My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: Terri Clark

Terri Lynn Sauson was born in Montreal to a musical family – her grandparents were Ray and Betty Gauthier, successful Canadian country musicians in the 1950s and 60s. The family soon settled in the small town of Medicine Hat, Alberta, where Terri grew up. At age four, her parents divorced and her mother re-married afterwards. Known professionally as Terri Clark, the surname is that of her mother Linda’s second husband.

A year after graduating high school, a 19 year-old Clark made the move to Nashville. While touring the city’s famous spots, she happened into Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. An impromptu performance landed her a steady gig at the renowned Opry star watering hole for $15 a day, plus tips. But as luck would have it, the young singer soon began catching the attention of record industry folks who still visited the bar. Producer Keith Steagall heard Clark performing in Tootsie’s, and when he was named an executive at Mercury Records, he signed her to a deal in 1994.

Her raw honky-tonk sound and high-octane stage performances helped to set her apart from the pack of beauty queens who were storming the charts at the time. And as the only female artist wearing a cowboy hat, she certainly her her own niche. Her first two singles would become top 5 hits, and establish her as a rocking party girl with a country twang. She would go on to score three top 10 hits, and an additional top 40, from her platinum-selling self-titled debut album. The first three albums released would each sell platinum, and the third earned her the first of 2 U.S. country #1’s with ‘You’re Easy On The Eyes’.

2000’s Fearless was an attempt at re-tooling her sound to a more introverted singer-songwriter style, but was met with resistance at radio. Still, it contains some of Clark’s finest moments on record. Pain To Kill, issued in 2003, was a return to form to both the high-energy country sound and to the upper reaches of the country charts. 2005’s Life Goes On would be her final album for Mercury, as she switched labels to BNA in 2006. That label released two singles, both charting inside the top 40, but delayed the album. Clark’s short association with BNA ended in 2008 with the album she recorded for them never being released.

Following a sabbatical, Terri Clark re-emerged in 2009 with the independently recorded The Long Way Home, released on her own BareTrack Records. First released only in Canada, the album saw full release in the U.S. through an association with Capitol Nashville. Four singles from the album would chart to varying degrees of success in her native Canada, while the lead single ‘Gypsy Boots’ received limited airplay in the U.S. The singer also launched an acoustic tour to promote the record’s release.

Terri Clark continues to record and release music, and is still finding great success in her homeland. She is currently in the studio recording her eighth album, and the lead single, ‘Northern Girl’, is slated for release later this month. Unlike others who only pay lip service to their alleged musical influences, Terri Clark’s albums all bear the fingerprints of the music of Ricky Skaggs, The Judds, Reba McEntire, and others she cites as influential. Check back throughout March as we highlight the career of this very talented lady.

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7 responses to “Spotlight Artist: Terri Clark

  1. Ben Foster March 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    This is exciting! I love Terri Clark, and I’m looking forward to the great coverage on her this month. It’s also great to hear that she’s got some new music on the way.

  2. plain_jo March 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    So Excited! Love Terri Clark.

  3. Trisha March 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for the spotlight on Terri Clark.Terri’s a great singer and person.I cant wait to get her new cd when its released this year.

  4. bob March 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Great singer. I’ve seen her in concert twice. She’s recorded a few songs in recent years that I didn’t care for – “Dirty Girl” and “Gypsy Boots” – but she’s still one of my all-time favorites. According to Wiki, her next single will be “Northern Girl”, a song she wrote with former Sugarlander Kristen Hall.

  5. Musically defined March 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you for the support Terri deserves. I have seen a few shows including the “Unplugged and Alone” show. Absolutely a force of talent to be reckoned with. Terri Clark in my opinion should be classified as one of the most influential singer/songwriters of this generation. To all who are reading this, go and see her at least once. You wil not be disappointed and you will find you need to see her again and again. Simply because she is that amazingly talented and relatable.

  6. Nicolas March 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Looking forward to Terri Clark being in the spotlight for this month. She’s fantastic; one of my favorites, and I own all her studio albums. <33

  7. Pingback: Spotlight Artist: Adam Harvey | My Kind of Country

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