With more than four million albums sold and tours with country megastars like Brad Paisley and Reba McEntire under her belt, Canadian country music star Terri Clark made a conscious decision to get back to basics with her upcoming tour.
Touching down at Moncton’s Casino New Brunswick this Saturday night, the appropriately named “Back To My Roots” tour will see Clark giving her more than two decades of hits the acoustic treatment, while also sharing some of the stories behind the music.
“Ironically, playing my songs acoustically is how I got signed to my first record deal,” the always-affable Clark begins. “I used to travel around Nashville and would play for executives in their offices.”
She says that each of her prior tours have featured mini solo sections where she has performed a song or two acoustically, her upcoming tour is the first time that Canadian audiences have been treated to an entirely acoustic-based show.
“I’ve done this tour for audiences in the U.S., Scotland and England, but had wanted to be sure the timing was right before I brought it to Canada. This tour is my way of saying thank you to Canadians for having supported me and giving me such a long and generous career. I wanted to bring something different, that they hadn’t necessarily seen before.”
Clark says that what she is most looking forward to with the Back To My Roots tour is having the opportunity to deliver a unique show every evening.
“This tour will be one of the most intimate I’ve undertaken because I will have the opportunity to talk about the songs and reveal more of the personal nature of some of the material,” Clark says, noting that at the end of each show, there will be a brief Q&A session during which time fans will have the opportunity to interact with her one-on-one.
While some artists take to the stage and deliberately save all their hits for the tail end of the night, Clark is in a different, enviable position with respect to the sheer amount of hits she is able to draw from.
From her 1995 debut single “Better Things To Do,” through “You’re Easy On The Eyes,” “I Just Wanna Be Mad” and more recent hits such as “Some Songs” and “Northern Girl,” Clark insists anything and everything from her catalogue will be on the table for her acoustic tour.
“I think the biggest challenge is going to be deciding what to play every evening. At this point in my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have 20 singles that I can pick from on any given, but on top of that, I also have songs I love to play that aren’t singles. I’m looking forward to keeping the set list fresh with every show,” she says.
“If someone is putting down their hard-earned money to come see a show, whether it’s the first time or the 25th time, I want that show to be a unique experience. I pride myself on not ‘calling it in’ on any given night and actually love being out on the town whenever I can be so that when I take the stage – whether that’s in Moncton, Fort Frances or Vancouver – I can help bridge that connection between the stage and the audience.”
For an embarrassing amount of artists, a cross-country tour often entails hitting the country’s biggest cities and nowhere else. With a total of 40 tour dates keeping Clark on the road between now and Nov. 12, what is particularly noteworthy about the trek is the large proportion of off the beaten path towns, cities and venues that she will be hitting.
Among those smaller locales the tour will be hitting are Woodstock, N.B. and Sherbrooke, Que., in addition to Atikokan, Ont., Brandon, Man., Fort Saskatchewan, Alb., and Fort St. John, B.C.
“That is one of the most exciting aspects of this tour, having the chance to play so many new places and hopefully seeing a lot of new faces along the way. I’m so fortunate to have had such a successful career that hitting as many communities as possible across the country is my way of saying thanks to the fans for standing by me all these years.”
Once Clark’s tour wraps up, she will enjoy most of the month of December off before undertaking a full-band tour of select cities in Southern Ontario in March 2017. As for when fans should anticipate hearing some new music from her, Clark insists it is on the horizon, but that she feels no pressure to head into the studio.
“I don’t want to rush into making a new album just for the sake of making and releasing new music,” she says. “At this point in my career, any new music I make has zero expectations attached to it. If a new song of mine catches fire at radio, that’s just the icing on the cake.”
What: Terri Clark
When: Saturday Sept. 17, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $34.99 plus taxes and service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone 1-866-943-8849 and online at www.casinonb.ca