Photographing The Nashville Songwriter has been a rewarding experience in its own right.  Location scouting for the book presented a way to get reacquainted with Nashville all over again.

To that end, a series of photographs started to emerge:  Scenes of Music City. 

Inspired by the streets and iconic landmarks of Nashville, we thought it would be interesting to make a series of limited edition photographic prints available for sale. Below are eight image from the Scenes of Music City series. Each print is numbered and signed by Rick Smith, photographer of The Nashville Songwriter. 

You can also visit this page on the Rick Smith Photography website for descriptions of individual pictures. Contact Rick here for more information and pricing.

To order contact: Rick Smith Photography

Remember to share this blog and help spread the word about The Nashville Songwriter.


The CMA Fest was in full swing in Nashville this month where thousands of Country music fans  flocked to the Music City to celebrate the music they love.

If you visited.. We’re glad you were here to soak up the sun, great music & memories. We hope you had a great time!

In case you couldn’t make it or haven’t heard, our book, The Nashville Songwriter celebrates country music by paying homage to Nashville’s songwriter community. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to peruse our blog and read about what inspired us to create this book that honors the people behind many of the great country artists and the songs you love.

Let us know if you celebrated your love of country music at the CMA Fest in the comment section below.

And please feel free to share this blog with other country music fans to help spread the word about The Nashville Songwriter



Last month in Nashville, members of South Light Salon and The Arts Company hosted a juried portfolio review of work by area photographers.

For his body of work, Rick chose songwriter portraits taken during the interview sessions of The Nashville Songwriter. 

The members accepted nine photographers, including Rick, who met with a panel comprised of South Light members and The Arts Company Owner, Anne Brown for discussions of the work. After the formal review process, each attendee exhibited their portfolio at the gallery to the crowds attending the First Saturday Art Crawl.

We’ve always believed that the photos in the book have significant cultural and artistic value and that the subject matter is important.

We’re happy to report that the photographs were very well received by the art community at large and that the evening was a great success.

Thanks to all who attended The Art Crawl in support of the work.

An example photo from the portfolio is shown below.

Matt Urmy, Nashville songwriter, musician, and entrepreneur

It’s Valentine’s Day and a great day to say congratulations to The Henningsens!

Their beautiful love song, All Your Life, recorded by The Band Perry, is now in its second week at #1 on the Billboard Chart.

We first became acquainted with Brian, Clara and Aaron at a group interview session at NSAI while working on our book, The Nashville Songwriter. They struck us immediately as wonderful people, creative writers, and up-and-coming performers to watch.

The shots below were taken during the Nashville Songwriter interview and photo shoot on their front porch in Primm Springs, Tennessee. During the session they sang You Lie, another huge hit for The Band Perry and the fifth most popular country song released in 2011. Plus, we got an invitation to dinner, from the farm to the table. Evenings don’t get much better than that.

If you’d like to see how the Henningsens have fun, check out this album on the Rick Smith Photography Facebook page featuring shots made at Primmstock, the Henningsens’ annual family friendly music festival at their home in Primm Springs,Tennessee where they converted a tobacco barn into an outdoor stage.

Need more proof of their meteoric rise? The Henningsens announced they have signed a recording deal with Sony Music Nashville. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving or talented trio. Be on the lookout for more of their music coming soon!

Congratulations Brian, Clara & Aaron! We are so proud to have you featured in The Nashville Songwriter! 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and listen to All Your Life with someone you love!

To read more about this songwriting and performing trio who are taking Nashville by storm, check out the feature story in Hills&Hamlets magazine on page 7.

Since the Fall of 2011, we’ve had the honor to write the Music Notes column for Hills & Hamlets magazine. This month’s edition featuring songwriter Danny Flowers hit the stands yesterday and we wanted to share it with you.

Danny’s soulful songs have been recorded by music superstars such as Eric Clapton, Don Williams, Emmylou Harris and a host of other great singers. And if that’s not enough, he’s a master guitarist too. He’s been a session player for Dobie Gray, Nanci Griffith, Vince Gill, Marshall Chapman and countless others.

His slide guitar playing has the power to make you weep as well as uplift your soul. Learning from legends like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and other great Delta Bluesmen will do that to you.

We spoke to Danny about his musical journey during our interview for The Nashville Songwriter. You can find an excerpt from our conversation in the online edition of Hills & Hamlets on page 17.


We are still so passionate about the work we have been putting into our book for the past 21 months. We believe that Nashville songwriters should be celebrated & recognized for the art they create and the joy their music brings to others.

We know The Nashville Songwriter will be published and we will not stop until we reach the ultimate goal of giving the talented songwriters in our town the recognition they deserve.

We wanted to stop for a moment to say thanks to all of you who continue to demonstrate your faith & belief in our work. We’d also like to acknowledge the following people for their most recent show of support:

Lynn Wilson, Linda Emblem, Martin & Marcie Weber, Nancie Roark, Alizah Greenberg, Elna Kirksey, Cindy Vink, Lisa Morrissey, Joe Tennis, Maryanne Mills, Hap & Barb Heilman, Misoon Whang, Goran K. King, Gwenael Jacquet, Karen Richardson, J.P. Demetry, Anisa Hayes, Brett Backer, Merri Schneider, Matt Urmy, Brad Keywell & Todd Milburn.

