Album review: Terri Clark – “Classic”

Terri Clark has made a career out of recording strong, attitude-filled honky tonk songs and with the release of “Classic,” always a dream project for the Canadian star, she showcases the influences that lead to her career as one of the lone female Hat Acts in Country music.

With Classic, Terri Clark lovingly toasts the classic country songs that serve as the bedrock of her two-decades-and-going career in Country Music. Produced by Terri with Jeff Jones and serving as the third album from her own Bare Track Records, Classic features eleven tracks that showcase the Canadian’s favorite songs from heroes like Patsy Cline, Glen Campbell,  Kitty Wells, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, and of course Hank Snow and Neil Young, two of Canada’s most well-known musicians. 

Terri’s arrangements on these songs is mostly down the middle but she doesn’t ever sound like a karaoke singer. She deftly manages to interpret and honor these classic songs with the reverence they deserve. Her take on Loretta Lynn’s “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin On Your Mind)” and Merle Haggard’s “Swingin’ Doors” are perhaps the two most ‘liberal’ takes on the songs here but they, too, never lose the original melody or feel like radical departures. They also clearly showcase the honky tonk singer that is the core of Terri Clark’s being as an artist and what helped her build herself into the star she became.  

There are a fair share of duets on the record, including a sweet take on “How Blue” with the song’s original hit maker, Reba McEntire. Later on the record, she also revisit’s “Delta Dawn” with Tanya Tucker. “Golden Ring” features a nice little duet with Dierks Bentley while fellow Canadian star Dean Brody guests on the album-closing single “I’m Movin’ On.” The other duet is perhaps the most striking one on the record, a cover of Patsy Cline’s “Leaving’ On Your Mind,” a cover so convincing in showcasing Terri’s ability to power through notes and reach vocal sport that most likely didn’t know she could reach. Canada’s pop/rocker Jann Arden joins Terri on the song.

Classic isn’t a record that’ll reach the upper-reaches of the American Country Music charts but then again, when’s the last time she had a big hit in the USA? That doesn’t mean that Classic’s not full of hits for her, it’s just that they’ll be Canadian and International radio hits instead of the hard-to-reach mainstream country music market in the USA. Regardless, Classic is truly one of her best recordings and a great reminder of how great songs will always be great songs, no matter how ‘old’ they are.

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Note: Below is a spotify player to listen to the whole album. Spotify is a service that requires you to download an application to your computer to listen for free. The application is 100& safe and user friendly. Originally posted: 2012-11-26 09:11:00

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