One of the inherent difficulties with the music business is implied in the industry’s name: Music is an art, but business requires one to make money. The two don’t always go hand in hand, and it’s one of the frustrations Terri Clark has faced in her career.
She broke through in 1995 with the feisty “Better Things To Do,” and she quickly became a regular presence on the radio for the better part of the next decade. Unfortunately, she’s convinced that people who’ve only heard her singles have missed her best work.
“Country radio was good to me for many years, but it also pigeonholed me,” she told Gibson.com. “After my first album, I was expected to fill the slot on their playlist for ‘fun, up-tempo female.’ That provided me with a space to fill on that playlist, and a string of turntable hits, but in my entire career I had only two ballads that broke the Top 10.”
“There have been quite a few songs,” she added, “songs that never got released as singles, that I felt were stronger than a lot of the singles that came out.”
Feeding the marketplace took its toll, and near the end of 2008, she parted company with BNA, the major label to which she was signed, frustrated by a “lack of motivation for the music I was recording.”
She did come up with an independent album, The Long Way Home, last year. It got good reviews and proved to be her most personal project to date. Using that same sort of motivation, she begins a tour Thursday in Indianapolis that promises to be extremely personal. It’s titled Unplugged & Alone, and it will likely be an emotionally taxing journey. She recently cancelled an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry to spend more time with her mother, who’s battling cancer.