Born just 25 miles southwest of New Orleans on the bayou of Lafourche Parish, LA., surrounded by marshes, swamps, the Gulf of Mexico and cane fields Steve’s love for music would become the one thing he could never walk away from. From an early age playing in cover bands he began writing his own music which led to touring opportunities and a record deal with his band Williams Riley then onto producing records as well. On top of that, he also had a very successful business career which would soon lend a hand when he formed Wide Open Music with singer/song writer/ producer Ash Bowers.
After four years of relentless touring, the Jackson, TN native made the move east on I-40 to Nashville in 2007. Quickly he became a signed recording artist at Broken Bow Records where he experienced making his record with producer, Buddy Cannon. He has also learned the ups and downs of having three Billboard charting singles and touring around the world all while honing his incredible craft of songwriting. Bowers has penned songs for Keith Urban, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch and Montgomery Gentry among others. Since 2012, he has been president of Wide Open Music, the thriving publishing and artist development company he started with his friend Steve Williams. “Our goal was to create a company that allowed our songwriters /artist the freedom to become who they want to be,” said Bowers whose experience on the label challenged him in ways he had not imagined. “I get to use my experience and knowledge of the business that I have learned to further Wide Open Music and that is gratifying.”
Bowers, who has been influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, John Mellencamp, and the Cannon produced Kenny Chesney, ventured into producing (outside of his own projects) when he produced a record for one of his writers, Jimmie Allen. “I am grateful to have worked alongside some of the best in the business, like Buddy Cannon,” he recalls. “Over the years I have been producing all my own songwriting demos. Doing that, you not only figure out the process but you start seeing your thumbprint on everything you are working on. That is when you really discover what you can bring to the table as a producer.” Bowers adds that because he and Allen wrote the record together it was a natural decision to produce.
“I think the most important thing we can offer anyone is the opportunity to just be themselves and do what they do,” Bowers says of the core value of his company. He has approached every phase of his career with this mindset and it has rewarded him with incredible accomplishments like recording contracts, song cuts and respect from his peers.
Amy Hendon Scott
Amy Hendon Scott is a beloved member of the Music Row community. For twenty years she has been a staple in the industry holding label positions at Virgin and Broken Bow Records as well as serving at Desmond Child’s publishing company and then as Creative Director at HoriPro Entertainment for almost a decade.
While interning in college she came to Nashville and found the place she was meant to be. “I fell in love with the writing process and the creators,” she remembers. “ I can still feel those first days on Music Row. I still get that excited feeling every time I drive down 16th Avenue.”
“I love the music business game so much,” said the woman who spends her day finding talent, managing their day-to-day schedules and placing songs while maintaining focus on their future success. “I’ll admit I eat, sleep, and breathe music.” At one point in her career, Amy was consulting for a variety of companies then the right call came in from songwriter Ash Bowers. “I respect Ash as a strong business person and love his songwriting so the chance to work with him was the perfect opportunity for me.” Bowers was building Wide Open Music and needed an creative director. This position was tailor made for Amy, whose well-rounded career had served her fully in terms of becoming valued in so many different areas of the business. “This job definitely requires that I wear a lot of hats,” she said of her responsibilities that also include signing and developing singer/songwriters. “My strength is finding a writer and helping them find their greatest strengths.”
Amy says that she strives to make sure her writers get in the right co-writes and get quality feedback on their songs. “It’s a competitive market and the best song wins. In order to find those songs, there is nothing positive to be gained from not just saying what you mean.” When you speak to her writers they echo that sentiment and add that they really appreciate that about her. “Amy is the best. She is honest and you know that she only wants to help you accomplish what you want,” said Jimme Allen, Wide Open artist development client who recently got signed to a recording contract less than a year after Amy and Ash began developing him.
Amy points to her two decades of experience, thousands of songs heard, and hundreds of co-writes set up as the factors behind her management style. “I always stress to my writers that at its core, this is an ‘opinion’ business. So, that is what I am giving them…. but that opinion is based on a lot of history,” smiles the woman who has worked with writers like Phil Barton, Eric Church, Desmond Child and Dean Dillon.
Along with her husband and two children, Amy is surrounded by her family and friends and loves calling Nashville home. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and believes, “it all starts with a song.”