Rising country star Clare Dunn first came to our attention in 2016 when she took our breath away during the Colorado Matters Holiday Extravaganza. Her rendition of "O Holy Night" took our breath away.
Dunn grew up on a farm and ranch in Two Buttes in southeastern Colorado. She now lives in Nashville where she built a home studio and is busy recording and touring.
Before a recent concert at The Sundance Steakhouse & Saloon in Fort Collins, she welcomed us aboard her tour bus for conversation ... and laughter.
On her country power ballad 'My Love':
"For me, this song is really at its core about passion. Loving whoever you love with passion and not being afraid to. We might get hurt. We kind of get a little bit guarded sometimes. And this song is really just a message of not letting that past experience hold you back."
On when she's been burned in love:
"Sometimes, especially with this lifestyle, with being a musician, you're a little bit of a gypsy. You are everywhere all over the place. Not everyone understands that. And that is very personal because it's like, 'Man, why wasn't I enough to overcome that?' Or you know, 'Why wasn't I enough that this lifestyle didn't matter?'"
On how her parents encouraged her as a kid:
"We had a little dance studio about an hour north of the farm in Lamar, Colorado. Right along [Highway] 287, which takes you from Denver to Dallas. That studio became a haven for me growing up. It was a form of expression. My mom drove me and she literally wore out an old Suburban engine taking me up there.
My parents each came from farming families and ranching backgrounds, but they weren't encouraged like they encouraged my sister and I to follow whatever their dream is ... So that's how dance came into my life because I was just this little crazy kid running around the house singing and dancing around and just jigging. And my mom was like, 'What do I do with this child?' And when I was in kindergarten, she asked me, 'There's a dance studio. Do you think you'd want to go?'
I remember having this feeling of looking around this room and I was like, 'I am dancing.' And I was a kindergartner and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is the most amazing thing.'"
On whether Two Buttes, Colo. really has 43 people:
"The last time I checked it was 43 population and I was like, 'There is no way.' And so my joke is, I think they took the census at Christmas time when relatives were home visiting families, 'cause I don't believe that there's actually 43."
Answers are edited and condensed for clarity.