On Monday night, New York country fans kicked off the week at City Winery NYC with the uber-talented, Clare Bowen. To no surprise, her beloved “Nashies” came out in full force to support the singer-songwriter playing the opening night of her US Tour, which is continuing this week. Giving fans exactly what they wanted, she performed a mix of songs from the TV show Nashville as well as music from her newly released self-titled debut album.
Kicking off the night, Bowen ran up on stage looking stunning wearing a silk white top and a long flowing white skirt with her signature features in the hair and of course taking part in a tradition she has been doing for years, performing barefoot. Ready for the night the crowd gave her a huge warm welcome cheering as she jumped right into her song, “Lijah & The Shadow.” After the first song, Bowen took a moment to talk to the crowd saying, “It is such a pleasure to be here with you all here tonight! This is wonderful we’ve all traveled the whole world touring this album…we started in Germany then we went to the UK, Australia, and now we are here. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be here with you tonight, it is such a pleasure and if you don’t mind I will sing the very first song I ever sang for the show Nashville.” Singing a fan-favorite and one we will never forget, she took the crowd back to the days of Scarlett O’Connor singing “If I Didn’t Know Better.”
With the night just getting started Bowen continued her set telling personal stories to the crowd while making jokes in between to lighten the heaviness. Before going into her next song, she wanted to take a moment to tell the crowd how she grew up in a hospital while being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was four years old. Almost losing her life to the battle, she is still standing strong today and is here to tell her story to the world. Making this moment extra special she had her brother Timothy Bowen up on stage with her performing alongside her on the guitar. She wanted to dedicate a song to their parents saying, “Mom and Dad are two of the strongest people…they made a childhood that could have been real scary into one I wouldn’t change for the world, this is for them.” Singing her song “Door and Corridors” off her debut album, there wasn’t a person in the crowd who wasn’t in complete awe of the singer-songwriter.
As the night continued, the Bowen performed a mix of songs off her debut album, “Aves Song,” “Little By Little,” and “Lullabye,” while incorporating Nashville’s fan-favorite “Black Roses,” “It Ain’t Yours To Throw Away,” and “When The Right One Comes Along.” She even switched things up, handing over the spotlight to the people she loves on stage with her. Mentioning that she isn’t the only singer up there while taking a moment to talk about how wonderful the experience of being on a TV show like Nashville was. Before handing the spotlight over, she said “One of the best parts for me was watching my brother Timothy get to write this song that Deacon sang on the show. I would just love to hand over the stage to him right now because it’s a very special song and I do love to hear him sing it.” Giving Bowen a chance to be the audience she took a seat on the floor while she watched her brother sing an unbelievable rendition of “From Here On Out,” showing that she isn’t the only one in the family with incredible talent. In addition to Timothy taking over, she handed the stage over to her husband, Brandon Robert Young to sing one of his very own songs, “Hate It For You.” Bowen continuing to sit on the floor provided harmonizing backup vocals while watching in complete awe of the love of her life. Young showcased his pure talent and insane vocals with the crowd, making everyone watching fall for the artist.
Before going any further in her set, she took a moment to say, “I’m so grateful for all the Nashies for sticking around and all the new people for coming along, it’s just a lovely big room of love this evening, I’m really enjoying it thank you.” Bowen continued to openly show her emotions throughout the night sharing her personal stories while keeping positive and showing the light at the end of the tunnel. She couldn’t continue her performance without dedicating one song to the children who weren’t so lucky and lost their lives at the hospital, where she spent her childhood. Telling the crowd, “This is the final one on the record, it nearly didn’t make it, we weren’t sure what to do with it and I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough to put it out…I know now that every time I walk on stage they are right here with me I know that and I love them for it…This is for everybody out there, this is “Warrior.” The singer-songwriter was a beam of pure light and hope, showcasing her talents and speaking words of encouragement to show everyone just how precious they really are. To learn more about the writing process behind “Warrior” watch our Swag Session interview below.
The singer-songwriter wasn’t done yet, she had a few more songs to share, one of which is her second favorite song from the show Nashville sung by the talented Lennon and Maisy Stella. The singer-songwriter did not disappoint singing a beautiful rendition of the song “Sanctuary” while everyone in the audience quietly sang along. Stepping up the energy she picked up her tambourine performing the lead single off her self-titled debut album, “Let It Rain,” as well as a cover of “That’s Alright” by Mystery Train. Getting the crowd moving, she danced on stage showing off her wild side. Before running off stage, she said “We love you very much, thank you for having us this has been absolutely magical. Thank you for being the first amazing first show of the US Tour that I could have dreamt up!”
Everyone was cheering, knowing that the show wasn’t over just yet, she came back running out on stage to perform a two-song encore. For the first time ever she sang the song “Forever,” that her character Scarlett sang on Nashville. With just one song left everyone knew exactly what it would be, the song that became one with the show Nashville and its true essence. Before going into the song everyone was waiting for she said, “People ask me all the time and I just gotta commit to it because it’s all about how we get to do all this cool stuff, we got to play the O2 arena, we played the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, and we play here. That’s the thing for me there’s no difference between standing in front of 20,000 people or whether I’m standing in front of 300 beautiful people, this is so special. It just shows you don’t have to have much to have a life that’s good so thank you.” Making it a moment to never forget she brought back out her entire band, and opener Imogen Clark to sing her favorite song “Life That’s Good.” The entire audience was ready for this moment and sang back every word without hesitation, harmonizing beautifully in unison.
Bowen didn’t miss a beat, showing that she is not only a force to be reckoned with but that she is a passionate, loving, and hilarious individual on and off stage. Keeping the crowd fully entertained the entire time, she shared personal stories showcasing her ability to speak openly as well as sharing her beautiful vocals with the world.
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