Years before he wrote hit songs for Lori McKenna (“Wreck You”), Florida Georgia Line (“Anything Goes”), and others, McTeigue grew up in Westfield, New Jersey. It was a normal childhood, filled with football practices and high-school classes. Although he was always drawn to music, too, McTeigue didn’t know anyone making a living in the arts, so he focused his attention elsewhere. After all, this was suburban America during the late 1980s. Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, who grew several towns away, seemed to belong to another world.
Things changed once McTeigue met his biological mother, Maggie Roche, who’d released a number of acclaimed albums during the ’70s and beyond as a member of The Roches. A longtime member of the Greenwich Village folk scene, Roche helped encourage her son’s musical talents, paving the way for a career whose highlights and successes would eventually rival her own.
At 20 years old, McTeigue found himself backstage at concerts by Bob Dylan and the Indigo Girls. Soon after, he landed a job slinging drinks at the historic Bottom Line in Manhattan, watching legends like Rick Danko and Townes Van Zandt from behind the bar. At home, he began strumming his first songs on the acoustic guitar Maggie had picked out for him.
McTeigue now had a mentor, a support system and a wide community of friends who were making their living as musicians. He soon decided to take the leap himself, kicking off a solo career that found him on the road for years, opening shows for fellow singer/songwriters like Guy Clark, Lisa Loeb, and Dar Williams. Before long, though, he realized his heart didn’t belong onstage. Instead, it belonged in the writing room and in the recording studio, where McTeigue’s career would truly take flight.
In 2008, he landed his first major cut with “Wreck You,” a song initially recorded by Heidi Newfield. [Nearly a decade later, the same song would be re-recorded by one of McTeigue’s writing partners, Lori McKenna, whose version earned multiple nominations at the 2017 Grammy Awards and Americana Awards.] From there, he widened his reach, writing songs for major-label artists and indie acts alike. Canadian country star Dallas Smith scored a hit with “Jumped Right In,” while Florida Georgia Line sold more than 500,000 copies of McTeigue’s “Anything Goes,” which became the title track to the band’s chart-topping, platinum-selling second album.
Meanwhile, songwriters like McKenna, Chris Tompkins and Shane McAnally — all of whom had been McTeigue’s collaborators for years — became successful hit-makers in their own right. A decade into his songwriting career, McTeigue found himself among the top writers in Nashville and beyond. While many of those friends continued to focus on songwriting, though, McTeigue maintained an active role in the studio, too, where he worked both as a producer and recording artist. On his upcoming solo album, INSERT TITLE HERE, he teams up with longtime partners like McAnally and McKenna, singing his way through a batch of original songs that double down on melodic hooks and Americana storytelling. Meanwhile, he continues to produce albums for Anais Mitchell, Amy Helm, Mary Gauthier and others, using his multi-pronged experience — including the years spent on the road, the hours spent onstage, and the hits written in rooms across America — to help sharpen his artists into the best versions of themselves.
Dawn Kamerling – email@example.com