Clare Dunn's tender ballad "Old Hat" runs counter to the guitar-laced, lusting, blues-country single she has on country radio. Here the Colorado native keeps a loved one's memory alive. Listen to "Old Hat" first during this exclusive Taste of Country premiere.

Long before she was heralded for her guitar skills, Dunn was an accomplished vocalist. In fact, she's been singing since she was six, and it shows on this delicate song. While not rangy, Dunn is asked to hold onto a gentle vibrato again and again, and she does it skillfully. Her phrasing is full and magnificent.

“Once upon a time / There was a girl running around in her daddy’s old truck / Couldn’t wait to see the world and shake off that dust / Once upon a dream / There was a land of bright lights and a big city / Boys were fast and the girls talked pretty / Then one day I got the call ..." she sings to begin "Old Hat." Keys, drums and acoustic guitar provide the arrangement. It's her melody that makes the song special.

"Now I got your old hat / I put on sometimes / When I wish I knew what you were doing, needing some advice / I got your old hat / And every now and then / I wear it backwards even though you hated that and I swear I can almost hear you laugh."

Dunn's been in Nashville for nearly a decade since moving from her family's Colorado farm to chase her dream. She tells Taste of Country her parents have been her biggest supporters, so it set her back when she almost lost her dad last year. "He had a heart attack," she says, admitting she thought about quitting music, "and I knew that if I didn’t get something going within a year after that I just wasn’t gonna keep dragging my family through all of that. I couldn’t.”

Dunn's self-titled EP drops on Sept. 18, featuring "Old Hat" and her current single, "Move On."

Artists to Watch in 2015