Terri Clark On Her Star-Studded Duets Album ‘Take Two’ And Its Full Circle Moments

This project allows Clark to celebrate her career-defining hits while also introducing her music to a new generation of fans.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 31, 2024


2:32 pm

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Terri Clark with Ashley McBryde and Cody Johnson; Photos via Instagram

Terri Clark has reimagined eight of her iconic chart-topping hits in the form of a duets collection. Out now, Terri Clark: Take Two blends the nostalgic era of ‘90s country with some of the modern-day superstars who are leading the next generation of country music artists. Special guests Lauren Alaina, Paul Brandt, Kelly Clarkson, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Ben Rector and Lainey Wilson all appear beside Clark on the project.

Take Two serves as both a thank you to all the fans who have stuck by Clark since her career burst onto the scene in the ‘90s and introduces a whole new generation of listeners to the hits that define her as an artist. She felt that the best way to draw fresh eyes to her discography was by bringing in some of the biggest names in country music right now. 

Each song within this collection was a Top Ten hit on the Country chart at the time of its original release, and several of them even made it to No. 1. Half of them also earned the rare achievement of having a country cross-over success on Billboard’s Hot 100. 

Terri Clark; Take Two
Terri Clark; Take Two

Choosing Which Artists To Feature On The Album

Once the idea for the duets album began to come to fruition, Clark told Country Now and other outlets that she developed a wish list of people who she wanted to join her in delivering these hits. 

“I wanted some current artists that I had not ever worked with before to be a part of this, if I could get them. So I started just making a list of people and started asking people. Out of everybody I asked, there were maybe only two that had scheduling conflicts that couldn’t do it. So I was just blown away by some of the names that I got on this.”

The artist at the very top of Clark’s list was her friend, Ashley McBryde, who appears on the third track and Clark’s debut single of 1995, “Better Things to Do.”

“I knew that she probably wouldn’t say no to me,” Clark joked. “I told her I really would’ve been honored if she would do ‘Better Things To Do’ with me and she said yes.”

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From then on, she explained “it just started to fall into place” with the other artists who became part of the project. She recalled specifically asking Wilson to join her on “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” because she knew the “Hang Tight Honey” singer would “have so much fun” with the Warren Zevon-penned tune. Clarkson’s appearance on “If I Were You” came about as a result of an accidental text exchange, where Clark seized the opportunity and asked Clarkson to join in on the fun, to which she happily obliged. 

Creating A Conversation With Cody Johnson on ‘I Just Wanna Be Mad’

Meanwhile, she and Johnson debated between three different songs before ultimately landing on “I Just Wanna Be Mad.” Most of the tracks stayed fairly true to the original release, but her duet with Johnson was slightly altered in the form of a conversation between two people to better fit the storyline that originally found Clark singing from one perspective for all these years. 

“It felt great because I’ve been singing one side of this sentiment and conversation for so long now. I’ve been the woman saying, ‘don’t touch me. I just want to be mad for a while.’ But both people can feel that way at the same time in a relationship and Cody and I turned it into a conversation between two people that are both asking for space, that are both feeling pissed off at each other at that moment. I think that that’s where I think the song took on a whole new light and really became a completely different version. I love the way it turned out.”

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The Final Track Was Recorded Live With Paul Brandt

The eighth and final track is a live recording of 1998’s “You’re Easy On The Eyes” featuring Paul Brandt. The two Canadian-bred country starts captured this duet last fall when they were touring the country together. 

“Paul is like the king of Canada and he’s had so many hits in Canada that long after his record deal in Nashville kind of went by the wayside, he went back up there and focused on that market. He is a really big star, an icon in Canada,” Clark said gushing about her duet partner. “We did an acoustic tour together last fall across the country. It was very successful. We had a blast together. We got to know each other even better than we already did, and we recorded the show every single night. So we used one of those live recordings for this record.”

Clark Is “Humbled” And “Grateful” For The Artists Who Helped Make This Album

Just a few days before the whole project became available to the world, Terri Clark took a moment to reflect on how much it means for her to get to relive her success alongside so many country music legends in the making. 

“I’m just humbled and grateful and blown away with the names that I’m seeing beside mine on this thing and these songs that have meant so much to my life and my career,” she expressed.

While Clark admits it was very exciting for her to get to relive these tunes, she quickly came to realize during the recording process that it was an incredibly full-circle moment for the artists she chose to record with as well.

“When Cody Johnson says to me, ‘I had your poster on my wall’ and Lainey Wilson’s getting a T-shirt…I gave her a vintage T-shirt with ‘Poor, Poor Pitiful Me’ on the back from the ‘90s…My mom kept bins of these T-shirts and I gave it to her and she said, ‘well, if I could tell five-year old Lainey that this was going to be happening…,’ Clark shared before adding, “At the time, you’re just on your fast track and you’re trying to make a name for yourself, but you don’t have that scope to be able to look ahead in that lens and see someday that this is going to be happening of what you’re doing right now. It’s the coolest thing when you’re able to just sit back and really reflect and see a full circle moment like that happen when these people that are having success, you had some little small bit of influence on what they’re doing now is a tremendous feeling and it’s a lot of blood, sweat, tears, hard work.”

Even More Career Milestones

Clark’s career-defining celebrations continue because along with releasing Take Two, she has also unveiled her Greatest Hits collection on vinyl for the very first time in honor of the album’s 20th anniversary. Then on June 7, the Canadian Music Hall of Famer will celebrate her 20th Opry Anniversary and on August 29, she will headline the Ryman Auditorium for the very first time.  

“It feels like yesterday that I was invited to be an Opry member, and that’s all going to slap me in the face when Lainey Wilson’s becoming the newest member the same night. It’s definitely a full-circle thing to be a member of the Opry, I think is anybody’s goal or milestone who sings country music. It’s such an important piece of the country music fabric and story and to be a part of that family is something that I never take for granted. I just still can’t believe it. I still get nervous every single time.”

Terri Clark; Photo by Phil Crozier
Terri Clark; Photo by Phil Crozier

What’s Next?

Terri Clark is unsure what’s next for her creatively, but she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. She is hitting the road on a slew of dates this summer and is already planning a tour for 2025. 

“I have a lot of shows on the books for this summer. I think next year will be a calmer year, but by no means am I going to rest on my laurels and stay home either,” she assured. 

With so many exciting shows on the books in the coming weeks, Clark also teased that it’s very likely she will be bringing some of her brand-new duets to life on stage with some of the special guests on the album.  

Terri Clark: Take Two Track List:

1. “I Just Wanna Be Mad” (featuring Cody Johnson)

2. “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” (featuring Lainey Wilson)

3. “Better Things to Do” (featuring Ashley McBryde)

4. “Now That I Found You” (featuring Ben Rector)

5. “I Wanna Do It All” (featuring Lauren Alaina)

6. “If I Were You” (featuring Kelly Clarkson)

7. “Girls Lie Too” (featuring Carly Pearce)

8. “You’re Easy On The Eyes (live)” (featuring Paul Brandt)

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.