We hope you had a long weekend to unwind, and are back at it this Tuesday. We want to make another introduction today, to Miss Matraca Berg, one of the unsung heroes of the music industry in Nashville. You know her work as an accomplished songwriter, having penned her first number one hit at age 18 with Bobby Braddock, "Faking Love," a duet with Karen Brooks and T. G. Sheppard. Reba McEntire had a #1 song with her "The Last One to Know," and Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, Marie Osmond, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Michelle Wright, and Pinmonkey have recorded her songs.
In the meantime, Matraca was forging a singing career as well as she released her debut album Lying to the Moon in 1990. What was to be her follow-up album, Bittersweet Surrender, was recorded in 1991, but the record label wanted a more mainstream-sounding recording, so it didn’t come out. She continued to write for others, and in 1993, put out her second album called The Speed of Grace. In 1997, she co-wrote the Deana Carter hit "Strawberry Wine" with Gary Harrison. The same year, Matraca released the album Sunday Morning to Saturday Night. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Jeff Hanna, a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. We are happy to report she has a brand new CD after fourteen years since the last one, The Dreaming Fields. Here is a recording of one of its songs, “Oh Cumberland,” as she is joined by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, featuring Jimmie Fadden on harp.
-- Jessie Scott