Marty Smith – The Road You Leave Behind #5 – Luke Laird

by Matthew Wilson

Luke Laird has lots to say about his jump from one of Nashville’s most successful songwriters to the newest recording artist on the block. In the latest installment of Outsider’s “The Road You Leave Behind with Marty Smith,” Laird gets real about everything from his small town upbringing to making a name for himself in the Music City.

For sports fans everywhere, the songwriter also reveals his early foray into the world of wrestling. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well. And Laird discusses the impact sports have played on his life as well as his favorite athletes and teams.

But jumping back to music, Laird has been the brains behind some of country music’s biggest voices over the years. Countless music fans have listened to his songs on the radio whether they realized it or not. The songwriter has worked with Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, and many others as well.

Despite the success, he values the smaller things. Laird’s the kind of guy to send you his music on a cassette tape with a personalized note. Just ask host Marty Smith. The songwriter discussed his big jump into the world of recording. In 2020, Laird released the first album of his career called “Music Row.”

For the first time, fans can listen to the songwriter bring his own songs to life. The album is an autobiographical look at his early career in Nashville.

Luke Laird, Songwriter

Born on May 4, 1978, Luke Laird discovered his passion for songwriting while in high school. A native of Hartstown, Pennsylvania, Laird seemed far removed from country music and the Grand Ole Opry. But seeing Randy Travis perform live in concert ignited a passion for the genre within him.

Laird, who grew up in a small town, connected with Travis’ musings on small-town life. A vacation to Nashville during the summer of his sophomore year fueled the passion even further. While in the Music City, Laird got to watch a showcase at the famed Bluebird Cafe. Listening to songwriters perform their hit songs, Laird aspired to be a songwriter himself. He got serious about the craft during his junior year.

Out of college, Laird worked as an assistant for Brooks & Dunn’s tour manager. The role taught him about the ins and outs of the industry and was a valuable learning experience. After that job, Laird signed a publishing deal with Oglesby and BMG. That gig helped kick-off his career as a songwriter.

In 2005, Laird teamed with Hillary Lindsey on the song “Painless” for Lee Anne Womack. Their partnership turned out to be fruitful, landing him his first big hit two years later. Laird followed that up by writing tunes for Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw.

In 2007, Laird finally accomplished his long-standing dream of hearing his song on the radio. Carrie Underwood, fresh off her smash hit debut, took a gamble on Laird. He penned the tune “So Small” with Lindsey, which turned out to be a No. 1 hit. And Laird has been writing music ever since.

For more about Luke Laird and other artists, watch the full video podcasts on Outsider’s Youtube or listen on Apple Podcasts or Podbean (below).