Brent Maher is a producer, engineer, and songwriter currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. He has produced and engineered six Grammy-winning records and received awards from the CMA, ACM, CCMA, ASCAP, SOCAN and NSAI. Maher engineered classic recordings like Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and The 5th Dimension's "Age of Aquarius". He discovered The Judds and produced all ten of their albums, writing many of their hit songs. Maher has also served two terms on the board of directors of the Academy of Country Music.
Born in Chase, Kansas, Maher lived there until he moved to Denver, Colorado as a teenager. He joined the Air Force after high school and was stationed near Nashville where he worked as an aircraft mechanic. During this time, he formed a cover band called "The Journeymen" and played guitar and trumpet. While reading the back of the album by Curtis Mayfield, he read in the credits "recording engineer" and realized that this was his calling. He took correspondence courses in sound and engineering. After leaving the Air Force at age 22, Maher was hired as a backup engineer in Nashville by Monument Records president, Fred Foster and chief engineer and eventual mentor, Bill Porter. Maher said, "As fate would have it, I walked through that door with my Sunday best suit on at the right time and they gave me an opportunity that changed my life". After a few years, Bill Porter purchased United Recording Studios in Las Vegas and asked Maher to go with him. Maher engineered classic recordings like Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and The 5th Dimension's "Age of Aquarius"; also recordings by Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr., Gladys Knight, Sly and the Family Stone, and others. Maher's work as a producer picked up when he recorded Benny Hester's debut LP in Vegas.
In the late 1970s, Maher moved back to Nashville to help owner Buzz Cason build Creative Workshop Recording Studio. In Nashville, Maher engineered Elvis' last number one song “Way Down" in addition to engineering records with Olivia Newton-John, Ray Charles, and Merle Haggard. Other producer credits include albums with Dottie West, Kenny Rogers and Dave Loggins. In the early '80's, Maher discovered mother/daughter duo, The Judds and developed their acoustic county sound. After getting The Judd's a record deal with RCA/Curb, he co-wrote many of their hits and produced all their platinum LP's.
Maher received Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music for writing and producing the Judds’ 1984 chart-topping single, “Why Not Me.” It was followed by awards for “Girls Night Out” (1985), “Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain” (1986), “I Know Where I’m Going” (1987), "Let Me Tell You About Love" (1989), “Born To Be Blue” (1990), and other Judd hits. Maher also co-wrote many of Johnny Reid's hit singles in Canada including "Out of the Blue” (2007), "A Woman Like You” (2009 – CCMA for Single of Year), "Let's Go Higher" (2010), and "Today I'm Gonna Try and Change the World" (2010).
Additional hits include "Some Kind of Trouble" (Tanya Tucker), "A Lesson in Leavin'" (Dottie West, later covered by Jo Dee Messina), "When Love Starts Talkin'" (Wynonna), and other recordings by Tina Turner, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Carl Perkins, Jo Dee Messina, Wynonna, and Shelby Lynne.
Maher produced all ten of The Judds’ records, Kathy Mattea’s “Good News,” Shelby Lynne's big band project “Temptation,” and albums by artists including Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Benny Hester, and Jo Dee Messina. On the international scene, Maher produced Canadian Country artist Johnny Reid's breakthrough Country record "Kicking Stones" and following LP's "Dance With Me" and "A Place Called Love," making Reid one of the top-selling artists in Canada. The albums won CCMA awards for Album of the Year (2009), Best Selling Canadian Album (2009, 2010, 2011), and a Juno Award for Country Album of the Year (2010, 2011). Maher also developed and produced the Grammy nominated self-titled debut from Bering Strait, a young band composed of seven Russian musicians whose story was covered by 60 Minutes.
Maher's engineering credits include all the projects he has produced, and also extend to Ike and Tina Turner's “Proud Mary,” Roy Orbison, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Faces, Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr., Gladys Knight, Merle Haggard and the Strangers, Glen Campbell/ Tanya Tucker, Sly and the Family Stone, and others.
Brent Maher is also a music publisher and CEO of Moraine Music Group, which has produced hit singles over the last 20 years. His current studio is called The Blue Room and located in Nashville, Tennessee.
