and recorded by Dolly Parton
- I Hope You Dance
written by Mark Daniel Saunders and Tia Sillers, recorded by Lee Ann Womack
ALL ARRANGEMENTS LICENSED BY SCHIRMER THEATRICAL, LLC
Country Hits: Songs from Nashville is a co-production of Schirmer Theatrical and Greenberg Artists, part of their joint Symphonic Experience catalogue. Set list subject to changes.
When Rick Brantley made the move to Nashville, he established himself as one of the most in-demand young writers on Music Row with cuts ranging from Meat Loaf to David Nail. An artist and dynamic performer as well as a songwriter, Brantley has toured nonstop all over the world, opening for everyone from John Hiatt to Kiefer Sutherland, Zac Brown, and Brandy Clark, as well as headlining his own solo shows.
Brantley continues to add to his impressive portfolio, producing acclaimed records with artists like Rob Baird and Justin Halpin, and directing music videos in his down time.
At only 18, Emily West moved to Nashville, signed with Capitol Records, and released Rocks in Your Shoes, which landed in the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country charts. Her haunting duet with Keith Urban, “Blue Sky,” also ranked in the top 40 and was nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards’ vocal event of the year.
Following her success as a finalist and runner-up on America’s Got Talent, West signed with Sony Masterworks and released her debut album, All For You (2015). West now performs regularly at the famed Grand Ole Opry.
Ellen Angelico is a busy multi-instrumentalist known for her professionalism, style, and bright personality. The Nashville Scene calls Angelico an “ace of all things stringed” and “one of the greatest utility players in Nashville.” She is featured on numerous records and has played just about everywhere from The Grand Ole Opry to Križanke.
When she is not backing up a variety of talented acts, you can find her behind the counter at legendary Nashville guitar store Fanny’s House of Music. Under the moniker Uncle Ellen, Angelico releases original music once in a blue moon. She hopes to leave Nashville and the music industry better than she received it.
Native Virginian and Nashville transplant Bryan Dawley has been making music professionally for the past 15 years. His journey began at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV where he not only double-majored in Classical Bass Performance and Jazz Studies but began to experiment with traditional Appalachian instruments.
Fusing the two, Dawley began playing professionally in the DC area and eventually started his band of 10 years, Native Run, with friend and fellow collaborator Rachel Beauregard. After a move to Music City, the two enjoyed great success, signing to Showdog Universal Records and Creative Nation/Combustion Publishing, and touring the world with various artists spanning from Lady A and John Hiatt to Carrie Underwood.
In recent years, Dawley has toured with singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, and began a music production career in 2019. Bryan lives in East Nashville with his wife Karrie and two kids, Clara and Levi.
Ross McReynolds is a creator who uses the drums to express what he feels is happening in the room. McReynolds has been touring and recording out of Nashville for seven years, and finds he gets closer to finding his voice every day.
McReynolds has had the opportunity to either tour or record with Katie Pruitt, Maia Sharp, Anthony Da Costa, Lydia Luce, Jordan Lehning, Josh Grange, Juan Solorzano, Jessy Wilson, The Muddy Magnolias, Dynamo, Cody Fry, Cory Wong, Kelsey Waldon, and Jess Nolan, and hopes to continue expanding this list while also continuing to find his voice and learn the art of music making.
Andrew Sovine is a multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and composer originally from Nashville. He has collaborated with such artists as Big Kenny (Big & Rich), Wynonna, Chase Rice, Don Gallardo, Cale Tyson, Kelsey Waldon, Kink Ador, Janelle and the Gentleman, Kaylyn Scardefield, Bobby McGrath, Harold Allen, Birdcloud, Maureen Murphy, Meghan Linsey, and most notably Ashley McBryde.
Sovine’s work has garnered multiple GRAMMY® Award nominations and has a style that embraces his love of noise, fuzz, delay, open tunings, and general mischief. In addition to his touring and recording work he also owns and operates The Back Room Record Studio in Savannah, GA.
Producer & Arranger
Producer & Booking Agent
Schirmer Theatrical is a concert production company specializing in the creation of symphonic experiences, film with live orchestra concerts, and theatrical productions.
Greenberg Artists is an artist management and concert production company striving to bring the highest level of talent and musical integrity to audiences around the world.
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