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What a year it’s been for American country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark. Named Music Row Magazine’s 2014 Breakthrough Artist of the Year after her debut album 12 Stories was named the best album of 2013 by New York Magazine, NPR, The New York Post, and The Boston Globe. Clark has garnered nominations for the 2015 CMA Awards, ACM Awards and Grammy Awards, and won the Country Music Association award for Song of the Year for co-writing the hit “Follow Your Arrow”.
"Ain't we all the stars playing the leading part in our own soap opera?" Brandy Clark belts out that question to kick off Big Day in a Small Town, positing the premise of not just the opening track ("Soap Opera"), but all 10 songs that follow it. The towns that anchor Clark's new album may be small enough to warrant only a single blinking light, but the lives lived in them are anything but... and neither are the hopes and dreams that rise from their backroads and bedrooms.
When you grow up in a small town, oftentimes, your dreams are all you have. Whether it's to become a football star or a father, a homecoming queen or a hairdresser, your dreams might be the only thing that keep you going. For Clark, the dream she harbored in her small hometown of Morton, Washington, was to be a country singer. Sure, once she moved to Nashville, she had successful cuts as a songwriter [The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two," Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," and Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow" which won the CMA Song of the Year Award in 2014], but being an artist in her own right was a dream she had stopped dreaming until three years ago when her first album, the stunning 12 Stories, debuted.
At the time, it was a passion project, more than anything... a passion project that went on to become a GRAMMY- and CMA-nominated release that topped a myriad of "Best Albums of 2013" lists; earn her opening slots on tours with Eric Church, Jennifer Nettles, and Alan Jackson; land her performances onThe Ellen DeGeneres Show , Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, and a much-talked about collaboration with Dwight Yoakam on the 2015 GRAMMY Awards in recognition of her nomination in the all-genre Best New Artist category; and win her a Warner Bros. Records deal. Now, as she gears up for her sophomore set, the alternately feisty and poignant Big Day in a Small Town, Clark has much higher hopes.
Opening Act: Levon
Levon’s lead singer and guitarist Michael Hall remembers his father listening to country and 70’s rock bands and thinking, “This is the kind of music people want to get back to, music I want to get back to. Honest lyrics and memorable melodies. Hopefully our music speaks to that,” he says. With influences like Pure Prairie League, CSN, Keith Urban and The Eagles, Levon’s sound is a combination of “Then” and “Now”.
In 2013, Michael Hall was in Los Angeles working with songwriter/producer Jamie Houston. Michael and Jamie quickly discovered each others love for three part harmony and decided to explore the possibilities. One night in early 2014, Hall, and Jake Singleton happened to be playing with different bands at the same venue in Franklin, TN. “Finding others with the same focus was proving to be difficult,” Hall says.
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