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Music, Star Series
NS2 & THE CAROLINA THEATRE OF DURHAM PRESENT
An Evening with Brandy Clark & Lori McKenna
With Special Guest Brandon Ratcliff
About Brandy Clark
An 11x Grammy-nominee, CMA Award-winner and Tony-nominee, Brandy Clark is one of her generation’s most respected songwriters and musicians. In the midst of yet another landmark year, Clark released her acclaimed self-titled album, produced by 9x Grammy-winner Brandi Carlile, earlier this spring, which led Variety to call her “one of the great singer-songwriters of our day,” while Forbes describes the album as “an Americana Masterpiece.” Known for her powerful live shows, Clark will embark on an extensive headline tour this fall including stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles among many others.
In addition to her work as a solo artist, Clark has also written songs like “A Beautiful Noise,” the Grammy-nominated duet performed by Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys, and Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow.” She also composed the music and lyrics for the new hit musical comedy, “Shucked,” alongside her longtime collaborator, Shane McAnally. With the show, Clark won Outstanding Music at the 67th Drama Desk Awards, while “Shucked” was also nominated for a total of nine Tony Awards this past year.
About Lori McKenna
From her home base in Boston, Lori McKenna has carved out an enviable niche for herself as one of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters, all while maintaining a prolific and remarkably consistent career as a solo artist. The release of her anticipated album, 1988, adds to a series of landmark years for McKenna and follows three widely acclaimed albums: 2016’s “The Bird & The Rifle,” 2018’s “The Tree,” and 2020’s “The Balladeer,” of which the Associated Press praised, “McKenna has by now long established herself as one of the best songwriters working in any genre. And she does it again and again,” while The Tennessean asserted, “one of the sharpest pens in modern country and folk songwriting.”
In addition to her career as a solo artist, McKenna continues to enjoy success as one of the music industry’s most in-demand songwriters. This year, she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song for co-writing “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” performed by Taylor Swift. In 2017, McKenna became the first woman to win the Academy of Country Music’s Songwriter of the Year award and the first woman to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award two years in a row. She also won back-to-back Grammys for Best Country Song: for “Girl Crush,” performed by Little Big Town, in 2016 and “Humble and Kind,” performed by Tim McGraw, in 2017. In 2021, McKenna won her third Best Country Song Grammy for co-writing “Crowded Table,” performed by the Highwomen, with Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby. In addition to writing songs for a multitude of award-winning artists — including Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood — McKenna also co-wrote “Always Remember Us This Way,” which was featured in the Oscar-winning 2018 film “A Star Is Born.”
About Brandon Ratcliff
Born and raised in Cotton Valley, LA and signed to Monument Records, Brandon Ratcliff burst onto the scene in 2019 with his debut single “Rules of Breaking Up.” After a year of highlights including opening for Kelsea Ballerini, Brett Young, and Keith Urban, being selected as a Pandora Ones to Watch artist, and topping topped Rolling Stone’s all-genre Breakthrough Artists chart, the world came to a screeching halt in 2020. At a crossroads with his music, and his life, Ratcliff went back home to figure out who he was and what he wanted to say, and write his next project.
Greatly influenced by the music of the Louisiana delta and the bluegrass engrained in his blood, “Tale of Two Towns” is a coming-of-age record that reads like a book of Ratcliff’s life these last few years. Emerging from the most revolutionary season of his life, he asks the listener to explore with him what it means to leave home and follow your dreams.