By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario Correspondent
Venue: The Sanderson Center, Brantford, Ontario
This past Wednesday, Terri Clark’s tour made a stop at The Sanderson Center in Brantford Ontario where she played to a sold-out crowd.
Opening the evening was new rising Canadian country singer-songwriter Jessica Mitchell. On stage, Jessica is very open about her past, the struggles she has gone through, losses she has had, and how hard life has been, and how these situations have influenced her songs. Her voice is soulful and has been compared with greats like Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow and Emmy Lou Harris. Jessica draws you so far into her music that you do not realize that time has gone by and her set was over before you wanted it to be.
Country music sensation Terri Clark has a very distinctive voice and amazing stage presence. She is the only Canadian woman to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry [member since 2004]. Clark is an 8-time Canadian Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year and 5-time Female Vocalist of the Year, plus she holds six number one singles in Canada and the USA, such as “Better Things To Do,” “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” “Girls Lie Too,” and “I Just Wanna Be Mad”.
The evening was filled with songs and stories. Clark would explain where the songs came from and offer highlights and tales of moving to Nashville at the age of 19 which was “only five years ago” (according to Terri!).
At one point, Terri’s band left the stage and Terri spent about five minutes talking with the audience about her connection to the local area and how over her career she had spent so much time locally in the Brantford / Norfolk County area, and even her road manager comes from Waterford, a little town just outside of Brantford. All of this drew great applause and shouts from the audience. Terri then told us of the story of going to Nashville trying to break into the country music industry. One story involved “her first husband” – a marriage that failed because “he would not pay her any attention” and how it led to the song that got her that first record deal – this turned into her third number one hit, “and paid for the divorce”.
The band members arrived back on stage one at a time as she introduced each one and gave us some background on them. As I mentioned, Terri Clark is a member of The Grand Ole Opry, and she obviously believes that the style and heritage of the Opry needs to be remembered. She had the band all remain along the front of the stage with her and performed some songs in “The Grand Ole Opry style”.
All too soon, the concert had ended. After playing more than fifteen songs, a couple of encores and plenty of stories, the evening at the Sanderson Center ended to a thunderous standing ovation from the sold-out crowd.
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