Brandy Clark’s songs are all informed by her small-town Washington state upbringing. As such, they’re some of the most authentic bits of artistry coming out of Nashville today. In the latest installment of Rolling Stone Country Sessions, powered by Ram Trucks, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter performs key tracks off her latest album Big Day in a Small Town.
The title track is among Clark’s favorites. “That song, when it was written, I knew it would be the title track to an album — I didn’t know it’d be my second album,” she says of the song, which details everything from a surprise pregnancy to the taking of a trophy deer. “The characters in ‘Big Day in a Small Town,’ those are people in my hometown. They might not have done those specific things, but to me I had specific people in my head when I was writing it. The trick was to make it real, but not too real.”
In her Rolling Stone Country Sessions, Clark also performs “Daughter,” her clever tale of karmic retribution, and “Drinkin’, Smokin’, Cheatin’,” a song she calls “a big daydream.”
“If I were to just throw everything out the window and not care what happened to me, this is what I’d do, I’d take it as far as I could. Just go off the deep end a little bit,” she says. (Watch a full performance of the track below.)
In the end, however, she — and the characters in her songs like “Drinkin’, Smokin’, Cheatin'” — all return to earth.
“We’d all come back to reality,” she says, “and love what we have.”
Look for another installment of Rolling Stone Country Sessions next month.