“You changed our lives,” songwriter Josh Kear told Carrie Underwood
as the two faced each other onstage Wednesday (Jan. 16) at the Country Music Association building in Nashville. They were
there — along with a house full of celebrants — to toast the success of Underwood’s latest megahit, “Blown
Kear was speaking on behalf of himself and his “Blown Away” co-writer, Chris Tompkins. They also crafted
Underwood’s Grammy-winning 2007 single “Before He Cheats,”
the song that launched them into the musical stratosphere.
“Blown Away” is currently nominated for a Grammy as best
Guests rushing in from the frigid afternoon air were greeted by a wine bar and a buffet table adorned
with a bright array of vegetarian delicacies.
ASCAP, the performance rights organization of which Kear and Tompkins
are members, hosted the celebration.
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad pointed out that Tompkins is co-writer of three major-label
singles now on the charts — Tim McGraw‘s “One
of Those Nights,” Blake Shelton‘s “Sure Be Cool If You Did” and
Florida Georgia Line‘s “Get Your Shine On.”
Sistad continued, has four songs on Underwood’s Blown Away album, including her current single, “Two Black Cadillacs.”
Wiseman, Tompkins’ publisher, praised “Blown Away” as “such a brave record. … It’s as pop as it wants to be [and] it has
some depth.” The song focuses on the whiskey-generated abuses of a father whose daughter allows him to die when a tornado
sweeps their house away.
“It’s a dark story without going too far,” Underwood said during a press conference held before
As is his custom with his award-winning songwriters, Wiseman presented Tompkins a gag gift, which he described
as “a super-cheap, discount [piece of] metal wall art.”
That seemed a fair description since the framed object resembled
an autopsied robot.
“It cost more to ship than it did to buy it,” Wiseman announced proudly.
of Country Radio Broadcasters told the celebrants that a normal No. 1 country song accumulates around 80,000 airplays when
it’s on the charts but that “Blown Away” had to date racked up 170,638 spins.
“This is a special song,” Tompkins told
the crowd. He said he and Kear “used to play video games and smoke random things,” as well as listen to Jackson Browne and
Bruce Springsteen records, while searching for inspiration.
“Josh and I [now] joke that we’re going into ‘Carrie Underwood
season,’” he said.
“I’m a lucky lady, indeed,” Underwood proclaimed when it came her turn to speak. Then, turning toward
the two songwriters, she added, “Keep doing what you’re doing.”
In the press conference, Underwood stressed that there
is nothing biographical in the dark songs she often sings.
“My life is great, but it’s nice to step back and play a
character,” she noted.
She said that she is particularly drawn to “image-oriented” songs, the kind in which word pictures
tell the story.
“I don’t consider myself to have a great imagination,” she explained. “So when I read books, there
have to be lots of amazing descriptive adjectives that make me see it in my head.”