Nashville hitmakers to perform at Flatbread Saturday


The Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Workshop, sponsored by New England to Nashville (NETN), a songwriter support group, will present a show entitled “Behind the Curtain with Nashville Hit-Makers,” at Flatbread Saturday evening, Sept. 14. The show is a fundraiser for Alex’s Place, the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard’s teen center.

The evening showcases acclaimed writers Jim McCormick, Steve Seskin, Will Robinson, and Brian Maher, who have penned hits for top contemporary country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Randy Travis, Luke Bryan, Tricia Yearwood, Brantley Gilbert, and Trace Adkins.

They will be joined in concert by emerging Nashville artists Lance Carpenter, Sarah Kirkland, Jason Gregory, Allen Shervelle, Dani Wheeler, Jesse Terry, and New England native Casey Derhak.

The workshop

The two-day workshop, in its second year, features instruction by Mr. Seskin and Steve Bloch, two successful music professionals with strong Nashville ties, focusing on both the art and business of commercial songwriting.

Songwriter and artist Steve Seskin has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-nominated “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” recorded by Tim McGraw, and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” winner of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association song of the year award. Mr. Bloch, a consultant and publisher, has been part of the Nashville landscape for more than 20 years. He is currently director of publisher relations for Artist and Repertoire, LLC.

The workshop begins with a kick-off barbeque for participants Friday evening where they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with both the established and emerging artists.

At least 30 aspiring songwriters will participate in the workshop on Saturday and Sunday, according to Matt Casey, 41-year-old NETN co-founder and former West Tisbury summer kid. He said about a third of last year’s participants were from the Island. Space is still available for songwriters to participate in the workshop, he said.

NETN had its start in the Boston area last year when Mr. Casey and some of his fellow songwriters started meeting to give each other mutual support. He said that the group grew to more than 100 New England songwriters and artists whose artistic efforts are focused on the Nashville music scene. NETN welcomes various Nashville songwriters and artists throughout the year for workshops and performances.

In a press release, Jim McCormick, who recently wrote number one songs for Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean, said, “I’m really excited to be a part of this event and to get to play with some of the most talented people I know. I think anyone who loves great music will enjoy these performances. You’ll get a glimpse at the future of Nashville, hear number one hits and the stories behind them, and get a sneak preview of songs that you might hear on the radio a couple of years from now. ”

The festival has reserved space for five Island teens to participate free of charge. Interested teen songwriters should contact Alex’s Place director, Tony Lombardi, for more information.

Behind the Curtain with Nashville Hit-Makers Concert, Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 pm, doors open 7 pm, Flatbread Company, M.V. Airport, Edgartown. $15. For more information, call 508-693-7171.

For more information about the workshop, contact Matt Casey at or call 617-834-2506.