Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Matraca Berg

Ep. 98 - Matraca Berg
"Strawberry Wine": Nashville's Native Hall of Famer


Scott and Paul go down the rabbit hole of why it's just not the same when certain famous musicians aren't accompanied by their indispensable musical compatriots.

PART TWO - 8:15 mark
Our in-depth interview with Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer and ACM Poets Award honoree Matraca Berg.

* Click the orange play button below to begin listening. Or click here to download to your device.

Scott and Paul call up Matraca to get the lowdown on why she wanted to marry songwriter Red Lane when she was four years old; how she ended up with her first hit after crashing Bobby Braddock's party and sneaking into his music room; why she begged Deana Carter NOT to release "Strawberry Wine" as her first single; which of her songs she believes was partially inspired by Harlan Howard from beyond the grave; and why she doesn't want to be in the room with the producer or artist the first time she hears their version of one of her songs.

Matraca Berg landed her first #1 country single as a songwriter when she was just 18 years old. She went on to earn well over a dozen more Top 10 hits by artists such as Patty Loveless (who found success with “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “You Can Feel Better”), Trisha Yearwood (who scored with “Wrong Side of Memphis,” “XXX’s and OOO’s,” and “Everybody Knows”), and Deana Carter (who hit #1 with “We Danced Anyway” and “Strawberry Wine,” the latter earning the award for CMA Song of the Year).

Other hits from the Matraca Berg songbook include Reba McEntire’s “The Last One to Know,” Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels,” The Dixie Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down with Me,” and Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter’s hit duet, “You and Tequila.” The list of others who’ve recorded Matraca’s songs includes Linda Ronstadt, Dusty Springfield, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, and Randy Travis.

In addition to her success on the mainstream country charts, Berg is what All Music calls “an unclassifiable but utterly classy singer/songwriter and recording artist.” Her debut album, Lying to the Moon, spawned two Top 40 singles and earned her an ACM nomination for Top New Female Vocalist. Her Sunday Morning to Saturday Night album was named one of the Top 10 albums of the year by Time magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and USA Today, while The Dreaming Fields has earned rave reviews from Rolling Stone, NPR, The New York Times, and others.

Berg has received three Grammy nominations for Best Country Song, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, and received the prestigious ACM Poet’s Award in 2017. 

Songcraft's Matraca Berg Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy more than two hours of music. You'll hear mainstream artists' versions of Matraca's songs, as well as highlights from her own output as a recording artist. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.