A name that kept popping up in my feed and on socials was Meghan Patrick. She is a Canadian Country music singer who moved to Nashville a few years back to make a fresh start. When I interviewed Mitchell Tenpenny in April, I learned he and Patrick had recently wed.
But it wasn’t until I saw her interview on the I Am Second platform, that I found out what all she has conquered to get to where she is today. I knew then that I wanted to tell her story.
Although she studied opera and jazz music as a child, her real interest was in snowboarding. She was on her way to becoming a professional competitive athlete when a significant injury put a halt to her current plans. She found comfort in writing and playing music, a hobby that would eventually inspire her future career.
Initially, Patrick co-founded an all-girls band at age 13 and when she was older, she fronted a 10-piece funk band that opened for Aretha Franklin. But it wasn’t until touring with a bluegrass band, that country music found its way onto her horizon. They played for weddings, including country songs when requested. But it was when the group played at the famed Boots and Hearts Festival that she really caught the bug.
“My bass player and my bluegrass band were kind of a locally famous band in a small town. He got us into the [Boots and Hearts] emerging artist’s showcase. That was my first time being in a big country festival and around the fanbase. I just fell in love with it,” Patrick recalled.
She credits lead guitarist Sam Balson for teaching more about playing the guitar and songwriting. When she eventually parted ways with the band, she began writing songs on her own. She explained, “I wasn't trying to make them country songs necessarily, but that's just kind of how it came out.”
But while she was developing into the artist she would become, she found herself in an unhealthy relationship. Being a former competitive athlete, she was always a tough, tomboy sort, but she found herself in a situation from which she could not escape.
She advised, “It starts with emotional abuse. Your abuser will make a very concerted, consistent effort to break down your self-confidence in the way that you view yourself. When you do try and speak up, they'll find a way to turn it around, they'll gaslight you about the situation.”
The abuse got worse and worse and even got physical. When she felt sheer desperation and fear for her life, Patrick cried out to God in prayer, begging him to save her. And while she hadn’t grown up with faith — and didn’t know if God even existed — she continued to pray.
She eventually had enough courage to call the police and a “God-sent” police officer ultimately helped her remove herself from the horrible situation.
Once free from her abuser, the Canadian was able to concentrate more fully on her music. She released the EP Grit & Grace, a record where Patrick embodied the kind of unbridled truth-telling that leaves listeners feeling undeniably seen and understood.
This acclaimed work led to back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year whose accolades also include 18 CMA Ontario Awards. However, even with her newfound fame, her abuser was still around, and she was never completely at peace. That’s when she decided to move to Nashville.
Upon arrival to the town, she first met two female artists, Kasey Tyndall and Lainey Wilson. Both women of faith opened the door for her to explore what being a Christian was really about.
“I can't tell you how many times we sat around Lainey's kitchen table and just had the most incredible talks about God and about faith and what it meant to them and the way that they would answer my questions and they never judged me for not knowing things,” Patrick shared.
A year later she met Nashville-born country singer Mitchell Tenpenny, a sensitive guy who was the complete opposite of what she had experienced in the past. Besides having a sisterhood for the first time in her life, she found a partner who, to quote Maddie and Tae, “spent a lot of time fixing a heart he didn’t break.”
The song “God And A Good Man” is s testament to her newfound faith and her husband.
Now, the Nashville-based artist has doubled down on baring her soul in the making of her latest project, EP The Greatest Show On Dirt.
The EP begins with “She’s No Good For Me” a song that talks about shedding your old self and embracing your new one. When she changed her management, she felt that she was “shedding this former version of myself as an artist who kind of got caught up in the machine and lost a little bit of who I really was and what the kind of music I really wanted to make.”
With the title track, “The Greatest Show On Dirt” she learns that their relationship was just an act. With the lyrics, He was saying the right lines, laying it on me heavy/ He could move to LA, make a million dollars/ Maybe even someday he could win an Oscar/ And I can say I saw it first/ The greatest show on dirt you know Patrick has firsthand experience regarding the words to the song she is singing.
Patrick’s favorite song on the EP is “Red Roses & Red Flags.” She advised, “What a lot of abusers will do after they've pushed you too far and you're about ready to leave is they start love bombing you. There's flowers and cards and weekend trips away to make you stay.” This song is a warning to those who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Most recently, Patrick teamed up with Michael Ray to bring us “Spirits and Demons” a song that is quickly climbing the country charts. Yet her biggest hit to date is the Christmas song she performed with her husband, Mitchell Tenpenny. “I Hope It Snows” is about taking her husband to meet her family for Christmas. Being Canadian, snow is more common than rain. But with Tenpenny, “It was so endearing and cute to see how excited he got about it.”
Meghan Patrick has a beautiful voice and with her training/background you know she is a talented vocalist. But it is her songwriting ability that sets the singer/songwriter apart. The song “Praying Right” is a prime example of how the artist shares her heart in a stripped-down fashion that connects deeply with the audience. There is no show, no ulterior motive, it’s just who she is.
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Tracklisting for The Greatest Show On Dirt
- She’s No Good For Me
- Truck Breaks Down
- Greatest Show On Dirt
- Who would I Be
- Red Roses & Red Flags