I can’t really remember the first time we heard the phrase, but the idea that Nashville is a ‘ten year town’ resonates. In so many ways the decade long town career has a lot more going for it than the overnight success variety. However what I really love about Hailey Whitters twist on the phrase is the way she has made it both funny and poignant.
The new It Girl fresh off the bus
She cut right in front of the rest of us
I need longer lashes and a shorter dress
To be that overnight success
I thought this year I’d wear that crown
I’m twelve years into a ten year town
Hailey speaks with some experience. Arriving in Music City from Shueyville, Iowa, she has lived that song, but in a beautiful and simple twist of fate, it has been the song which has changed her life. Originally coming out in 2019, Ten Year Town provided the calling card needed to introduce people to Hailey’s music. There is plenty beyond that initial single too. Her album, The Dream has some great moments, not least the track co written with Lori McKenna, Janice At The Hotel Bar. Drawing on some great aphorisms, it re-tells a life fully lived with some choice advice like the main protagonists’s intention to always ‘take a vodka over dessert’ or ‘Be careful with the truth, girl but don’t you ever lie.’
In an extended conversation we’ll play out on this week’s Another Country Hailey talks about her inspiration for Janice, where some of these lines were first heard and also about some of the people with whom she’s been collaborating recently. The Dream is a pretty fine album as it stands but has just been extended with some great collaborations from Little Big Town, Jordan Davis, the man Hailey describes as The Hillbilly Shakespeare, Brent Cobb and a Dream duet with Trisha Yearwood, a teen idol for Hailey.
She also talks about the songwriter who helped to get things started, Brandy Clark, who has just recorded a little extension on her 2020 album, ‘Your Life Is A Record’ with a little star studded input from Lindsey Buckingham. We’ll play you this latest Brandy cut as well as some great new things from some new names including, Sister Gavin and The Gator, Lydia Luce and Heath Sanders. Fear not, if you’re crying out for some artists you’ve loved for a long time. You will hear from Taylor Swift, Gillian Welch, Miranda Lambert and something old and gorgeous from Chris Stapleton.
All this in two hours of Another Country this coming Tuesday evening at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland or BBC Sounds. Wherever and whenever, join me if you can.