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Backwoods Beat Festival - Matraca Berg in Sparta

Muddy Creek Cafe, 60 N. Main Street, Sparta

Date: 06/21/2019 - 06/21/2019
Starts: 8 pm
Ends: 10:30 pm

All ages show $20 advance/$25 door

Matraca Berg had her first No. 1 record as a songwriter at age 18. That, in turn, has qualified her to become one of the youngest Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees in history: To be eligible, a writer must have first achieved prominence at least 25 years ago. She was inducted in October 2008. 

That first hit was “Faking Love,” as sung by T.G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks. In the years since, Berg’s songs have practically become the soundtrack of contemporary Nashville. Reba McEntire’s “The Last One to Know” (1987), Patty Loveless’ “I’m That Kind of Girl”(1991), Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” (1992), Martina McBride’s “Wild Angels “(1996), the Dixie Chicks’ “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me” (2001) and more than 50 other recordings of her songs have made her one of the most recorded composers in Music City. 

Matraca’s songs have been sung by Randy Travis, Faith Hill, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt, Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, Keith Urban, Dusty Springfield, Clint Black, Loretta Lynn and dozens of others. Her cowritten “Strawberry Wine,” as performed by Deana Carter, was named the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year in 1997. As if to top it all off, Gretchen Wilson’s recording of Matraca’s and Jim Collins’ “I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today” received a 2007 Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. 

In addition, the songwriter issued three CDs in 1990-97, plus a 1999 compilation, that have brought her wide acclaim as a performer. She and fellow Nashville songwriter Marshall Chapman provided the songs for the 2000 theatrical production Good Ol’ Girls, which continues to be staged by regional repertory companies. As a backup vocalist she has recorded with Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young and many others. She appeared in the 1987 motion picture Made In Heaven and on the soundtrack of 1993’s The Thing Called Love. And in 2004, she added “producer” to her list of accomplishments by guiding the disc debut of Sony newcomer Christy Sutherland. 

“Making records has done more for my career than anything, I think,” says Matraca. “It raised my profile as a writer like nothing else. It was because of my records that Trisha and Martina and Faith and everyone recorded my songs. But none of my records was exactly like I wanted them to be.”

The time has come for Matraca Berg to make the record she’s always wanted to make. That’s a good thing for her, a good thing for her fans, and a good thing for music.