31 Days of Women: Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves


Kacey Musgraves is well known for pushing the boundaries of country music with songs like her Grammy Award winning “Merry Go Round” and CMA Award winning “Follow Your Arrow.” Now, the singer is back with two new songs off her upcoming fourth studio album, Golden Hour, due out March 30.

Released last week, “Space Cowboy” immediately strikes a chord with its imagery and Musgraves’ whispered vocals. “Sunsets fade and love does too / Yeah, we had our day in the sun / When a horse wants to run ain’t no sense in closing the gate / So you can have your space, cowboy,” she sings on the chorus.

She shared on Instagram earlier this week that the song was inspired by seeing a stallion charging powerfully from one end of the arena to the other.

“Though I was ‘safe’ on the other side of the arena wall, it kinda scared me when he came flying toward me..barely stopping in time,” she writes. “My riding teacher saw him coming at me and yelled at me to move away. I said ‘I’m fine! The gate is closed!’ to which she said, ‘Girl – when they wanna go they will go…there ain’t no point in even shuttin’ the gate.’ It really made a mark on me when she said that and I wrote it down. SPACE COWBOY came a couple days after with @shanemcanally + @lukerobert ✨Make peace with what doesn’t belong. You’ll find something better.”

Listen to her two new songs, “Space Cowboy” and “Butterflies,” below.



Features Songwriting Session

Songwriting Session: Country Edition

Dierks Bentley

(Dierks Bentley/Courtesy: The Green Room)

Songwriting Session is a new weekly column that goes behind-the-scenes with artists and songwriters. Each Sunday, a new songwriter will share their journey and provide lessons they’ve learned along the way. This week, country artists Dierks Bentley, Kacey Musgraves and Charlie Worsham share what they have learned as songwriters.


Charlie Worsham admits that songwriting is “just a switch you can’t turn off.” He is quick to explain that it’s something that never leaves him.

“I’m always jotting something down on an airplane,” he says. “It’s this thing that keeps you up at night. It wakes you up in the middle of the night, it gets you up early. You just can’t shut it off. You can’t ever put the pen down. It’s constantly gnawing at you in an excruciatingly beautiful way.”

Stuck on a chorus or song idea? Charlie suggests stating a universal truth.

“Some of the best advice I ever got on chorus writing was listen to the Beatles and Tom Petty,” he admits. “If you listen to their choruses, ‘And I’m free. Free fallin.’ ‘All you need is love.’ If it’s a really powerful truth sometimes all you need to do is say it and then repeat it two more times.”

Most of the artists I’ve spoken with in the past have said the best songs often come from something he or she has experienced firsthand, Kacey Musgraves being no exception.

“The best songs for me come from things that I have actually experienced or have some kind of insight on,” she says. “It all has to resonate somewhere within me. It can’t be completely fabricated. It always starts from me and that’s my favorite kind of music. You can tell it’s truthful.”



So you want to be a songwriter? The most important advice Dierks Bentley has for an aspiring songwriter is to write every day.

“One guy said to me, ‘You know what? You need to write about 500 songs, and just put them all in a drawer. When you get done doing that, call me up and I’ll write with you,’” he recalls. “I thought he was being a dick, but basically what he was saying was—you can’t be precious with your songs—you just got to write ’em and file ’em.”

He continues: “You want to be a songwriter? Write every day. 500 songs is a lot, but I got what he was saying. Don’t type them up on a nice sheet of paper and put ’em in a three ring binder. Just write ’em up, then go on to the next one. Keep writing.”

For more tips from country songwriters, visit my article on

Interviews Q&A

Top 25 Interviews of 2014: No. 21 Brandy Clark


When I interviewed Kacey Musgraves last year, she raved about Brandy Clark. Brandy was Kacey’s tour opener and songwriting partner and she told me that her album 21 Stories needed to be heard. And she was right.

Earlier this year, I finally sat down with Brandy and having had success on writing singles for Miranda Lambert and Kacey in the past, I was fascinated with the stories behind her songs and how she goes about writing a song. Brandy filled me in on everything (read an excerpt below) and I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more from this country singer-songwriter. Today, she was nominated for two Grammy Awards, one for Best Country Album and the second for Best New Artist. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she wins both.

Long before Brandy Clark released her excellent debut country album 12 Stories, she had a publicist in Kacey Musgraves. The two songwriters penned several hits together, including Miranda Lambert‘s 2014 ACM Award-winning “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Musgraves’ recent single “Follow Your Arrow.” Naturally they formed a tight bond.

“Kacey Musgraves was a publicist for this record before we had a publicist,” Brandy told me. “So much of what she’s doing artistically is really opening major doors for a record like mine. Had Kacey’s record not come out when it did, I don’t know if my record would have been received the way it was. I feel like she’s really opened the door for a different kind of song and for some of those topics that are a little bit more taboo.”

Lead single “Stripes” is an example of Clark’s unique storytelling. What started as an idea to write a song called “Orange,” about a woman who wants to kill her cheating husband, transformed into a tell-all tale of what would happen if she didn’t hate stripes and looked good in the color orange.

“For me, to really sink my teeth into a song, I do have the characters in my mind, and they grow,” she said. “When I’m writing a song, I can picture the kitchen they’re sitting in and what their TV set looks like. Those are the things I have to do, just getting into that spot in your mind where the story is taking place.”

For my complete article, visit