Since catching the attention of radio execs, Nashville insiders and music journalists with her ferocious live performance, singer-guitarist Clare Dunn has been building a steady buzz with her songwriting. Her song about her father’s near-fatal heart attack, “Old Hat,” elicited tears from fans during a SiriusXM taping at CMA Music Festival in June, and new single “Move On” is the epitome of a woman taking charge in a relationship. Now, the Colorado native is assembling those songs, along with three others, for her major-label debut EP.
Set for release on September 18th on MCA Nashville, the self-titled project features five songs all co-written by Dunn, including fan favorite “Cowboy Side of You.” She’ll showcase the EP, along with choice covers like Bob Seger’s “Her Strut” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock & Roll,” on the road this fall with Miranda Lambert as part of Lambert’s Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour. She’s also set to open for Chris Young on his I’m Comin’ Over Tour starting in late October.
“I just try to do what I think my heroes did, and what I observe them doing,” Dunn told Rolling Stone Country recently. “To me, I think Seger, the Eagles and Keith [Urban] all followed their sense of direction. When you picked up one of their records, it was undeniably who they were. You felt like when you were listening to Bob, that everything that you were hearing was Bob, and the same with Keith. They were all artists, and they had their own identity in their sound, and in their writing and their performance.”
Dunn, one of Rolling Stone Country‘s Artists You Need to Know, was driving tractor-trailers and working on her family’s ranch before she was strumming her Fender. She says moving to Nashville inspired her to pick up the guitar.
“I was super intimidated growing up because no one plays an instrument in my family. I mean, my parents, we all love music, but we are just farmers. There was no bar where I grew up where you could go play. There was no live music,” she says. “There was no one to go and take a lesson from, and I just thought that if you didn’t come out of the womb playing, then you had no business. . . But for me, guitar is just another voice. I’m a singer and the guitar echoes that.”