Join the talented professional songwriter Janelle Arthur under the stars at the next installment of The Nashville Songwriter! Arthur will perform alongside two other exceptional Nashville-based artists Ryan Larkins and Jamie Adamson for another writer’s round show on Thursday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Click here to purchase tickets now. This is the first time you’ll be able to take advantage of the May weather and enjoy The Nashville Songwriter at the outdoor stage at the north lawn of the BMHFM. Bar and concessions will be available. The show sells out fast, and this is one you don’t want to miss! Don’t forget a blanket or chair for seating.
Janelle Arthur’s start in the industry is what young aspiring musicians everywhere dream of. The singer/songwriter became serious about music at just eight years old after scoring the role of young Dolly Parton in a production of Dolly’s life at the Dollywood theme park. Little did she know meeting Dolly Parton and playing the role of her as a child would foreshadow her bright future in the music industry.
She recently collaborated with Dolly on one of her own songs called “Hand Me Downs”. Arthur says she didn’t have Dolly Parton in mind while writing the song, but once it was done she had to make sure it reached her. “This feels like a song she would love,” said Arthur, “it feels almost like a modern-day Dolly song.” Dolly Parton was once a young aspiring musician from east Tennessee herself, and after hearing the song was sold on collaborating. “She could’ve said ‘well that was such a cute song, you tell Janelle I’m proud of her’… but she wanted to be a part of it,” said Arthur.
Janelle says she began writing at a very young age, even before she could properly write. “As far back as I can remember I was trying to sing and write songs,” said Arthur, “I would find karaoke tracks and write melodies to those tracks. Songwriting is really what made me move to Nashville.” Once she began writing and recording her own music, she knew that Nashville was the place for her to chase her dreams.
Arthur’s career began taking off in 2013 when Janelle scored a spot in the 12th season of American Idol. After auditioning four times in three seasons, she made it all the way to the top 5. “It’s continued to open doors for me to this day so I’m really grateful for American Idol,” says Arthur. After officially making the move to Nashville, she went on to tour with American Idol and was even invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
If you’ve never been to the Music City, you might not know that the songwriting community is the lifeblood of the creative community in Nashville. Songwriter nights and “writer’s rounds” are a nearly every-night occurrence. “A writer’s night is where the artists sit in a circle, face each other, go through the line, and sing your original music and tell the stories of how you wrote the song. Now we do a lot of writer’s rounds facing the audience and we each take turns,” says Arthur. Writer’s nights are a unique opportunity to see the creative process behind great music and the stories that inspire their lyricism.
One of Janelle’s favorite songwriting stories is behind her single “Chasing Ghosts”. “I heard this line on a TV show, ‘You can’t spend your days chasing a ghost,’ and I immediately wrote it down. There are so many different ways to go with that,” says Arthur. She cowrote the song with Victoria Shaw and Erin Kinsey and it’s been a crowd favorite ever since. “You never know when you’re going to be inspired. You have to be open all the time,” says the singer.
You’ll hear stories like this and so much more at the Nashville Songwriter. Arthur says she’s been writing with Jamie Adamson recently and has sung with Ryan Larkins often in the past. “We’re kind of kindred spirits,” says Arthur, referring to Larkins, “we both write similar, heartfelt songs, and we both love traditional country. We’ve done quite a few shows together.” What’s unique about the show is that the artists get to work together, even sing together, in a spontaneous way. It’s not scripted, so you’ll see a fun, collaborative effort from all three artists that you wouldn’t see in a structured concert. “We’re so excited to do this show,” says Arthur.
Watch the full interview below!