By Sterling Whitaker Tasteofcountry.com
Brandy Clark may have just single-handedly solved the problems that female country artists are experiencing in the commercial marketplace.
Clark spoke to the Village Voice over the weekend in support of her appearance at the FarmBorough festival, and she weighed in on the controversy that’s been going on since a male radio programmer said the way to score ratings in country radio is to remove females from playlists. Keith Hill said female artists are “just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”
That’s led to an enormous online campaign, with a number of female artists weighing in, while fans have been buying tomato T-shirts in support. But Clark — whose debut album, 12 Stories, was one of the most critically acclaimed releases of 2014 — says there’s a much better way for fans to support women in country music.
“I see a lot of people wearing the tomato shirts, which is great,” she observes, “but I think, ‘Man, I wish they would buy a female’s CD, a female record.’”
Clark is also a top songwriter in Nashville,having written hits for the Band Perry and Miranda Lambert, as well as working extensively with Kacey Musgraves. She hopes things will level out for female artists.
“Maybe I’m naïve,” she concedes. “Maybe I’m just hopeful because I’m a female in country, and I know for me that everything would be better if females were playing — not just if I were playing, but females — because as a songwriter, it’s been a struggle for me because there just aren’t a lot of places to go with songs. Most females write a lot more female songs than they write male songs.”