This on-the-verge musician proves that old-school songwriting is alive and well in Nashville.

Although she was born in Pittsburgh, Courtney Jaye moved to Georgia while in junior high. Since then the singer has lived in Arizona, Texas, California, and Hawaii before settling down (for now) in Nashville.
Photo: Jeremy Cowart

Until free-spirited Courtney Jaye landed in Nashville, she’d been snakebit with a long-running case of wanderlust—perhaps the biggest reason her 2010 album struck such an original chord in Music City. The Exotic Sounds of Courtney Jaye features 11 tracks fearlessly pulled from a road-worn collection of sounds: lap steel guitar, ukulele, recorded birdcalls, and her you-listen-to-me-mister surety of voice. You might call her tunes Patsy Cline meets Hawaiian luau, since Courtney played beach bars in Kauai for a blissful stretch several years back.

Listen to Our Favorite Songs

Her Nashville Heroes:
“Skeeter Davis, Rosanne Cash, and Loretta Lynn are all strong women that never really played by the rules of Music Row and still have epic careers.”

Wishes She Had Written:
Adele’s new single “Rolling in the Deep,” cowritten with her producer Paul Epworth. “I’ve read that her new album was inspired by classic country.”

Next Up:
Her follow-up record Love and Forgiveness with Miranda Lambert’s 2010 CMA Album of the Year-winning producer Mike Wrucke.