Awards and nominations
1991 –Love Can Build A Bridge – The Judds (Producer)
1988 – Give A Little Love – The Judds (Producer)
1986 – Grandpa – The Judds (Producer)
1984 – Mama, He's Crazy – The Judds (Producer)
1979 – You Pick Me Up (And Put Me Down) – Dottie West (Writer)
1980 – Leavin's for Unbelievers – Dottie West (Writer)
1980 – A Lesson in Leavin' – Dottie West (Writer)
1985 – Why Not Me – The Judds (Writer)
1985 – Girls' Night Out – The Judds (Writer)
1986 – Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain – The Judds (Writer)
1988 – I Know Where I'm Going – The Judds (Writer)
1989 – Turn It Loose – The Judds (Writer)
1989 – Crying Shame – The Judds (Writer)
1990 – Let Me Tell You About Love – The Judds (Writer)
1991 – Born to be Blue – The Judds (Writer)
1992 – Some Kind of Trouble – Tanya Tucker (Writer)
1987 – Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain – The Judds (Writer)
|Girls' Night Out||The Judds||Why Not Me||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single, Multi-Platinum||US|
|I Know Where I'm Going||The Judds||Heartland||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single, Album rel., Multi-Platinum||US|
|Let Me Tell You About Love||The Judds||River of Time||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single, Multi-Platinum||US|
|Why Not Me||The Judds||Why Not Me||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single/ACM Song of the Year, Multi-Platinum||US|
|Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain||The Judds||Rockin' with the Rhythm||RCA/Curb||#1 Billboard, Multi-Platinum||US|
|Born to be Blue||The Judds||Love Can Build A Bridge||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single, #4 Billboard, Album rel., Multi-Platinum||US|
|Turn It Loose||The Judds||Heartland||RCA/Curb||#1 Country Single, Multi-Platinum||US|
|When Love Starts Talkin'||Wynonna Judd||The Other Side||Curb||#13 Country Single, Multi-Platinum||US|
|Leavin's for Unbelievers||Dottie West||Special Delivery||EMI/United Artists||#13 Country Single||US|
|Lesson in Leavin'||Dottie West||Special Delivery||EMI/United Artists||#1 Country Single||US|
|Some Kind of Trouble||Tanya Tucker||What Do I Do with Me||Liberty||#1 Country Single||US|
|Crying Shame||Michael Johnson||That's That||RCA||#4 Country Single||US|
|Tell Me True||Juice Newton||Emotion||RCA||#8 Country Single||US|
|Rosalee||Stacy Dean Campbell||Lonesome Wins Again||Columbia||#54 Country Single||US|
|Where Do We Go From Here||Shelby Lynne||Temptation||Morgan Creek||Album rel.||US|
|Work On Me||Tina Turner||Work On Me/Born Free||United Artists||Album rel.||US|
|What I Did For Love||Kenny Rogers||Love Is Strange||Reprise||Album rel.||US|
|Written On My Heart||Jenai||Cool Me Down||Atlantic||Album rel.||US|
|Out of the Blue||Johnny Reid||Kicking Stones||Open Road/UMG||Top 10, Multi-Platinum||CA|
|A Woman Like You||Johnny Reid||Dance With Me||Open Road/ UMG||#3 Country Single, Multi-Platinum||CA|
|Today I'm Gonna Try and Change the World||Johnny Reid||A Place Called Love||EMI||#2 Country Single, Platinum||CA|
|Let's Go Higher||Johnny Reid||A Place Called Love||EMI||#2 Country and AC Single, Multi-Platinum||CA|
Beyond his musical career, Brent Maher has given lectures on engineering and production for various schools and universities. Maher has one of the largest collections of vintage Gretsch guitars in the US. Maher was also one of the founding members of Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers Inc. In 2011, he created "Cowboy Golf" and now designs golf courses on farms, which led to founding the Boots and Bandana Golf Association based in Franklin, Tennessee at Pines Golf Course. Maher, John Reger, Jr. and Michael Pasternak and associates are currently establishing a network of BBGA courses with ranch owners and recreational facilities across the country to build their own cowboy style golf courses. The events benefit MusiCares, The Facial Pain Research Foundation, and Gentle Carousel Therapy Horses.
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- Lingle, Breean. "Brent Maher: The Path to the Blue Room was Paved with Strong Songs". Mix: Professional Audio and Music Production. Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Songs written by Brent Maher". Music VF.com. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Leadership: The "Boots and Bandana Golf" Posse". Boots and Bandana Golf. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- The Producer’s Chair: Brent Maher Posted on April 17, 2014, by Dan Harr Music News Nashville