NRS Series 4 Prelim 7

Another Wednesday, another flood in Nashville! This series is turning out great in spite of really lousy weather on most Wednesdays! 36 Songwriters braved the floods and came out to Prelim #7 at Nashville Underground. 24 shared their songs, 3 more than usual, but we wanted to reward the songwriters for coming out and get more on stage. We heard many well written songs as usual!

The winners of Nashville Rising Song Series 4 Prelim 7. From left to right, Jenny Leigh Miller (audience winner), Chase Wilson (music industry judges winner), Keith Mohr (NRS creator/director), Shawn Davis (music industry judge), Shawn Carnes (Emcee), Michael Whittaker (music industry judge).

Preliminary Round 7 Songwriters:

1- Billy Kelley
2- Pamela Jennings
3- Brandt Carmichael
4- Stephen Tolley
5- Maddison Livingston
6- Luke Ledbetter
7- Darren Barker
8- Peyton Kashdan
9- Garrett Brown
10- Joey Dee
11- Lauren Smith
12- Drew Davidsen
13- Bryan Swaboda
14- Nicole Zadok
15- Kennedy Frohawk
16- Alisha Pace
17- Chuck Richard
18- Jenny Leigh Miller
19- Michael Keys
20- Knox Morris
21- Mike Forte
22- Adrian Taylor
23- Chase Wilson
24- Antonio Moraes

TOP 3 Music Industry Judges Picks
Knox Morris
Chase Wilson
Michael Keys

Watch a featured round with our Top 3 Picks Here


Chase Wilson (Judges Winner)
Jenny Leigh Miller (Audience Winner)

Chase and Jenny Leigh will come back and join 18 other writers for the semi-final round to be held Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground. The finals will be held Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground.


Emmy nominated Michael Whittaker is a unique hybrid of his diverse upbringing as session pianist, producer and film composer.

After attending UCLA’s school of music and majoring in film scoring, Michael has gone on to compose music for over 300 television episodes and TV movies including the popular Power Rangers. Currently Michael is scoring and producing for companies like Disney, Sony, NBC and Lions Gate Films. In 2011 his theme was chosen as the main theme of the new Disney Family Movies channel.

Michael’s orchestration and production skills have won many awards such as the Telly award for his score to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, A 2013 Emmy nomination, Bank of America Musical Achievement award, International Association of Jazz Educators player excellence award, and the Clarence Brown Memorial scholarship for jazz.

Michael’s experience in many styles, has allowed him to work with many notable artists including Lionel Richie, Jimmy Kimmel Live house band, Mack Davis, Paulina Rubio, Wayman Tisdale, Lionel Richie, 98 Degrees, Cake, Brenda Russell, and many others.

Notable shows Michael’s music is featured:

America’s Next Top Model, Funniest Pets and Animals, A&E Toby Keith Documentary, Battleground Earth Best Damn Sports, Biography of Tiger Woods, Dr 90210, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Leprechaun 6, Modern Marvels, Naruto Movie, Xyber 9 New Dawn, Access Hollywood, X Men Marvel Cartoon, The New Addams Family, The Power Rangers, The Ninja Turtles, America’s Most Wanted, Action Man and Nobel Peace Awards 2000 theme.

Michael’s sync licensing company, “Reel Whitty Works” has placed songs and music for Guardians of the Galaxy II, Shameless, Versace, Conjuring 2, Dancing With the Stars, and Imposters.

Michael was recently tapped as the music director and score for the recent CCM United Concert and taped production featuring top legacy artists for a later broadcast on TBN.

His new studio is a state of the art music production facility in Franklin, TN called Velvet Cinema studio.

Learn More at:

Shawn has forged his own unique path as a music industry professional, combining his knowledge and experience as a touring musician, songwriter, and business executive.

Born into a musical family who nurtured his guitar playing talent from an early age, He honed his skills on the church worship team and began writing songs.

Proving his diversity, Shawn became a player and writer for all genres, touring extensively throughout the US and working with many of this generations most notable artists. Dierks Bentley, Michael Tait, Further Seems Forever, Dashboard Confessional, Fly-Leaf, Paramore, Dem Franchize Boyz, Kesha, and Fallout Boy to list a few.

Also tapping into the production world, he has worked on various recording projects at some of the worlds top studios, including the Sound Kitchen, New York City Sound Lab, Blackbird, Nightbird Recording, Record Plant and The Ranch.

After living in Florida, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, and New York, Davis has made Nashville his home, immersing himself in the music community and establishing valuable relationships.

Member of ISSA (International Singer-Songwriters Association) and recently gained voting rights for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences better known as the GRAMMYS.

Shawn joined Nashville Underground Management in 2018, actively serving as Shawn Carnes business partner and is a valued industry contributor. He is responsible for Artist Management, A&R and Branding Partnerships.

One of their current clients, Steven Battey recently co-wrote and produced a #1 song for Luke Combs, “One Number Away”

Learn more at: NU.MANAGEMENT

See all 24 performances from this round below:

See pictures of all songwriters who competed at this round below: