We’re about to reveal something that many country fans don’t realize. Stars like Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan don’t write all of their own songs.

It’s hard to believe, because when they perform some of those big hits they sound so convincing, but that’s what makes them superstar artists—they know how to pick songs that work for them. And when they do pick songs, they all have favorite writers that they turn to. In the case of Luke, Blake and many others, one of their go-to songwriters is Dallas Davidson.

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If you’ve been to one of Luke’s “Farm Tours,” then you’ve probably seen Dallas performing with fellow Peach Pickers Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip. But Dallas, like Rhett and Ben, also functions pretty well on his own. In addition to co-writing smash hits like Blake’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” Joe Nichols’ “Gimme That Girl,” Lady Antebellum’s “We Owned the Night,” Randy Houser’s “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and Luke’s “That’s My Kinda Night,” “Play It Again,” “Kick the Dust Up” and more (HOLY CRAP!), Dallas can actually sing. In fact, if you pick up his self-titled album on iTunes, you’re in for a real treat!

So, Alan Jackson, Dallas is indeed in Tennessee, but so is Brandy Clark, and while she has all of the swagger of country stars like Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves, she’s actually from Washington. She’s also one of the finest female songwriters in Music City.

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Loved for her real deal female feelings and no B.S. lyrics, Brandy has become a voice for women in country music, much like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton were in their day. Tunes like “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “Follow Your Arrow” and “Biscuits” take a no-nonsense, but magically poetic approach to life in the 21st century, and have empowered not just women, but men to just do what they do. No regrets.

Thank goodness there is an entire thriving community of songwriters in Nashville who so beautifully set to music what we’re are all thinking and feeling. We’ve picked a few more of our favorites for this special edition of Rare Country’s 5, so be sure to watch that video and also let us know who some of your favorite songsmiths are.

And check back in next week when we have more of the news from in and around country music in Rare Country’s 5.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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