Clare Dunn grew up working cattle, driving tractors and 18 wheelers on a farm in the heart of Dust Bowl country and is now one of Music City’s most promising artists to know right now. Her hot single “Move On” has made major waves on country radio and is steadily opening ears to her fresh perspective beyond the slick pop grain. Clare has been a tour opener for the likes of Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and Hank Jr. and is on the road heavy this year. She has serious chops on both acoustic and electric guitars, which you’ll discover when you hear her new EP, which drops on September 18. Get to know our September pick for Nashville Rising and read our exclusive interview with her below.
1. What does it mean to you to be chosen as one of 2015 Nashville Rising artists?
Dunn: It means so much to me to be chosen as one of the artists. To have that support and an organization out there believing in me, I just have so much appreciation for it, and I am very excited!
2. How has the city of Nashville affected your work and your songwriting?
Dunn: Nashville has affected me in so many positive ways. I learned from one of the best, one of my mentors is Thom Schuyler. When I moved to Nashville, I was in college and I took his songwriting class. I had no idea who he was, I was that clueless. But Thom took me under his wing and showed me what it meant to really be a craftsman of writing songs. I still aspire to this day – it’s one of my long-term career goals – to be half the songwriter he is.
3. You're going on two very different yet strong tours this fall. What do you think you'll learn from Chris Young and Miranda Lambert both as performers and people?
Dunn: I can’t believe I am going on either one of these tours, I am so excited! Miranda is going to be my first country tour that I’ve done. Miranda is just an awesome person. I’ve kind of gotten to know her a little bit, and I can’t wait to hang out more on the tour. She’s just very down to earth, and so is Chris Young. I’ve gotten to play some shows with him in the past, and both of them have that similar quality – they’re very down to earth people. I think their kindness and their genuineness comes through and I definitely hope to always be that way as a human being – it is just so important. There is also so much I can learn from them as artists and from seeing the different camps and how they interact. There is always different chemistry on the road and I’m looking forward to see how they operate.
4. Were there any favorite artists or songwriters that made an impact
on your EP coming out on the 18th?
Dunn: Oh my gosh. Only since I was a child were there artists that have impacted me and have impacted the EP! Some of my biggest influences - definitely Keith Urban, he’s a huge influence. Mariah Carey – huge influence. George Strait in the songwriting aspect, and just as a tapestry for my music growing up. The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton. I think that all of those influences can be heard in one way or another on the EP. Primarily just because they make up who I am as an artist. I am the same artist on each one of those songs, so I think my love of them is reflected in probably everything I do. Those are some of my biggest influences any way.
5. Who are your Nashville Rising artists for 2015? Who do you think is
poised to break out of this town?
Dunn: Haha, well, hopefully some girl named Clare Dunn. I keep my head down and in my own lane so much that I am probably a bad one to ask that question. I’m so sorry! I live under a rock, but I do think there is just a tremendous amount of talent in Nashville. It’s a great town for writing songs and creating music. Our town is so versatile and I am really excited about the future music coming out of Nashville for sure!