Four Leaf Clover

Album: Strangest Places (1997)
Charted: 63
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Songfacts®:

  • In this hidden gem from the '90s, Abra Moore is feeling the pressure - her mind is racing and her body on overload. But she knows it will all work out because she has a four-leaf clover, a sign of good luck.

    The pressure she was feeling came from her record label, Arista. After she and her producer, Mitch Watkins, played the Strangest Places album to label executive Steve Schnur, he asked for one more song.

    "I remember walking down the hall and into my bedroom, chuggin' on my Drop D Martin guitar, feeling under the gun," Moore told Songfacts. "I think it was just the pressure, had it in about an hour."
  • Moore was touring with the inaugural Lilith Fair when this song was hot in the summer of 1997. Organized by Sarah McLachlan, it featured an all-female lineup that included Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Paula Cole and Lisa Loeb. Among festival tours that year, it was second only to Ozzfest in ticket sales and revenue.
  • Abra Moore was born in San Diego but grew up in Hawaii, where she did some modeling and formed a band called Poi Dog Pondering. The band relocated to Austin, Texas, a music hotspot, and Moore started a concurrent solo career there, releasing an independent album called Sing in 1995. That album got the attention of Arista, which signed her and released her album Strangest Places in 1997 with "Four Leaf Clover" the lead single.

    Pop radio playlists at this time were filled with artists like Jewel, Sheryl Crow and LeAnn Rimes, which crowded her out, but "Four Leaf Clover" still made the Hot 100, reaching #63 thanks in part to airplay on MTV. Moore opened shows for Barenaked Ladies, Matchbox 20 and Collective Soul, and her song "Don't Feel Like Cryin'" was used in the 1998 movie Sliding Doors. She sang on the original version of "I'm In," which later became a hit for Keith Urban, and co-wrote the song "You Get Me," which Michelle Branch recorded for her 2001 breakthrough album The Spirit Room.

    When Clive Davis left Arista to form J Records, he took Moore with him. She made an album with J called No Fear, but it was never released, per her request. "When the album was done, it just didn’t feel like me," she said.

    Moore released the album Everything Changed in 2004 and On The Way in 2007. In 2021, she gave Songfacts this update: "I haven't really toured much since my last album but I've been writing and recording, singing jazz and playing drums around Austin with friends and occasionally joining my first band Poi Dog Pondering on tour. Lots of new songs for another album..."
  • "Four Leaf Clover" earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, but lost to Fiona Apple's "Criminal."

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