2006 GMA SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
“Day by Day”
Point of Grace: 24
Co-wrote “Day by Day” with Tiffany Arbuckle Lee…this was the only new song on the album, which was a compilation of their previous 24 hit singles. I originally imagined it for an Alison Krauss sort of artist…Jeremy Lee had other ideas.
On this album, I wrote one song – “Held” – and co-wrote another, “Bring It All Together,” with producer/writer Shaun Shankel. We had no idea what would happen with such an unusual song as “Held”…and with “Bring It” having Wynonna Judd singing something I wrote was an added honor.
“Real” and “Go”
Plumb: Beautiful Lumps of Coal
Co-wrote “Real” and “Go” with Tiffany Arbuckle Lee…”Real” had been inspired by watching the Oscars that year…”Go” we wrote for her wedding. She showed me what she’d started and then ran out to a dentist appointment. I worked on it, adding a few lines before she got back. Thankfully, she liked what I added.
“Our Hope Endures”
Natalie Grant: Relentless
On this album, I co-wrote one of the singles, “Our Hope Endures” with Natalie…I originally wrote the song, inspired by the stories of some dear friends…Natalie added the gorgeous bridge section toward the end and also modified the melody at the top of the chorus–two very important modifications that made the song what it needed to be.
“I Will Carry You”
Selah: You Deliver Me
What an honor it was to sit in the room with Todd & Angie Smith just a few days after the tragic diagnosis of their unborn daughter’s condition. They had just learned that Audrey Caroline would not survive more than a few moments outside the womb. We spent the day processing together and putting music to a lyrical idea Angie had already begun writing for little Audrey. We wrote for her inevitable memorial service, not knowing it would end up on the album, as well.
“Twice As Good”
Sara Groves: Fireflies and Songs
When Sara asked me to consider whether I had anything that might work for her upcoming project, it was one of the highest compliments I’d ever received. So I sat down and came up with a little idea that centered around the idea that what we share in intimate friendships is “half as hard and twice as good.” Somewhere I’d heard that. Well, Sara wrote the song all by herself and it’s beautiful, but since I’d contributed the idea, she gave me credit. What a gem.
Jessica Campbell: Put the Stars Back EP
Jessica has such a beautiful voice and honest spirit, I’ve enjoyed writing with her very much. This song came from watching the marriage of friends crumble…sometimes in life we just give up too easily.
“He Remembers Me”
When Nicol & Greg asked me to write for this project, specifically writing an honest and worshipful lyric from the perspective of African orphans, I was thrilled for the challenge and honored by their invitation. I spent some time watching interviews of orphaned kids taking care of themselves and their younger siblings before sitting down to start this, and became completely absorbed in the song until it was complete. Once tracking was underway, I was further honored to be included in the recording along with Plumb.
“On the Mountain”
When I was getting ready to record the “Frame the Clouds” album, I wanted to bring in some of the amazing voices I had worked with or written for in Nashville. Todd Smith was one of those voices. He came in and killed his parts on my version of this song. I was, of course, completely thrilled when he wrote to me not long after that, asking if Selah could also record it for their upcoming album. Umm…yessss.
Album: A Thousand Little Things
The special thing about this song is that it was the first song Nicole Witt and I ever wrote together back in 2007. I remember that day well. We were trying to capture the idea that there are things we don’t want to be honest and real about, because they are that ugly, and we don’t really believe there is redemption for us. This song says there is a place where it is safe to “come clean” and where we will be pleasantly surprised that those stains can in fact come clean.
Album: Faster Than a Bullet
Tiffany and I wrote this song with our friend Luke Sheets. Funny, we wrote it with Selah in mind, but it took a very different turn once Plumb recorded it with those power vocals of hers. The beauty of it is the deep personal meaning the song has since taken on for Tiffany. Sometimes songwriting works in reverse that way.
It was released as the 2nd single from her upcoming album “Faster Than a Bullet.”