JD Souther Lands Role in ABC’s ‘Nashville’

JD Souther, one of the principal architects of the Southern California sound, has released a new album ‘Midnight in Tokyo’ (E One Music) and is featured on the hit ABC show Nashville as mentor and producer, Watty White. Modeled somewhat on Harlan Howard, Cowboy Jack Clement and JD’s longtime friend T-Bone Burnett (also the show’s musical producer), JD’s character “sees through the game on every level.” A decade-long Nashville resident, Souther tells Rolling Stone that the show “feels authentic to people in this world… for most of the people who live here, they’re thrilled there’s finally a show in which they escape the usual stereotype.”

Souther’s new album ‘Midnight in Tokyo’ (eONe Music) is a recent live collection of his music alongside Ellington and Ray Henderson; an album he describes as “rough and smooth and wonderful; saloon music in the night.” Souther, whose father was a big-band vocalist and his grandmother an opera singer, spent his early years as a jazz drummer. “I knew who Gershwin and Berlin and Jerome Kern and all those people were long before I knew anything about rock ’n’ roll.” The ‘Midnight in Tokyo’ band features Jeff Coffin (tenor sax), Alana Rocklin (bass) and Chris Walters (piano), and is available now, exclusively on iTunes.

JD Souther is proud to be a nominee for the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame. Following a leave of absence in 1985 to build his dream house, travel and spend time with his dogs (all rescues, of course) and family, Souther marked his return to songwriting with three critically acclaimed albums, ‘If World Was You’ (Slow Curve Records), ‘Rain: Live at the Belcourt’ (Slow Curve Records), and ‘Natural History’ (eOne), all available on CD and vinyl. In 2010, he wrote the Eagles comeback single, “How Long”, and has co-written many of the band’s hit songs throughout their career, as well as the Don Henley hit “Heart of the Matter.”

In 1984, Souther followed the chart-topping successes of “You’re Only Lonely” and the James Taylor duet “Her Town Too” with ‘Home by Dawn’, an album that Rolling Stone and Time Magazine declared his best. He has collaborated with countless world-renowned musicians including Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Hugh Masekela, Dixie Chicks, India Arie, Roy Orbison, George Strait, Brian Wilson and Trisha Yearwood. In 2009, he was presented with the Golden Note Award at the 47th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards.

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1 comment to JD Souther Lands Role in ABC’s ‘Nashville’

  • JJ Goode

    I really like Souther’s character in Nashville; he’s talented enough for the role. Nashville is exactly I’ve been waiting for. The show pushes the music, not the other way around like Glee. A few of my coworkers at DISH loved the duet recording scene (the successful one) with Watty overseeing it, and it’s scenes like that that make me miss the show between episodes. I’ve decided to save the entirety of the season to my Hopper, so that I can relive the memorable scenes; it’s nice to have a DVR with enough memory that I don’t have to worry about picking and choosing what to save. More Watty and more talent sound good to me.

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