In its original form, Clare Dunn’s single “Tuxedo” is massive, with stuttering drums and face-flattening chorus production to match the message of desire. But Dunn recently demonstrated how the song works in a softer context when she performed it as an acoustic number for CMT’s Next Women of Country Live video series.
An accomplished guitarist, Dunn leads the song off with a few melodic strums before being joined by a second guitar and percussion. Where the studio recording is marked by the swaggering confidence of Dunn’s soulful vocals, this performance comes off as more vulnerable, the desire mingling with something else, perhaps devotion. Dunn co-wrote the song with Ben West and Brett James, thinking about her ideal mate.
“I’m not the kind of girl that has to have all the fancy things,” she told Rolling Stone Country. “It’s your character, your honor, your heart and your love that matter to me. ‘Tuxedo’ is simply my way of saying that.’
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This weekend, Dunn heads north for a series of festival dates in Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.