If tuned in to the Super Bowl on Sunday evening, you likely heard top-tier country singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile’s cover of John Denver’s 1971 hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in the trailer of forthcoming CBS series Clarice, which is set one year after the events of three-decade-old horror classic The Silence of the Lambs.
While Denver’s original is a soothing, yearning ballad, Carlile’s take is somewhat darker. Sparse and orchestral, it fits the new program’s mood based on Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel. Clarice stars Rebecca Breeds as serial killer detective Starling, who, with Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s aid, is searching for Buffalo Bill, an infamous murderer. Created by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, the program also stars Kal Penn and Nick Sandow.
Carlile’s eventful Super Bowl weekend also included performing during Verizon’s “Big Concert for Small Businesses,” alongside country performers Luke Bryan and Eric Church. As well, important to note for the future is Carlisle’s interaction via Instagram with Church’s National Anthem duet partner, Jazmine Sullivan. Carlile’s performance so enthralled the R & B star that she reached out the following day to potentially partner on new material.
This would not be Carlile’s first foray into a more soulful sound, as, in October 2020, she paired with Alicia Keys on the pro-voting anthem “A Beautiful Noise.” That track was aligned with a performance by the tandem on October 29-airing CBS program “Every Vote Counts: A Celebration of Democracy.”
This year also sees Carlisle nominated — via single “Crowded Table” — for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Country Song.