At CMT Edge, we are thankful for musicians who give their all to the music. Some get famous, yet many do not. Still they’re out there burning up the road, making a connection. That’s the theme of “The Contender,” an impassioned anthem from Jay Nash and Josh Day.
And the name the guys chose for the new duo? The Contenders. During a tour stop in Nashville, the road warriors parked their van in the CMT loading dock and recorded their performance of the tune in our studio.
“The idea first came right along with that melody that opens up the song, which was haunting me for a couple of days,” Nash says. “But I started thinking about folks like myself and heroes and some friends who are household names and friends who are maybe living in a world of relative obscurity but are compelled to make music every night. It’s an imperative for them, and they’re in it for life.
“I was really inspired by that and started talking about the idea a bit with Josh,” Nash adds. “I just tried to decide, ‘Is this a compelling idea for a song?’ We got rolling with it, and the verses came really quickly out of the conversation we had. That is the origin of ‘The Contender.’”
Nash, who resides in Vermont, has earned a dedicated worldwide following as a solo artist over the past decade. Meanwhile, Day has played drums with Sugarland and toured with artists ranging from Sara Bareilles to the Kruger Brothers. They met in Los Angeles about 10 years ago and decided they ought to do something, sometime. And thankfully, that day has come. Their debut EP, Meet the Contenders, just arrived in stores this week.
Check out the CMT Edge live performance of “The Contender” by the Contenders.