Pearce closes 29: Written in Stone with heartfelt song
Carly Pearce has taken the notion of turning lemons into lemonade into an artist imperative. Over the last year, the songwriter from Taylor Mill, Kentucky, took the whirlwind romance and rocky end of her brief marriage and created the Country Music Association Album of the Year-nominated 29 and rest of the story on 29: Written in Stone.
“Truth is the one thing I think country music fans want more than any other kind of music’s fan,” Pearce says. “They can tell the difference, and they want that difference. In what was a tough year, they not only showed me that, but they also really stood by me, shared their stories with me – and gave me the inspiration to just keep moving forward.”
“What He Didn’t Do,” a dobro-tinged mid tempo that plays to the tear-stained fire in Pearce’s voice, is a more reflective take on the end of a relationship. Knowing it’s time to move on, Pearce and co-writers Ashley Gorley and Emily Shackleton looked for what was missing as a compass for where to head. A simple, direct lyric delivered over a straightforward melody, it’s Pearce at her leanest and best.
By the second verse, she’s aware of the healing taking place. “I’m already halfway over him and I ain’t taking time to turn around/ So I’ma take the high road…That’s just dirty laundry, I don’t need to air the truth,” the reigning Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist/Artist confesses, before turning to the chorus’s reality. “So I ain’t gonna tell you everything he did, But I’ll tell you what he didn’t do…”
As much a note to herself as a reminder to those listening, “What He Didn’t Do” is the final reckoning of a relationship that failed and a new set of standards for the next time she falls in love. Clear-eyed and unflinching, she evokes Tammy Wynette’s brave vulnerability on what is the final single from her life-leveling project.
“Life goes on,” explains the woman who was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and later this year, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. “You know that when you’re reeling, feeling the fool and so hurt… But then there’s a moment when those emotions start to clear. That’s when you look in the mirror and you ask yourself what happened and try to learn from your mistakes. That’s where ‘What He Didn’t Do’ came from. To me, it’s really a song of hope and trying to get smarter before moving forward.”
Recently filming Carly Pearce Inside 29: Written In Stone – Live from Music City with acclaimed director Shaun Silva at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works, Pearce’s summer is on Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now 2022 Tour of both stadiums and amphitheaters, as well as filling in her own dates.