It must take guts even when it comes to such a seasoned Opry performer as Carly Pearce to stand on that hallowed stage, playing your guitar as your sole accompaniment, and debut a new song. But that is exactly what Carly did when she stepped into the circle last Saturday, 20th March, for the 81st time, the performance earning the Big Machine Records artist a well deserved standing ovation. And it transpired from Carly’s chat with Opry host Natalie Stovall afterwards (when she also revealed how nervous she had been!) that it was the response to the recently released project “29” that made Carly feel it was the right time to let the song out, having initially thought it was one she was going to keep to herself. That would have been a tragedy!
The song in question, “Dear Miss Loretta” , was written last Summer by Carly, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, and takes the form of a letter to the country music icon and fellow Kentucky native Loretta Lynn. Coming at the end of her set that evening and after having been accompanied on “Next, Girl” “29” and “I Hope You’re Happy Now” by the ever-incredible Opry house band, Carly picked up her acoustic guitar and addressed the audience saying tentatively “I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but I’m going to debut a brand new song on the Grand Ole Opry“. The cheers and applause she got in response indicated exactly what they thought!
Carly continued ” So I don’t think you can sing country especially as a female, and grow up in the state of Kentucky, and not love Loretta Lynn. We have a lot in common, and I think that over the past year and a half I have understood her songs, and the way that she told her truth, a lot more than I ever thought I would” . Indeed, in the opening verse she sings about how “the songs were all fun ’til i lived them myself” and further in “I’m a long way from Kentucky but the hurtin’s the same“.
The gentle, lilting 6/8 song highlights more similarities between the lives of the two Kentucky born artists. “I ain’t a coalminers daughter, but my grandmother was. There must be whiskey in the water, there must be bourbon in the blood” she sings in the chorus, and in the break she tells how “we both grew up too fast” and says to Loretta “I wish you could tell me how you made it last?”.
Carly explained before the debut how she had never met the country music icon but hoped that some day she would get to ask Loretta in person the questions “Dear Miss Loretta” poses.
It seems we may be getting more new music from Carly later this year, too… “a continuation of ’29′”…as she described it to Natalie Stovall… something we’ll of course be letting you know more about as soon as we have any news.
You can catch Carly’s entire Opry set including “Letter to Loretta” along with performances from The Isaacs and Craig Morgan here (courtesy of Circle All Access)
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)