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Nashville's Top Music Makers 2014

The top artists and songwriters transforming Nashville these days.

Written By:  Lily Clayton Hansen, Nashville Lifestyles & Tricia Despres

Photographers:  Supplied

Mary Steenburgen

Actress Mary Steenburgen has long considered Nashville “a city made up of poets,” but only recently did the rest of the world discover that this Academy Award winner is a magical lyric maker herself.

“I still can’t quite believe it,” says Steenburgen, who has been moonlighting as a legitimate songwriter in Nashville since 2007. “Many years ago, I had surgery on my arm and I was put under general anesthesia, and something happened. I basically started hearing music in my head, somewhat overnight. When I realized I couldn’t ignore it, I started studying music and paying attention to the construction of a song... and, well, here I am.” While the story of how she got here may sound perplexing to some, Steenburgen’s successes have been embraced by the songwriting community ever since she arrived on Music Row. From Troy Verges to Hillary Lindsey to Lori McKenna, Steenburgen says she has found all of the support she was looking for right here in Tennessee.

Armed with a voice as sweet as her heart, the Universal Music Publishing Group singer-songwriter further cemented her place within the community by purchasing a part-time home in Nashville. “I’m never saying goodbye to the life I have here,” says Steenburgen, who has also recently taken up the accordion (a gift from husband Ted Danson) to further feed her musical appetite. “This has all been a wonderful surprise to me.”

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