Terri Clark - "Gypsy Boots"

Terri Clark scored quite a few hits through out the 1990s and earlier part of this decade yet the going has seemingly gotten tough for this female hat act.  Why has radio stopped listening to Terri?  Is it the quality or the style (or both) of her songs that has changed?

In the mid-2000s, Gretchen Wilson lit up the charts with her debut single "Redneck Woman", a hard-driving song with an edgy, ballsy lyric about a tough yet tender female. Since then, more than a couple female artists have tried to mimic that same sound, Terri Clark included. Both of Clark's singles for BNA Records — the atrocious "Dirty Girl" and the not-so-atrocious "In My Next Life" — found her doing just that, and failing miserably (at least from an artistic standpoint). 

But she hadn't hit the Top 20 in the US since "Girls Lie Too" went to #1, so maybe her two BNA singles were just a temporary, desperate grab for radio attention by a label that didn't understand her, right? Wrong. "Gypsy Boots", her first single for Capitol/EMI Canada, continues in that same direction as "Dirty Girl" and "In My Next Life". 

The song at least has a slightly funky, dirty 12-bar blues groove, goosed by a couple strong guitar riffs and horn blasts. Though below the standards of co-writers Jon Randall and Leslie Satcher, the lyrics avoid most of the stereotypes of most other "look at me, I'm a sexy, rebellious girl!"-type songs such as this, save for one cringingly out-of-place Johnny Cash name-drop. 

It's a shame that Terri had to flat-out ruin the song with what is by far the worst vocal performance of her career. She belts the whole song in a whiny, nasal squawk, which somehow manages to stay at least a quarter-step off even after a ridiculous amount of pitch correction. Indeed, she sounds like Gretchen at her screechiest, not unlike "Here for the Party" or "All Jacked Up". Had she just used her normal voice, the song certainly would have worked. 

Terri, if you're reading this, radio no longer wants the Gretchen Wilson that it already has. It certainly doesn't need the shameless doppelgänger that you're quickly becoming.

You can check out lyrics to this and other Terri Clark songs by clicking here.