Nashville meets Motown in a songwriters round. Hear the stories behind the hits and future hit songs performed by the writers themselves.
One of NASHTOWN’s sponsors is Gretsch Guitars and we will be giving away one of their popular Acoustic Rancher Guitars with a Hardshell Case and Strap at the end of the show to a member of the audience.
Songwriter-artist Danny Wells is a CMA and an ACM award nominee. He is recognized for the #1 HITS, Check Yes or No recorded by George Strait, These Days recorded by Rascal Flatts and Couldn’t Last a Moment by Collin Raye.
Wells is from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina where he graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School. He then moved to Oklahoma City and earned his A.A. Music degree from Southwestern Christian University. Next he headed out to Music City where he attended Belmont University and received a B.M. in Commercial Music. Immediately after graduation, he began to concentrate on what he loved most—songwriting.
He wrote the George Strait hit, Check Yes Or No. The song would become a number one hit for four weeks for Strait. Some of the awards Check Yes Or No has received include CMA Single of the Year, ACM Single of the Year, Video of the Year, Entertainment Radio Network’s Song of the Year, Country Weekly Magazine’s Golden Pick Award Song of the Year and Country Weekly magazine’s Golden Pick Award Video of the Year. The song was also featured in an ad campaign for Wrangler Jeans. Check Yes Or No to date has received over 6 million radio spins and is George Strait’s most played song of all time.
Some of Danny’s other hits include This Everyday Love and While You Loved Me, both recorded by Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan’s Little Bit of Life and Hello L-O-V-E, a hit single for John Michael Montgomery. He has also had cuts by numerous other artists, including Chris Young, JoDee Messina, Joe Diffie, Scotty McCreery, Crystal Gayle, Sara Evans, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alabama, John Rich, James Bonamy, Julie Roberts, Wade Hayes and Confederate Railroad.
Wells currently serves on the Executive Board for the Nashville Songwriters Association International as well as their Board of Directors. He is a former Belmont University Curtain Call Award recipient and Vice President of Belmont University’s FAB Board … Friends of the Arts at Belmont. He is a recent inductee into Southwestern Christian University’s Fine Arts Hall of Fame. His songs have received BMI’s certification for over 14 million radio airplays.
Mark Barnowski is a singer/songwriter who moved from “Motown” to “Music City” nine years ago. In 2015 he won the TSAI (Tennessee Songwriters Association International) Male Songwriter of the Year and TSAI’s 2016 and 2017 Song of the Year. Again in 2018, Mark won Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and also captured Record of the Year with William Shatner & Jeff Cook’s (Alabama) “Beam Me Up”.
As an artist Mark charted 4 top 50 singles and reached #43 on Billboards Adult Contemporary Charts. His Debut single “Just Having Touched” peaked at #15 and was the highest Charting independent AC single in the Gavin Report’s history.
Mark earned 10 Gold and Platinum Records as a record promoter for artists such as Michael W. Smith, Bruce Hornsby, Harry Connick, Jr. and has a multi-platinum award for promoting the longest running single in Billboard History “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes.
Recent cuts as a songwriter include two songs on the Cash Creek Children’s CD “Dance With The Dinosaurs” and an entire 11 song Instrumental CD for babies and toddlers titled “SleepyBye Lullabies”. Mark lives with his wife Helen in MadisonTennessee. They own and operate Helen’s Pop Art in Nashville.
Rob Taube is a busy musician, songwriter, and producer based in New York City, with deep roots in Michigan and broad branches that reach to Nashville, Detroit and Seattle. A lifelong pro who has worked gigs alongside James Taylor, Hank Williams Jr., and Leon Russell, Rob has written with Nashville songwriters like Mark Barnowski and Cory Lee Barker and has recently been writing with Simon Kirke of Bad Company and Carla Torgerson of the Walkabouts; as well as producing a growing roster of talented up-and-comers like Violet Young, Jadyn Rylee, and Nikki Neretin at his NYC studio Groove Garden. Rob looks forward to performing with his Nashville friends in Michigan!
Ryan DeMers is a young Nashvillian originally hailing from Ann Arbor, MI. With influences from people such as Theo Katzman, Paul Simon and Keith Urban, Ryan has slowly moved from his original rock-influenced roots, to the classic sound of modern-day country records. Starting as a Guitar player from a young age, Ryan found a voice for the unique playing style he was within the writing world of Nashville among his colleges (Such as Mark Barnowski, Steve O’Brien, and Corey Lee Barker). Ryan currently spends his time as at Belmont University as a Music Business Major, playing with Local Country Acts in town, and writing with fellow musicians.