BRANDY CLARK — Who You Thought I Was Tour
Thursday, August 13
Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
$26 to $41
18+ SHOW / ID REQUIRED
Note: The Brandy Clark show originally scheduled for April 17 has been rescheduled to August 13, 2020. All tickets purchased for the April 17 show will be honored for the August 13 show.
Note: There is a 6 ticket limit.
“To me,” says six-time Grammy-nominee Brandy Clark of Your Life is a Record, “it’s endings and beginnings. You know, sometimes you have to have endings to have those beautiful beginnings. I hope people listening find themselves in me finding myself.” For Clark, who’s quietly become the go-to female creative for unlikely strength and compass-style truth, Record takes her gentle humanity and ability to sketch people’s motivations and conflicts, but instead of surveying the world around her, the woman The New York Times hails as “both a formalist and a sly subversive” looks in the mirror.
A nuanced songwriter-leaning album, string sections, the occasional oboe, a raw accordion supplement the essential nucleus of producer Jay Joyce, Giles Reeves and Jedd Hughes cutting live — and always Clark’s melted caramel and sunshine voice, an instrument that carries dusky desire, unfettered joy and torchy ache with equal ease. As Joyce affirms, “Brandy’s like the (Linda) Ronstadt of today. She’s not a show-off, but so powerful and honest. When she sings, you believe her. And she can sing anything.””
That kind of knowing transparency is a signature of her writing and her performing. Record, Clark admits was a game-changer on many levels. The woman whose been nominated for the overall Best New Artist Grammy, as well as Best Country Vocal Performance, Album and Song, confesses, “I’m a better singer after this record. Jay really pushed me, and pushed me to back off, ‘Sing like you’re whispering in someone’s ear,’ he’d say. It’s so different.”
“Jay calls this a break-up record, which it is. But it’s a bit of me breaking up with my idea of what country radio is, too. It freed us up. There’s a vulnerability that’s not been on other records. The clever word stuff, the writing, I always love that. But this is different.”
From the Dusty in Memphis torch of unbridled desire igniting “Love is a Fire” to the minor-key memories in “Bad Car,” the lush slink of wishing to unknow “Can We Be Strangers” to the falter and dignity of “Apologies” unheard, Clark embraces grown up stuff — and it’s played for emotional tenor/gravitas it deserves. “When Jay and I sat down, we wanted to challenge ourselves to cut it all acoustic, which seems crazy, because Jay is such an electric guy. But he was like a kid at Christmas. He promised, ‘This isn’t going to feel like a sleepy record.’ You know, he knows how to take a straight-up ballad and put movement to it.”
On the sweeping “Who You Thought I Was,” the post break-up reckoning recognizing who you ought to be after a catalogue of personas discarded along the way, the freewheeling track started simply enough. Laughing Clark says of the ebullient song inspired by a John Prine acceptance speech, “I played it in the original key, then Jed played it in a few other keys. There are seven, eight guitars going on in there. We played it slow, then sped it up.”
For something coming from a hard place, there’s a lot of delight. In Clark’s world, happiness is something to find along the way — and she works hard to maintain buoyancy even in the dark places. “Pawn Shop,” with its organ pads, guitar swirl and quick-ticking rim tapping, takes the moment of flickering hope in the disappointment to create sparkle in the surrender. In a smoky voice, she moves from a woman trying to cash in a wedding band for a bus ticket to a songwriter giving up a guitar with the shreds of his dream still inside.
“Pawn shops are sad to me,” she begins. “I had an uncle who owned one, and I know people don’t go in there on
Cost: $26 to $41
318 First Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
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