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

Mat Kearney
Mat Kearney is decked out in duds from Imogene + Willie, which provided the clothing seen in the photo.
| Credit: Jeremy Cowart

Oregonian by birth, cool-voiced Mat Kearney is Nashville's resident genius when it comes to landing songs on TV (Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, Vampire Diaries). Hollywood's prime-time love, as well as bighearted choruses that stick in your brain, means big-time record sales. Mat's pop hooks get compared to John Mayer and Coldplay. He's newly married. He's got a loyal band of locally plucked virtuosos. And just to show that Nashville is home sweet home, Mat's becoming a certified taxi driver. "No better place to hear good stories," he says.

Listen to Our Favorite Songs

  • "Breathe In Breathe Out" from Nothing Left to Lose
  • "Closer to Love" from City of Black and White
  • "Nothing Left to Lose" from Nothing Left to Lose
  • "Where We Gonna Go from Here" from Nothing Left to Lose
  • Listen to all on iTunes

His Nashville Hero:
"Emmylou Harris might be insulted if I lump her in with ‘old Nashville,' but she is a hero of mine. I pulled up next to her at a stoplight the other day—she looked beautiful as ever."

Wishes He Had Written:
Miranda Lambert's "The House that Built Me," written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin.

Next Up:
A third album, Young Love, is in the hopper.