Leslie Satcher can craft a song using words as disparate as Neiman Marcus, Pentecostals and anointing oil. She can create magic with phrases like, “I’ve stirred my last batch of gravy” to conjure up that weekend your best friend’s low-down husband got caught cheating, which sent you both on a bender that included shopping, whiskey and a few hours that you have suspiciously erased from your memory.
Satcher came to Nashville in 1989 to become a country music artist, and though she still performs for die-hard fans, she has enjoyed sizable success as a songwriter. From “When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues,” recorded by Martina McBride, and Grammy-nominated “Politically Uncorrect,” recorded by Merle Haggard and Gretchen Wilson, to “House of Cash,” recorded by George Strait, Satcher has written for country greats with songs that alternate between toe-tapping, tears and truth, all set to music.
In an industry currently fixated on trucks and the man-boys who drive them, Satcher continues to write and record country music that is more about the life and love you experience as an adult.
Meet singer/songwriter Leslie Satcher, our FACES profile for StyleBlueprint Williamson County.
Tell me a little bit about your life in Texas and how it influenced you as a singer/songwriter.
I was raised in a home full of music and fun. Church was, and is, a big part of my life, so gospel music was a big influence, as well as Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and George Strait.
You came to Nashville in 1989 to pursue a career as a country music artist. How did you wind up writing songs?
Larry Strickland, Naomi Judd’s husband, heard my songs. They both jumped in to help me hone the craft of songwriting, as well as helping me learn how to write a commercial song.
Who was the first big artist to cut one of your songs? Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
My first big cut came with Sara Evans. However, the first time I heard one of my songs was when I heard a Lee Ann Womack cut, “A Man With 18 Wheels,” when it played on a jukebox in a restaurant.
It seems to be really hard these days to be a female country artist. Who are some of your favorite women in country music who may not be making the radio right now?
Emmylou, Dolly, Reba, Loretta … If you’re great enough to be known by your first name, you should still be on the radio!
If it is hard to be a female artist, is it because so many songs are about guy-centric topics (trucks, trucks and trucks)? Or is it that those songs are the only ones getting played?
Country music moves in cycles. Right now, the format is very male-centered. But, like the day the Dixie Chicks came onto the scene, it can and will turn on a dime. Some girl will blow the doors off, and then they’ll say guys can’t get played! It always happens.
Are there many female songwriters in Nashville who make it big? Do you collaborate with them? Or do you even collaborate at all?
There are more and more great female songwriters breaking in in Nashville. Still, men really have the bulk of the action where cuts are concerned. So we all write with them, and it’s fun!
Do you have “working hours” when it comes to writing songs? What does a typical day look like?
I write whenever God sends down a song to me. Sometimes it’s in a 10 a.m. writing session with one of my friends. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night.
Do you ever write a song with a particular artist in mind?
All the time. It has proven to be a very successful thing for me.
There are some songs that are nearly perfect to me. I tear up every single time I hear “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Whiskey Lullaby.” Do you have songs that you think, “Man, I just love that song” no matter how many times you hear them?
I love both of those songs, and they were written by close friends and heroes of mine: Bobby Braddock, Bill Anderson and Jon Randall Stewart. I also love a great song called “Beneath Still Waters,” by Dallas Frazier, and “When I Get Where I’m Going,” by Rivers Rutherford.
Are you still touring? Any new music or CDs coming out?
Yes. I play all over the country and will be releasing my fourth CD in 2015!
How can we follow you and find out where you will play next?
What three things, aside from faith, family and friends, can you not live without?
Books, downtime and candlelight. I love them all!
What is on your nightstand right now? What books are you reading?
Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music by Ricky Skaggs. Ricky and his precious wife, Sharon White, are close friends of ours. Ricky even said the blessing over my husband and me at the close of our wedding in 2004 down in Texas. I love him.
Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Leslie! We can’t wait to hear more of your songs.
Special thanks to Heather Sisemore of Heather Sisemore Photography for taking these fantastic portraits today. See more of her work at heathersisemore.com.