And a special thanks to David Neal, Joe Tennis, Aaron LaRose and Bea Lageveen for tirelessly spreading the news around the world!

We are grateful beyond words to all of you!

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is certainly one of the most famous and storied honky tonks in Nashville.  Originally Mom’s, it became Tootsie’s in 1960 when it was bought by Big Jeff Bess and his wife, Hattie Louise, also known as “Tootsie.”

It was the hangout of choice for many Opry performers who would slip out the back doors of the Ryman and across the alley to have a beer or three between sets in Tootsie’s “industry only” back room. It also was the place where the 60’s generation of songwriting luminaries would meet including Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, Bobby Bare, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury.  The walls of Tootsie’s are covered with thousands of publicity photos of country performers both famous and long forgotten.

There were several stories about Tootsie’s during the interviews for our book and many of them started with “If those walls could talk.” 

It has always been our wish in creating The Nashville Songwriter that we preserve not only the stories of the great songwriters in our town, but their photographs as well, so they will never be forgotten.

Today, songwriters still flock to Tootsie’s to fulfill their hopes and dreams and introduce their tunes at this Nashville institution. So here’s to them and to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge!

This photograph is one in a series of limited edition prints now available for purchase.  Click here for more details.

The 2011 Grammy nominations are out, and we just want to say congratulations to those songwriters who are part of The Nashville Songwriter and have written songs for this year’s nominated albums. Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue is a nominee for Best Country Album. Ray Stephenson co-wrote (with Buddy Owens) the title track. Ben Hayslip co-wrote (with Rhett Akins) Shelton’s monster #1 hit Honey Bee, and Dallas Davidson penned the track Good Ol’ Boys.

Dallas also co-wrote two #1 hits, We Owned the Night and Just a Kiss, from Lady Antebellum’s Album of the Year nominee Own the Night. Add that to his reigning status as BMI’s Songwriter of the Year (along with Rhett Akins) and Ben Hayslip’s Songwriter of the Year award from ASCAP, and this has been quite a year for these Peach Pickers!

Congratulations again Dallas, Ben, and Ray… we are so proud that you are featured in The Nashville Songwriter!


Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson

Ray Stephenson

During the interview and photo sessions for The Nashville Songwriter, it was apparent that guitars are the dominant tool of the trade for most Nashville songwriters and many were more comfortable being photographed holding their trusty old friends.

From Fenders to Gibsons, Martins to National Steels, we discovered the guitars they play are as diverse as the songwriters themselves and each instrument conveyed a little something special about the writer’s individual personalities.

As we were editing photographs, we discovered the shots below were especially powerful as a series and decided to make them available for sale. We believe they will become collector’s items quickly.

We are proud to offer The Nashville Songwriter – Guitar Series, as limited edition prints. Each photograph is signed and numbered by Rick Smith, photographer of The Nashville Songwriter.

The prints showcase the guitars of 10 legendary songwriters in our book. You can also visit this page on the Rick Smith Photography website for descriptions of the individual pictures.

Contact Rick here for more information and pricing.

Image #1: Kent Blazy

Image #2: Guy Clark

Image #3: Dallas Davidson

Image #4: Danny Flowers

Image #5: Chris Wallin

Image #6: Gary Hannan

Image #7: James House

Image #8: Cory Batten

Image #9: Skip Ewing

Image #10: Matt Urmy

Thanks for your support and please share this blog with all of your friends and tell them about this unique set of limited edition photographs now available.

For well over a year we have been creating a photo documentary book, The Nashville Songwriter, that contains a collection of candid black & white photographs alongside individual interviews that we call “conversations” depicting the diverseness of the songwriters in Music City.

During our interview sessions we gathered unique stories of what it’s like being a Nashville songwriter, the courage it took to get there as well as a look inside the creative process of writing great songs.

We have seen firsthand that the songwriters behind the music are often great characters who are seldom seen but often heard. We believe songwriters should be celebrated and their music and creativity inspired us to create this project. Our book captures the true essence of the Nashville songwriting community who we believe are Music City celebrities in their own right.

The Nashville Songwriter will feature new up-and-coming writers trying to make their mark on Music Row, but the primary focus in Volume 1 will be on the seasoned songwriters who’ve weathered it all before. Many have scored #1 hits on the Country, Rock and Roll and Pop music charts and some are getting ready for the climb!  We’ve had such great response from the songwriting community that we plan to create Volumes 2 and 3 as soon as Volume 1 is published!

One of the special characters in our book is none other than Marshall Chapman, featured below, who has been encouraging, helpful and supportive every single step of the way. (Thank you Tall Girl!)

Let’s just say this book is our way of giving thanks to Nashville’s diverse and immensely talented songwriting community who give so much to so many when they create moments and memories for us in their songs. Most of them do so without the recognition they deserve.

During this time of year it’s especially important to us to say thank you to all of the great songwriters in our book for sharing their stories as well as their songs.We are humbled by their creativity and their dedication to their art.

One of our interviewees and a great supporter, Marshall Chapman