Carly Pearce, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini – Country’s Newest Trio?

She's got plans to recreate the famous Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt collab, 'Trio.'

Written by Chris Parton
Carly Pearce, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini – Country’s Newest Trio?
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 11: Carly Pearce and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 57th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on November 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Collaborations are huge in country right now, with almost every new project featuring big name crossovers and chart-topping connections. But Carly Pearce knows they’re nothing new, and she wants to recreate a classic with Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini.

Speaking about her dream-team collab on RADIO.COM’s Katie & Company, the “Next Girl” singer was explaining who she’d like to work with, when an exciting plan slipped out. First Pearce said she’d love to sing with Dolly Parton one day (get in line!). But then she talked about something even cooler — a tribute to Parton’s Trio collab album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Pearce said she, Morris and Ballerini have already spoken about doing it, and she’s all in.

“I would love to work with Dolly [Parton], obviously,” Pearce said. “And you know, Maren [Morris] and Kelsea [Ballerini] and I talked about recreating the Trio record, or doing a song from that. And I want to do that. We talked about it, it’s been out there in the world. I think we should do it!”

For those who don’t know, Trio was a 1987 album recorded by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt — three of the most celebrated female voices in American music’s history. Each brought a different flavor, ranging from pure country to folk and rock, and the project was an immediate success.

It debuted at Number One on the country chart and produced standout tracks like “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” “Wildflowers” and more, and eventually went on to win a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. But it also helped revive traditional country interest in a time of rapid change for the genre, which sounds pretty similar to today’s situation.

Later on, Pearce also talked about the inspiration behind two deeply personal (but totally different) tracks, “Show Me Around” and “Next Girl.” One is dedicated to her late producer, busbee, and the other inspired by her split from fellow country artist and ex-husband, Michael Ray.

Carly Pearce is nominated for three Academy of Country Music Awards at the upcoming April 18 broadcast, including Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Her just-released 29 EP out now, and she just teamed up with contemporary Christian favorite Matthew West for another collab — a new version of his hit, “Truth Be Told.”