Metro Weekly

Brandy Clark is Happily Settling into Americana

The recently minted Grammy winner Brandy Clark continues a banner year with a series of intimate concerts.

Brandy Clark - Photo: Victoria Stevens
Brandy Clark – Photo: Victoria Stevens

“It’s funny,” says Brandy Clark, “all these years I made records that people considered country, but I ended up winning a Grammy for Americana performance.”

Before scoring a Grammy in February, Clark had earned the dubious distinction of being the most-nominated country artist to never win a Grammy, with 11 nods leading up to the 66th annual ceremony.

In addition to winning the 2024 Grammy for Best Americana Performance for “Dear Insecurity,” her clever and moving duet with Brandi Carlile, Clark earned another five nominations this year, bringing her career haul to 17 to date.

“I don’t know that it’s totally hit me because I don’t actually have it,” Clark says of the gilded gramophone trophy. “I haven’t gotten it in the mail yet. When I actually see my name on it and it’s sitting on my piano, that’ll be something.”

This year’s Grammy nominations were mostly in recognition of 2023’s self-titled album, her fourth solo outing but first produced by Carlile. Yet Clark also earned a nod for Best Musical Theater Album for Shucked, the Broadway musical she co-wrote with longtime collaborator Shane McNally.

“[It] was really, honestly incredible to be nominated across three genres, with country, Americana, and musical theater,” she says.

These days, Clark feels pretty well embraced by the country music industry. She’s part of an unprecedented wave of LGBTQ performing artists in Nashville, a lineup that includes TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne, Orville Peck, Lily Rose, Brooke Eden, Allison Russell, and, of course, Carlile.

Clark had established herself as a top-notch songwriter for hire in Nashville long before she launched a recording career.

“When Kenny Rogers recorded a song of mine called ‘She’ll Believe You,’ that was a massive pinch-me moment,” Clark says. Two years later, in 2010, Reba McEntire followed suit with a pair of Clark-penned songs, and then came a parade of hits for Miranda Lambert (“Mama’s Broken Heart”), LeAnn Rimes (“Crazy Women”), The Band Perry (“Better Dig Two”), and Kacey Musgraves (“Follow Your Arrow”).

In 2017, the Oak Ridge Boys covered “Pray to Jesus,” one of the standout tracks from Clark’s superb 2013 debut album 12 Stories. “I don’t really remember life without their music, so to have them record my song was pretty big,” Clark says about the Boys.

“What I find is, the more personal [a song] is to me, the more people relate to it,” says Clark, noting the incredible responses she’s been getting to “Dear Insecurity,” “Buried,” and “She Smoked in the House” among her newest collection of songs.

Enlisting Carlile to produce Brandy Clark was a savvy decision not only because it helped Clark snag her first Grammy and establish her in the Americana realm. It also resulted in Clark’s most personal and introspective album to date. For all those reasons, it’s no surprise to hear that Clark expects to collaborate with Carlile again.

“We don’t have anything on the books as far as going in the studio,” she says. “I’m just at the beginnings of figuring out what my next album will be. But I have a feeling we’ll have a long collaboration between the two of us.”

At the moment, Clark’s focus is on touring to promote Brandy Clark with what “we’re calling a power trio” consisting of a bass player and a utility player accompanying Clark on guitar.

“And then SistaStrings are opening the show, and we’ll have them come out to play a few songs with us.” The Sistas, Chauntee and Monique Ross, are a young Nashville-based cello-and-violin duo and are responsible for the prominent and lush strings heard on Clark’s album.

“They’re unlike — I can’t even really put into words their talent,” Clark says. “You just gotta come see and hear them.”

Once the tour wraps, Clark will revisit Shucked to make a few minor tweaks and assist with casting for the touring production of the musical, with a Nashville launch planned this fall, and a run at Washington’s National Theatre set for late winter of 2025. Also in the works is a feature film adaptation of the musical, a fictional tale up to its ears in references to corn, and set, naturally, in Cob County.

Shucked received nine nominations at last year’s Tony Awards, with non-binary actor Alex Newell winning Best Featured Actor in a Musical for their portrayal of distillery matriarch Lulu.

“I’m not currently working on [another musical], but I’m looking for one,” Clark says. “And a lot of ideas keep getting thrown in the mix between all of us who worked on Shucked together…. It definitely won’t be my last show, I can tell you that.” Perhaps she’ll cast herself in the next go-round?

“Listen, I don’t have the vocal chops of the people on Broadway, so it would have to be something that was created for me — probably by me,” she says. “But I wouldn’t rule it out. I actually wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Brandy Clark performs at Annapolis’s Rams Head on Stage on Sunday, April 28. As of press time, only a few seats remain. Visit

Other stops on the current tour include the Gramercy Theatre in New York (5/4), the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Va. (5/7), and The Tin Pan in Richmond, Va. (5/8). Visit for full tour details.

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