November 14, 2012
Terri Clark puts forth her 'Classic'
By Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

Singer Terri Clark poses for photos to promote her new album in Toronto on Tuesday November 13, 2012. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI AGENCY)

Canadian country music star Terri Clark says her latest album, Classic, is a "labour of love," that she's wanted to make for the last 25 years.

The new disc, out this past Tuesday (Nov. 13), sees the Montreal-born, Medicine Hat-raised singer covering classic country songs, often as duets with partners like Reba McEntire (How Blue), Tanya Tucker (Delta Dawn), Dierks Bentley (Golden Ring) and fellow Canucks Jann Arden (Leavin' On Your Mind), and Dean Brody (I'm Movin' On).

You can even hear Clark's late country-singing Montreal grandmother, Betty Gauthier, off the top of the record on a '50s recording.

"My grandmother's nickname was the Canadian Kitty Wells," said Clark, 44, in Toronto this week leading up to a CMT special called Terri Clark Classic (airing Nov. 23), and a winter-spring tour of Canada.

"And so her voice opens up the whole album and I appropriately come slamming in with another Kitty Wells song to tie the two together. It's a tribute to my grandparents, my roots, the musical legacy in my family."

Clark says once Classic was greenlit in the spring, with orders to have it ready for the holiday season, she came up with a wish list of duet partners before co-producing, recording and mixing it in Toronto and Nashville over two months.


"I thought, 'There was just no way that any of these people were going to be able to do it. It was high summer. It was touring season.' (And) I got every one of them," said Clark.

McEntire, who was really supportive during the three year illness and subsequent 2010 death from cancer of Clark's mother, was a sentimental fave as Clark had joined her fan club when she was just 15 years old.

"I had brought my T-shirt from my fan club experience and had to show her," said Clark, who previously opened for McEntire twice on tour. "It was about as thin as a piece of toilet paper at this point and somewhere along the way when I still had a midriff I cut it off halfway. My mom ordered it from her fan club and surprised me with it under the tree and I just about died 'cause it's a long way from Medicine Hat to Stringtown, Oklahoma (McEntire's hometown). I was fascinated with it."