songwriting | Nashville Public Radio


Samantha Max / WPLN

It's a Tuesday morning in July, and Jacob Freudiger is sitting at an old wooden table, with a marbled notebook and pen at the ready. The 21-year-old, dressed in a matching orange V-neck and sweats with scribbles down the thigh, has never written a song before. 

But across the table, in this stuffy room at the Davidson County Jail, two veteran songwriters have guitars in their laps, ready to turn his thoughts into music.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville is known for its songwriters — people like Victoria Banks, who is paid to come up with tunes and lyrics on a regular basis. 

Banks, who wrote the 2000 Sara Evans hit "Saints & Angels," talked to WPLN's Emily Siner in our live series and podcast Movers & Thinkers about the challenges of cultivating creativity — especially when it's your job.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The conference room inside a Veterans Affairs center in Nashville feels distinctly clinical: beige walls, gray carpet, creaky chairs.

But on a Monday afternoon in August, there's an energy that might be felt more often at an intimate Nashville club. Two dozen people, mostly women, are sitting on those creaky chairs in a circle. Some hold guitars. About half are veterans, and they're waiting to debut their very personal songs about a shared experience: sexual assault.