Music lovers came together for An Evening With Nicolle Galyon at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater on Tuesday (Nov. 1). The special live show celebrated award-winning songwriter Nicolle Galyon and her debut album Firstborn, which premiered in July of this year.
Galyon shared the stage with many fellow Nashville writers throughout the evening, all of whom took the time to describe the impact she’s had on their writing and careers. Each one played and told the stories behind their music, showcasing their creativity and innovation. Together with Galyon, they created an intimate and comforting atmosphere.
Rising artist-songwriters Tiera Kennedy, Lauren Watkins, Mackenzie Carpenter, and Carter Faith kicked off the night, singing their songs as well as their praises of the Songs & Daughters label head.
“Nicolle has taught me so much about writing songs, being myself, and standing my ground in this industry. I cannot say enough about her,” said Watkins.
She then performed “Sleeping in My Makeup,” and finished with the clever track “Shirley Temple,” a song she wrote with Galyon and Meg McRee.
“I just spent a weekend with Nicolle at a writer’s retreat and as a young female artist, it’s really cool to see how she literally does it all. She’s an artist, mom, business owner, label and publishing executive, and still gets home in time to put her kids to bed. It’s really cool to see, and really cool to learn from,” shared Carpenter.
With her brother and fellow songwriter Micah Carpenter on guitar, she tickled the room with “Huntin’ Season,” written by the siblings alongside the woman of the hour. She also performed her debut single “Can’t Nobody.”
Next on the mic was Kennedy, who gestured to the stage behind her and led the crowd in applauding the musician accompanying the four artists. She sang “Found It In You,” dedicating the song to whoever audience members consider to be “the person who loves [them] despite all of [their] flaws, and loves [them] no matter what.”
Faith performed and shared the stories behind “Already Crazy,” out tomorrow (Nov. 4), as well as an unreleased solely self-written song influenced by Galyon.
“Nicolle is someone everyone should look up to, woman or not,” stated Faith. “She is who we all want to be as songwriters, and I think it’s amazing that she’s honoring the talent she sees in town. Her asking us to be a part of this is so special. She could’ve just played a show, she didn’t have to have us open for her. So, I just want to say thank you to her.”
She continued, saying, “Nicolle is so supportive and wants everyone to be their authentic selves. It’s so scary to release a record. The fact that she has a separate career as a songwriter and made this artist record is so special and strong. She is so strong. That is something her daughter and her son will always know about her. That is something we will always know about her.”
The headliner of the “one show tour” then took to the stage, spreading the seeds of the empowering “Sunflower.”
Recent Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and Firstborn co-writer Hillary Lindsey joined Galyon in performing single “Boy Crazy,” entrancing the audience with their intertwined vocals.
“I wrote this music with an audience of two in mind, and that’s Charlie and Ford Clawson. So, the fact that there’s more than two people here is a miracle and so much fun. Sincerely, thank you for showing up,” Galyon said to the crowd.
She introduced Jimmy Robbins and King Henry, the two writers with whom she started Firstborn. After she joined them on the cozy couch upon the stage, the three of them performed “Disneyland.” Galyon and Emily Weisband shared “Consequences,” co-written by both of them, Amy Wadge, and Camila Cabello.
“I think in 2020 what I learned was that I was returning. The more I returned to myself, the more I didn’t care about the things I didn’t need to care about,” she explained while transitioning to “Self Care,” which she wrote with Sasha Sloan and Caroline Barker, who was called on stage to join her.
Galyon gave a moving performance of “Five Year Plan” alongside her husband, Rodney Clawson. A touching video filled with clips from her musical career as well as her career in motherhood projected across the front of the theater as the song rang through the room. The night continued with “Boy” and “Tendencies.” Artist Walker Hayes was the next guest onstage. He expressed his admiration of Galyon and her work, following with a performance of “AA.” Then Galyon and Hayes teamed up for their co-written track “Halloween.”
The evening wrapped with the return of Lindsey, who united with Galyon for “Younger Woman,” another track they wrote together. She concluded by thanking every co-writer on the album. Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry appeared for the final performance of the night, “If I Die Young.”
As the lights faded, the crowed begged for an encore, further confirming Galyon’s amazing talent both as an artist and a songwriter.