Anyone who heard Brandy Clark’s debut “12 Stories” knows the singer/songwriter can pack a punch. “Stories” featured tales of infidelity, recreational marijuana use, jilted ex-lovers, one night stands and prison sentences. It was one of 2013’s best offerings from any genre, not just country music. Clark, a songwriter for artists like Miranda Lambert (“Mama’s Broken Heart”), Kacey Musgraves (“Follow Your Arrow”) and Wade Bowen (“Songs About Trucks”), finally got the chance to anchor her own solo project, and the result was a perfect anthology of small-town milieu.

In this April 19, 2015, file photo, country singer Brandy Clark arrives at the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Arlington, Texas. Clark has also penned hits for Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP, File)

Clark repeats that formula, with bigger production, on her sophomore album, “Big Day in a Small Town,” which is available for streaming on NPR right now and releases in full this Friday. From what I’ve heard of it so far, the lyrics are still the same Brandy Clark: “Three Kids No Husband” is a heartbreaking look at the daily life of a single mother barely scraping by, while the title track finds the larger-than-life stories in a small town. Here’s hoping it gets more commercial recognition than “12 Stories” did.

Other New Songs:

Eli Young Band: “Saltwater Gospel”

There’s no video out for the band’s new single, but it promises to “immediately transport the listener to their favorite beach, where the mystical power of the ocean melts away the troubles of everyday life — while connecting them to their own spirituality,” according to a press release reported by Taste of Country. Look for it on June 10.


Country Music Shows This Week:


Gospel-inflected folk duo Birds of Chicago plays Strange Brew.—D.S.S.


Warren Hood and Belle Sounds at the Saxon Pub


Americana bands Stovetop Rangers and High Plains Jamboree play a free early evening ramble at eastside dive Hard Luck Lounge.— D.S.S.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every Thursday.

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