In some ways, Carly Pearce has spent the last 12 months on top of the world. She won multiple awards from the CMA and ACM, hit the top of the country charts and released her 29 EP to widespread acclaim. But there was another side to the story.
Pearce also lost her friend and producer, busbee, to a rare cancer, and watched her marriage to fellow country singer Michael Ray dissolve after just a few months. Now she’s expanding her EP to include the lessons learned, announcing the full album, 29: Written In Stone.
“So much has happened to me in the last year,” Pearce explains. “The more my life unraveled, the more the songs lifted me up. As the smoke cleared, and some unbelievable things started happening, I was writing even more truth and getting lifted up even higher – and I realized, as much as 29 captured a moment, I wasn’t done with the story.”
Out September 17, 29: Written In Stone will feature 15 songs in total — more than doubling the original project. With eight new songs, she’ll tell her story in unfiltered country-music style, co-writing each track and securing production help from Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne to capture the good, the bad and everything in between.
In an announcement to the press, Pearce describes the project as a true song cycle — meaning each progressive track helps tell an overarching story — and to get that story started, she’s sharing an early track today (August 3). With “Dear Miss Loretta” (featuring Patty Loveless), she writes a captivating letter to the great Loretta Lynn, explaining why she now understands the tragedy and toughness in Lynn’s famous songs. Pearce welcomes one of her vocal heroes to the track with Loveless’ appearance, and is releasing the classic-sounding ballad on the same day she’s getting officially inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
“To hear Patty Loveless sing your words, there’s no way to describe that sensation,” Pearce says. “Her voice is Appalachia, those mountains and hollers are country music. To think, a year ago, I was asking myself, ‘What would Patty Loveless do?’ thinking about all her songs, how smart and sassy she always was… and now she’s on one of mine.”
29: Written In Stone arrives on September 17, and Carly Pearce is currently on the road with Lady A for the What A Song Can Do tour.
29: WRITTEN IN STONE TRACK LIST
1. “Diamondback” | Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, Tofer Brown, Shane McAnally
2. “What He Didn’t Do” | Carly Pearce, Ashley Gorley, Emily Shackelton
3. “Easy Going” | Carly Pearce, Natalie Hemby, Josh Osborne
4. “Dear Miss Loretta” (featuring Patty Loveless) | Carly Pearce, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally
5. “Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
6. “Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
7. “29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
8. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” (featuring Ashley McBryde) | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
9. “Your Drinkin’, My Problem” | Carly Pearce, Nicolle Galyon, Sasha Sloan, Ben West
10. “Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
11. “Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins
12. “Show Me Around” | Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West
13. “Day One” | Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey
14. “All The Whiskey In The World” | Pearce, Jordan Terry Minton, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
15. “Mean It This Time” | Pearce, Jordan Terry Minton, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton