Single Review: Carly Pearce featuring Patty Loveless, “Dear Miss Loretta”

“Dear Miss Loretta”

Carly Pearce featuring Patty Loveless

Written by Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark, and Carly Pearce

While the EP format is mostly a waste of space and time, Carly Pearce provided a welcome exception to that rule earlier this year with her 29 project. And now, thankfully, she’s decided to expand upon the idea for an eventual album release in September.

Saying that Pearce has grown more interesting as an artist over the past year simply because her music is more traditional feels too much like an easy out. It’s far more than that. She’s also found her individual artistic voice within that time, which makes this fictional letter to miss Loretta Lynn all the more fitting.

Still, criticisms out of the way first: this song obviously benefits from the same background context of Pearce’s divorce that informed 29, but a song needs to stand on its own, and “Dear Miss Loretta” is missing the greater details within to hit with greater impact. A better album track than single, I guess.

It’s still great, though, mostly because Pearce acknowledges her connection is of a basic variety. She understands hurt and pain because she, too, has really lived it and has grown up too fast because of it. This is a deliberate slow-burn soaked in misery and anchored by its welcome crying fiddle, dobro, piano and reverb-soaked electric axe meant to draw out the hurt, and it’s a testament more to how well-developed and interesting Pearce’s compositions have gotten now that she’s more concerned with doing her heroes proud than chasing radio airplay.

Speaking of that: Patty Loveless, y’all. It’s so good to even just hear her voice again on something new, and it’s even better that she gets an entire verse all to herself here (fitting, too, if you’re familiar with your country music fun facts about Loveless and Lynn’s familial ties). I’m not sure who orchestrated it, but bless ‘em for it. Now we just need to keep her out long enough to record a new album – that would really save this year.

Grade: A-

7 Comments

  1. I didn’t realize Patty was on this at first and thought Carly sounds like Patty. Haha! Im a huge Patty fan, I bout peed my pants once I grasped what was going on. This hits all the right spots for me!

  2. The way Carly tells it, she asked Patty to sing on another song on the album but Patty saw Carly’s performance of this song on the Opry and asked if she could sing on it instead. Definitely worked out for the best!

  3. As time has gone on, I find myself always returning to my holy trinity of nineties country: Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, and Trisha Yearwood. Collectively, I have listened to their music more than any other country artists. Nobody else comes close.

    With Pam and Trisha, the projects have been few and far between in recent years. With Patty, she has only resurfaced as a guest vocalist, usually just providing harmony.

    So all I want to do is listen to the second verse of this record over and over and over again. I miss her voice so much.

  4. I largely agree KJC – I frequently revisit the silver age of country music, but for me that “holy trinity” of nineties country female singers consists of Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood and Suzi Bogguss.

    I do like Pam Tillis, but I like the above-three much more

  5. Finally got around to this, and I wholeheartedly agree with the consensus. My god, is it absolutely wonderful to hear from Patty again! Just hearing her voice again takes me back to my late 90’s middle school days when she was still a regular presence on the radio.

    As for Carly, this is hands down, one of the best things I’ve heard from her, yet. How refreshing it is to hear something this unapologetically COUNTRY coming from a relatively newer mainstream artist. This is more of the kind of music I’d absolutely love to hear from her, since it fits her voice like a glove, though I’m also realistic enough to know that she’d likely never have a radio hit again if she did (still I can wish and hope). If she could continue to take her music in this direction, while doing more radio friendly but still undeniably country material like “Every Little Thing” and “Next Girl,” I really think she could become something truly special.

    Kevin, that’s probably the most perfect holy trinity of female artists I can think of, though for me, I’d probably also sneak Lorrie Morgan in there and make it a quartet. :) Patty and Trisha have always been my two main gals, though, and they are probably the ones I’ve listened to the most over the years.

  6. I highly recommend Carly Pearce’s 29: Written in Stone album, which is an extension of the 29 EP. I think it is the first mainstream country album I’ve bought this year!

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