Singer-songwriter Brandy Clark offers up a wry look at life’s ups and downs

Starting this week and continuing weekly up to the start of the State Fair, the Deep Fried Crew will highlight one of the 2014 Dorton Arena entertainers. Tickets for all concerts and advance admission and ride tickets go on sale online starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. Get your tickets early to save time and money, and to reserve your seat for your favorite Dorton Arena performer. Check out this year’s lineup here.

We’ll kick this weekly series off with country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark.

I need to be up front with readers … I love singer-songwriters. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Bruce Springsteen, Iris Dement  and Sara Bareilles are among my favorites.

To me singer-songwriters represent the complete package as performers; their songs are not the interpretations of another person, but rather are reflections of themselves, whether it’s the humor they convey, a loss they grieve or a message told through a fictional story line.

So when I heard rising country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark was going to be performing at the State Fair, I was personally excited. (Full disclosure: I do NOT book the musical acts in Dorton Arena.)

Some people may not know Clark’s name, but if you are a country music fan, specifically a Miranda Lambert or The Band Perry fan, you have no doubt heard Clark’s handiwork. Clark co-wrote “Mama’s Broken Heart,” which was a huge hit for Lambert and has earned several songwriting nominations. She also co-wrote the dark, rock-tinged No. 1 hit, “Better Dig Two,” off The Band Perry’s sophomore album.

Clark also is the opening act for Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles’ That Girl tour, which I was lucky enough to catch in Atlanta earlier this year. In addition to the exposure she is getting via the tour, Clark was recently honored as Music Row Magazine’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Dark humor seems to suit Clark just fine, as evidenced by her song “Stripes,” a catchy tune about a woman’s reaction to a cheating spouse that is on her debut album “12 Stories.”

In the chorus, Clark sings:

“I hate stripes and orange ain’t my color
And if I squeeze that trigger tonight
I’ll be wearin’ one or the other
There’s no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion
The only thing savin’ your life
Is that I don’t look good in orange and I hate stripes”

You can check out the full song in the clip above from her Grand Old Opry performance.

Clark performs Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Dorton Arena. Tickets are $5.


About Merrie Go Round

Merrie Go Round is the midway alter-ego of Andrea Ashby, who has officially spent 252 days during the past 24 years at the N.C. State Fair. That's perfect attendance in case you were wondering. In addition to promoting the Fair, looking for untold Fair stories and working on various special events, I also spend a great deal of time roaming the grounds taking photos for the Website and State Fair publications. I like to keep my eyes and ears posted for the unusual and different things that make the State Fair such a great celebration of North Carolina people, traditions and history. I look forward to sharing with you the things I come across on my journey.

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