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Terri Clark is ready for the Ryman show in Nashville and releases the album ‘Take Two’


Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark’s “Take Two” finds her pairing with Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, Lainey Wilson and more on duets of her hits.

Terri Clark has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for twenty years.

Twenty years have also passed since she celebrated a quartet of Top 10 selling country albums with her “Greatest Hits” release in 2004.

Perhaps her album “Take Two,” released May 31 and reviving some of those biggest hits as duets, can allow them to begin the journey toward achieving a historic legacy in country music.

Clark was born 100 miles from Montana’s northern border in Medicine Hat, Alberta. So the idea that her music could reach 2,000 miles south along Interstate 25 and impact Texas residents Cody Johnson and Kelly Clarkson, or swing 1,200 miles east along Interstates 90 and 94 and could hit artists like Lainey Wilson, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde and Lauren Alaina, is impressive. In addition to Paul Brandt and Ben Rector, these six mainstream country stars are represented on Clark’s latest album.

If you ever wonder where the inspiration comes from for music like Wilson’s ‘Heart Like a Truck’, Pearce and McBryde’s ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’, Alaina’s performance on HARDY’s ‘One Beer’ or Johnson’s ‘The Painter’, then look no further. then the grown-up folk and classic country-inspired versions of love and romance familiar in Clark’s catalog.

For example, a few of Clark’s American country hits – ‘Girls Lie Too’ (with Pearce) and a live version of ‘You’re Easy on the Eyes’ (with Brandt) – are included in the collection.

Clark is maturing in the final chapter of her career

“The end game of being an artist is when you realize your art has made a difference,” Clark told The Tennessean during an interview in a Music Row office.

“Influencing artists in the same way other artists have influenced me means artists are inspired by coming-of-age stories.”

The album comes as Clark, 55, comes to terms with her artistic and personal maturity.

She remained in the Top 10 of the Canadian country charts until 2011 and continues to perform regularly. In 2024, she will appear at CMA Fest, as well as at half a dozen summer fairs and festivals. Additionally, she will headline the Ryman Auditorium for the first time on August 29.

This season of her career is highlighted by her being “a big sister and elder stateswoman” to country music and enjoying receiving her metaphorical flowers from artists like McBryde and Wilson. In March 2023, McBryde told Clark that she was being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Also listen to Clark’s catalog and discover songs like 1998’s ‘This Ole Heart’. Although the song was never released as a single, it comes from a two-charting album (“Now That I Found You” and “You’re Easy on the Eyes”). The lyrics read: “If this old heart / Was built like a truck / These rocky old roads wouldn’t be so rough / And if it ever broke down I’d patch it up / If this old heart was built like a truck.”

‘Second try’

The simplicity of Clark’s ‘hat and T-shirt tomboy’ image blends positively with the country’s familiar cowboy and family stereotypes, allowing for a refreshing yet timeless take on songs.

McBryde’s collaboration with Clark on 1995’s “Better Things To Do” sounds like Clark introducing her sister as an aspiring country singer to the Opry stage. Clark with Johnson for “I Just Wanna Be Mad” gives Johnson’s recent performances of “Dear Rodeo” and “Whoever’s in New England” with fellow rodeo rider Reba McEntire a run for their money.

Clark’s work with country and western-related male artists such as Brandt, Johnson and Rector allows her to influence the resurgence of Western-inspired country acts in the mainstream of country music. She jokes about the power of the stereotypical trademark of the Resistol or Stetson hat. Yet the number of artists and fans who grew up as 4-H or Future Farmers of America members with her work providing the soundtrack for mucking out horse stables, picking ice cream from pig troughs, and watering cows has remained constant throughout her career. stayed.

Her pairing with Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Wilson for “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” allows Clark to dive into how the early era of her career meshed perfectly in terms of look and sound, with Garth Brooks at the center . from an early career era in which he sold more than 75 million albums and had 15 No. 1 hits.

“We’re two women who can rock, with cowboy hats and bell-bottom pants and iconic brand silhouettes,” says Clark.

She believes that artists who can authentically combine Western lifestyles with country music have a timeless place in popular culture.

‘Seeds in good soil’

Clark has released almost as many singles in her career as the years she spent in Music City.

She’s still humbled that her 40-year career has grown from having to strap her guitar case to her wrist before riding a city bus to play afternoon sets for elderly tourists at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to headlining the Ryman Auditorium in August .

She goes from walking a Lower Broadway that consisted of boarded-up buildings, adult bookstores, pawn shops, peep shows and the occasional music destination, to a place where Brooks recently opened a six-story Friends in Low Places bar, worth of $50 million, opened immediately. across the street where Gruhn Guitars stood until 1993.

As the evolution of Lower Broadway expands, moments like Clark’s headlining set become increasingly important to Nashville and the sustainability of the country’s traditions.

When asked to discuss the power of an artist who can leave a living legacy driven by “talent, tenacity and work ethic” to her beloved country music, she recalls something that one of her inspirations, fellow Grand Ole Opry- cast member Ricky Skaggs, once told her.

“It feels good to drop seeds on good soil.”

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