March 30, 2015- The critically acclaimed music series Front and Center will kick-off its new season with four all-new Country Music Association CMA Songwriters Series episodes with Hunter Hayes; Bob DiPiero featuring Brandy Clark; Sara Evans and Martina McBride; and Little Big Town. The episodes, which will begin airing April 4th on public television, collectively feature guest appearances from some of Nashville’s best-known songwriters including Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey, Aimee Mayo, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Gretchen Peters, Liz Rose, Gordie Sampson, The Warren Brothers, and songwriting artist Charlie Worsham. Check local listings for airdates and times in each market and for a sneak peek at the new season click here.
“Kicking off the start of the new season of Front and Center with our CMA Songwriter Series episodes is something that we’re especially excited about,” said Don Maggi, Front and Center Executive Producer. “Not only were the performances of the artists who participated special, but the respect that they showed the songwriters and the stories that they told, gave us some incredible moments.”
“CMA is proud of our partnership and creative collaborations with Front and Center,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “These shows shine a national spotlight not only on Country Music and the great artists in these episodes, but also on our amazing songwriting community and the CMA Songwriters Series, which has fans around the world.”
CMA-Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes performs with fellow songwriters Barry Dean (“Pontoon” – Little Big Town), Lori McKenna (“I’m Workin’”- Tim McGraw), and Gordie Sampson (“Just A Dream” – Carrie Underwood). The episode features Hayes and his guests performing songs from his chart-topping album Storyline and features the hit “Invisible,” as well songs from his No.1, self-titled, Platinum-selling debut album.
Bob DiPiero, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and co-creator of the CMA Songwriters Series, is joined by reigning CMA Award winner for CMA Song of the Year and two-time 2015 Grammy Award-nominee Brandy Clark along with her partner on the 2014 CMA Song of the Year win, Shane McAnally, and recording artist Charlie Worsham. The foursome takes turns performing songs they helped pen including hits like “Follow Your Arrow” (recorded by Kacey Musgraves), “Blue Clear Sky” (recorded by George Strait), and “Gone” (recorded by Montgomery Gentry).
Multiple-CMA Award winners, Sara Evans and Martina McBride join forces for a special CMA Songwriters Series: Ladies Night Out. Evans’ recent studio album Slow Me Down debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. She’s had five No. 1 songs, two No. 1 Country albums, sold six million albums, and has been nominated and/or won nearly 10 major music awards. McBride, whose most recent album “Everlasting” debuted at No.1 on the Country Albums Chart, has sold more than 18 million albums, which have included six No.1s, and has earned more than 15 major music awards including four wins for the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Together Evans and McBride present songwriters Gretchen Peters (“Independence Day” – Martina McBride), Aimee Mayo (“Let’s Make Love” – Faith Hill), and The Warren Brothers (“Red Solo Cup” – Toby Keith). The ladies also perform career hits including Evans’ “Born To Fly” and “Stronger”; and McBride’s “Teenage Daughters” and “Independence Day.”
Finally, Grammy Award winners and three-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town bring out long-time songwriting collaborators and friends, Hillary Lindsey (“Jesus Take The Wheel” – Carrie Underwood), Natalie Hemby (“Downtown” – Lady Antebellum), Liz Rose (“Teardrops On My Guitar” – Taylor Swift), and McKenna. The recent Grand Ole Opry inductees perform some of their best-loved hits including “Boondocks” and “Tornado” as well as songs from their latest album Pain Killer.
The new season of Front and Center will begin feeding to public television as follows:
Hunter Hayes (as of April 4)
Bob DiPiero featuring Brandy Clark (as of April 11)
Sara Evans and Martina McBride: Ladies Night Out (as of April 18)
Little Big Town (as of April 25)
For more information on the CMA Songwriters Series visit CMAsongwritersseries.com.
Front and Center is a production of Front and Center Entertainment, LLC in association with WLIW21 for WNET, and distributed by American Public Television. All episodes are directed by Pierre and François Lamoureux of FogoLabs.