Carly Pearce - 29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City)
Reigning Academy of Country Music Female Artist of the Year Carly Pearce is closing her “29” musical chapter with “29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City)” being released through Big Machine Records on March 24th. The project has developed from a seven track EP which she began working on during the pandemic as she reflected on her divorce and the passing of her good friend and collaborator busbee to an award nominated full-length album which contains a duet with Ashley McBryde that is only the third duet between two solo women to top Billboard’s Country Airplay charts dating back to its inception and earned the pair Best Country Duo/Group Performance at 2023 Grammy and Musical Event of the Year in 2022 by both the CMA and ACM Awards for “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” to conclude with the final instalment being a live version. The nineteen song record that was played at an intimate event at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, which Pearce produced herself along with David Clauss delivers the entirety of her ACM Album of the Year nominated recording top to bottom performed live before moving into her duet with contemporary Christian musician Matthew West, breakout singles “Every Little Thing” and “Hide The Wine” from her debut album, then rounding off with a stunning version of her CMA Award winning collaboration with Lee Brice “I Hope You’re Happy Now” off her eponymous sophomore album.
In addition to the appearance of McBryde, West and Brice on the recording, Pearce is also accompanied by fellow Grand Ole Opry members, The Isaacs on “Easy Going” and CMA Award winning fiddle player Jenee Fleenor who has been awarded Musician of the Year for the last four years running. Live albums are a really interesting thing because they allow a wider audience to feel the full effect of an artist as a performer that they may not have seen themselves first hand. They allow songs to be presented in a different way where the vocal strength and versality of an artist to be highlighted which is definitely the case with this offering but above all what “29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City)” does more than most is allow Carly Pearce to really show her energy but also her emotion and vulnerability.
You can hear particularly with “Next Girl” how she feeds off the audience and all of the aforementioned things that were elements that were so noticeable in her London show in Islington last year where you really saw something that was more than a wonderful voice and songwriter who co-wrote all fifteen tracks on the record, but also a true performer that had a genuine and natural ability to entertain on stage.
Her vocal prowess and adaptability as an artist is evident throughout whilst one of the most enjoyable thing about the live album is that it really enhances hearing tracks towards the backend of the record where “Show Me Around” and “Day One” really shine an incredibly bright light on this project. The only downside to this record in digital format which is how most people will consume the album is that it doesn’t showcase too much of her greatest talent on stage, which is her raw and honest telling of the stories behind the songs or demonstrate her humour in abundance because of how each of the tracks fade in and fade out at the beginning and end. This is not a specific critique to Carly’s record itself but a sign of the times for live albums where the CD version like in this instance does link and flow as one continuous recording, but an observation at the nature of DSPs in general and consumption in this market, where shuffle is a very common feature of these platforms and a fade out is a way to give songs better context in isolation.
“29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City)” closes this phase of Carly Pearce’s artistry and allows her development as an artist, not just a vocalist and songwriter to be put on a pedestal and recognised as someone that could well come into conversations about country music’s most coveted accolades because of how good she is live. The project started from a place of vulnerability and change during a time of isolation and concludes with a showcase for why people are really excited about what comes next.
29: WRITTEN IN STONE (LIVE FROM MUSIC CITY) TRACK LIST 1. “Diamondback (Live From Music City)” 2. “What He Didn’t Do (Live From Music City)” 3. “Easy Going (Live From Music City)” 4. “Dear Miss Loretta (Live From Music City)” 5. “Next Girl (Live From Music City)” 6. “Should’ve Known Better (Live From Music City)” 7. “29 (Live From Music City)” 8. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl (Live From Music City)” – Featuring Ashley McBryde 9. “Your Drinkin’, My Problem (Live From Music City)” 10. “Liability (Live From Music City)” 11. “Messy (Live From Music City)” 12. “Show Me Around (Live From Music City)” 13. “Day One (Live From Music City)” 14. “All The Whiskey In The World (Live From Music City)” 15. “Mean It This Time (Live From Music City)” 16. “Truth Be Told (Live From Music City)” – Featuring Matthew West 17. “Every Little Thing (Live From Music City)” 18. “Hide The Wine (Live From Music City)” 19. “I Hope You’re Happy Now (Live From Music City)” – Featuring Lee Brice
The new live album “29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City)” from Carly Pearce is released on March 24th through Big Machine Records and available HERE and fans can keep up to date with Carly across her socials on INSTAGRAMTIKTOKTWITTER & FACEBOOK.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks