10 Hidden Music Stories of Leiper’s Fork
Tennessee is home to world-renown artists, ace songwriters, and award-winning musicians, and the enchanting village of Leiper’s Fork has served as both musical inspiration and the picturesque backdrop for countless music videos. The Highwomen filmed its fiery debut “Redesigning Women” on a field here while Cassadee Pope and Mitch Rossell also shot on location in 2020.
Leiper’s Fork also serves as a favorite writing spot for country acts Thomas Rhett and Holly Williams. Whether it’s writing on the charming porch of antique store Serenite Maison or getting an idea at a writers’ round at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, Leiper’s Fork has plenty to offer the creative community.
Casey Wasner writes and produces in Leiper’s Fork
A Grammy Award-winning engineer, Wasner also produces and writes songs at the Purple House in Leiper’s Fork — a home studio he operates himself. While he’s written the sultry “She” in the area, he is best known for serving as engineer on Keb Mo’s Tajmo which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2017.
Cassadee Pope teams up with Leaving Austin for “American Avenue”
Filmed on the winding back roads of Leiper’s Fork, the music video for “American Avenue” paints the picture of falling in love in a small town. Driving around in a “cherry red truck” and singing in a charming rustic barn, a new relationship comes to life with mesmerizing harmonies from Pope.
“Our manager owns some property with a cabin and a barn on it out in Franklin, Tennessee more towards Leiper’s Fork,” Leaving Austin’s Michael Stevens told Sounds Like Nashville. “We shot it out at his little barn area out there with Cassadee and some friends and it came out great.”
HeavyDrunk’s “All-Nighter” is a family affair
Written around the fire pit at Puckett’s Leiper’s Fork, three generations penned the bluesy “All-Nighter” together. Rob Robinson, owner of Puckett’s Grocery, co-wrote the soulful tune with his father, Bob, and son, Robo.
“‘All-Nighter’ started with Bob up late around the fire pit at Puckett’s Leiper’s Fork,” Robinson told Visit Franklin. “‘Your lantern, your lighter, I’m an all-nighter.’”
The Highwomen shot their debut music video in Leiper’s Fork field
Country supergroup the Highwomen is made up of an all-star cast of female artists and songwriters including Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby. The women made their music video debut with lead single “Redesigning Women” which featured a who’s who cast of country music royalty with cameos from Tanya Tucker, Wynonna Judd, Lauren Alaina, Cam, Pope, RaeLynn, Natalie Stovall, Anna Vaus, and Hailey Whitters.
“It was shot in Leiper’s Fork in the middle of a field,” the band told CMT. “Volunteer firefighters from the Williamson County Fire and Rescue Squad were on hand to show us how to put on the uniforms. Elizabeth Olmstead, our amazing director, made sure we had plenty of water (and wine) on hand. The bonfire was the best payoff at the end of the day because we got to burn a lot of random and hilarious household items.”
Holly Williams finds inspiration at Serenite Maison
In between touring and recording a new album, Williams spent time working at Serenite Maison. During some downtime at the antique store, she wrote a few songs featured on her 2013 project The Highway and 2009’s Here With Me.
“I wrote ‘Alone,’ and a good portion of “Drinkin’” for my album, The Highway, on Serenite’s covered back porch,” she told Garden & Gun. “I had been singing a few verses in my head, and as I sat on the porch’s old wooden chairs overlooking the clear waters of Leiper’s Creek and acres of green farmland, the stillness surrounded me, and the quiet opened up the creative flow. I am a girl who prays for songs. I never know when they will drop out of the sky, so I’m always searching for places like this. It’s a magical spot.”
The Homer Dever Band pay tribute to the area with “Leiper’s Fork Standard Time”
Neighborhood group the Homer Dever Band penned the old-timey “Leiper’s Fork Standard Time” in the mid-2000s. A descriptive song that pays tribute to the area, the feel-good tune serves as the unofficial theme song for Leiper’s Fork. An all-star lineup of musicians who played on albums by Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson, among others, the men of the Homer Dever Band bonded around their home in Leiper’s Fork where they frequently played local dances. “It’s a town song,” Aubrey Preston says of the tune that name-drops Hank Williams. “I wrote that song and it has words in it that describe the area: ‘Ain’t in a hurry, I got no worries/ I’m on Leiper’s Fork Standard Time.’ We always talk about it being like Island Time out here. It’s a landlocked version of ‘Margaritaville.'”
Justin Timberlake’s creative house and sanctuary is Millville
When Timberlake needs to break away from the music and acting world, he retreats to Millville. Located in the heart of Leiper’s Fork, the century-old home serves as a creative space for Timberlake and owner Trace Ayala, the singer’s best friend who serves as a business partner to Timberlake’s lifestyle clothing brand William Rast. The pair have even shot a promotional video for the clothing line at the Millville house. The space is also home to music artist development company Villa 40 where Southern rockers Bishop Gunn have worked on songs, according to the Tennessean. When it isn’t being used for various projects, Millville can be rented as a vacation home.
“It’s so easy to stay here and not have to leave town,” Ayala, who moved to Leiper’s Fork from Los Angeles in 2013, told the Tennessean. “We go to Puckett’s, have a couple beers, go across the street to The Country Boy and have dinner, come here and hang for a while, and then go to Green’s Grocery.”
Leslie Satcher finds songwriting inspiration for countless songs
Revered country songwriter Satcher calls Leiper’s Fork home and has penned countless songs here. Standouts include “Tough,” recorded by Kellie Pickler, which peaked at No. 30 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart in 2011, and “Spur of the Moment” for newcomer Kylie Frye. “I wrote ‘Tough’ for Kelli Pickler on my screen porch and a hit I’m having right now for a new artist Kylie Frye [‘Spur of the Moment’] in my living room,” she says. “Living in Leiper’s Fork has been very good to me.”
Mitch Rossell’s “American Dream” is in Leiper’s Fork
After seeing success writing several of Garth Brooks’ singles including “Ask Me How I Know” and “Dive Bar” featuring Blake Shelton, Rossell is now in the spotlight himself. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter retreated to Leiper’s Fork for two days to film his latest music video for “American Dream” where he served as director on the shoot with Austin Peckham.
“To me, it just depicts what makes being an American such a special thing,” Rossell told CMT. “If you have a dream or a desire and you want to achieve it, it’s really up to you and how much work you’re willing to put in as to whether or not you can make it a reality. This video follows one family’s American dream, but I think we can all see parts of ourselves in this family.”
Thomas Rhett’s “Star of the Show” inspired at a Puckett’s writers round
Rhett’s 2017 chart-topper “Star of the Show” came to him while playing a writers’ round at the famed Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in Leiper’s Fork. As he previously told Billboard, the idea behind the feel-good tune happened while watching his wife, Lauren, in the audience.
“I went to Puckett’s Grocery out in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., and I was doing a songwriter’s round out there,” he told the publication. “I remember walking through the bar, and Lauren was wearing a T-shirt and jeans — nothing fancy or special — and I remember people looking at her, and me looking at her thinking, ‘Why do you look so amazing and you don’t do anything?’ I want to say that the idea spurred from that.”