Steve Moakler is one of Nashville's most respected young songwriters, and he's headed for wider recognition as an artist with his upcoming solo release.

Moakler is one of the writers behind Dierks Bentley's current single, "Riser," the powerful title song of Bentley's critically acclaimed current album. He co-wrote that song with Travis Meadows, but for "Suitcase," the first single from his upcoming album, he turned to three of Nashville's top writers in Luke Laird, Barry Dean and Thomas Rhett.

Laird is also one of the hottest producers in country music right now; he produced Kacey Musgraves' Grammy-winning breakthrough album, Same Trailer, Different Park, as well as her current project, Pageant Material, and he's behind the glass for Moakler's upcoming project.

"Suitcase" finds Moakler positioned between mainstream commercial country music and more organic singer-songwriter material, with an accessible melody and groove married to pretty organic instrumentation, all tied together by his strong vocal performance.

“‘Suitcase’ is a song that represents the heart of the album to me," Moakler tells Taste of Country. "I remember when I first got the demo back for this song, I was on tour with my wife in a camper, we were traveling across the country playing for fans from all over. When we put this song on, we were driving in Minnesota — the road was wide open and the sky was beautiful — and we felt so much of those lyrics in that moment. This song is about valuing the simple things in life and not getting caught up in all of the distractions that pull us away from each other.”

Moakler's upcoming album is due in 2016.

Listen to Steve Moakler, "Suitcase"

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