In September, Clare Dunn stopped by the Grand Ole Opry to share her beautiful song “Old Hat.” Though Dunn usually keeps a more uptempo, pop-learning sound, the stripped down version of this tune really showcases her vulnerability.
Before the song, Dunn dedicated the track to anybody who’s lost somebody important to them. “Old Hat” talks about those items we use to remember the ones close to us.
“Then one day I got the call,” Dunn sings. “Now I got your old hat. I put it on sometimes when I wish I knew what you would do and needed some advice.” The way she describes the hat underlines just how much everyday items can mean to somebody. In particular, clever touches such as calling it “sweat-stained” and “right-brained.”
The performance also came on a special night for the Grand Ole Opry. Her appearance took place during a special Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Night. Watch the touching performance below.
For Dunn herself, the song borrows from a very real moment. Her mother gave her the hat, which belonged to her father. But after a scary night in which Dunn thought she might lose her father, she looked to the hat to give her strength.
Dunn grew up in southeast Colorado working on the family farm. She briefly attended college in Texas before moving to Nashville to attend Belmont University.
One of her first big songs came when she sang background vocals on Luke Bryan’s song “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” Then in 2013, she released her debut song “Get Out.” That tune helped her become the highest charting independent female artist on the Music Row charts in 10 years. She released her self-titled EP in 2015.
You can catch Dunn playing a few shows around the country throughout 2017.