After years of being one of the biggest names in country music globally, Terri Clark announced that she was going to leave her major label home & focus on making the music that she wanted to make. Yearning for change, she vowed to do things “her way”. What fans got in return was what she called the most “personal” record of her career.
“The new album is just as personal. I didn’t think I had it in me to dig that deep again and get that personal. It’s personal in a lighter way.”
We’ll save all the stats for your googling pleasure. To the casual fan, Terri Clark is a staple when it comes to listing off female country artists they’ve heard of. For the rest of us, beyond the millions of albums sold and an innumerable amount of awards and recognition lies a resilient, real talent who reminds us that life truly is an adventure. For every solemn moment, there is also celebration.
Now, with a new outlook and her hat back on, Clark continues her personal journey with an inspiring combination of emotion and shameless joy in her newest release, “Roots and Wings“.
“I chose “Roots and Wings” after much deliberation about naming the album after one of the song titles, which felt a little cliché. I felt not just ONE song encompassed what the album meant for me.”
This is typically the part where you’ll get sold on what’s the hot single, but the fact is that every song on “Roots and Wings” will make you feel something different. Kicking off with the empowering anthem “Wrecking Ball” and wrapping up with the heartbreaking “Flowers in Snow”, Clark’s honesty and passion shine through.
“I’m embracing my roots, who I am, my old friends and family, and coming full circle in my life… choosing some songs with those themes for this album.” If there was any indication of Terri’s love for her homeland, it’s captured in the lead-off single, “Northern Girl”.
Terri also takes us on a trip back in time, cutting a song she initially wrote at just 22 years of age. With “Lonesome’s Last Call”, Clark brings back a classic “hurtin’ song” feel. “It has that classic old school country vibe that I grew up listening to, and reminds me so much of my Grandparents who used to sing all the classics.”
Sticking to her northern “Roots”, Terri turns up the fun with what’s certain to be the rebirth of a vintage Canadian party starter, Trooper’s “We’re Here For A Good Time”.
While some would be quick to scrutinize a cover, Clark was the first to realize how big of a song she was taking on. “It’s so funny because my manager’s from Kentucky and he totally doesn’t get it. I tell him “you didn’t grow up in Canada hearing this like every 5 minutes on the radio!”
“It’s not a Shakespearian lyric, it’s very simple. I just had to find a way to make it my own. I had to do something completely different in order to feel like I was doing it justice.” Clark lets loose and catches the essence of the song, paying tribute while also making it feel fresh and exciting.
The “Wings” spawn from Terri’s desire to rise from the ashes of a tumultuous few years.
In the time between albums, she shared much of her experiences during her Mother’s battle with cancer. Those who never met Linda felt like they knew her based merely on the stories Terri would tell about her. With some help from the iconic Alison Krauss, Terri shares with us the closeness with her mother, in the form of “Smile”. “The song is about how she was always willing to “let me go” so that I could live up to my fullest potential, and really fly…no matter how hard it was at the time, because we were always so extremely close.” To even the most distant stranger, this sweet homage brings with it the love between mother and daughter in the simplest form.”
“I lost my best friend, my Mom, to cancer last year, and ended a long term relationship not long after that. It was all very tough, but I also feel like that is when our spirits and minds grow the most, and creatively I feel like it all inspired me to write some songs that I otherwise may not have.”
In “The Good Was Great” Clark mirrors the changes in her own experiences – choosing to focus on the positive. “It’s about taking the good parts of a relationship and the sweetness it brought to your life instead of constantly focusing on the bad parts and reasons why it didn’t work out.”
Like life, relationships play a big part in “Roots and Wings”. Terri offers some fresh perspectives with songs like “Beautiful and Broken,” “Breakin’ Up Thing” and “The One” – Three very different songs that range from unconditional love to being true to one’s own needs in life.
To this day, there is no other artist like Terri Clark. In the seemingly endless debate of “what’s country”, nobody will argue that Terri remains one of the most influential performers of our time. Even with all her success, you won’t hear her brag about it. “I love letting people know and see that I am just an every day girl, with a not so every day job, but I don’t feel a “disconnect” with my audience just because I am on the stage… I feel like we are all there to have a great time, myself included, and usually, that is what happens.”
While we all face challenges in our lives, few are able to transform them into the kind of messages Clark shares in “Roots and Wings”. “I’ve been learning to be me again. To be the person I was before my Mom got sick. I’m learning how to have fun and lighten up and roll the windows down and hang out with friends and laugh out loud and be a goof ball.
I’m really enjoying life and being happy again. That’s coming out on the record. There’s some pretty fun stuff on here that I’m feeling is emerging that hasn’t in the past few years.”
Terri Clark’s ability to reinvent herself while returning to the sound that first brought her to us once again demonstrates the versatility of this one-of-a-kind entertainer.
To be more concise, “She’s still got it.”
Terri Clark - "The One":
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