XPN Welcomes Carsie Blanton w/ Milton
One of the best singer/songwriters around!
February 5, 2015 · 8:00pm
One of the best singer/songwriters around, Carsie Blanton, finds her way to Tellus! Opening the show is Milton.
XPN Welcomes Carsie Blanton
Here’s what you ought to know about me. First off, I love songs. I love pop songs, folk songs, jazz, soul, and rock songs. I write whatever kind of song gets my point across most clearly. My point, usually, is about the miraculous, ridiculous, confusing joy of being alive.
I love American pop music from every decade (Louis Armstrong to Beyonce), any folk music with guts (Nick Lowe, Patty Griffin), and just about anything that swings, grooves, or rocks (Billie Holiday, The Band, Donny Hathaway, Elvis Costello). Contenders for my favorite song of all time include “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?”, “Suzanne”, and “F**k You”.
I believe that music is magic, and everybody needs it. That’s why I give mine away.
I live in a pink house in New Orleans. I’ve got two dogs and a studio out back called The Watermelon. I grew up on a defunct cattle farm in Luray, Virginia. At sixteen I fled the coop to Eugene, Oregon. I cut my musical teeth in Philadelphia. I’ve played shows in most of North America and Europe, and soon, Australia. I’ve toured with Paul Simon, The Wood Brothers, and The Weepies. I ran a crazy-successful Kickstarter campaign. I’m an unschooler, a sex blogger, and a Lindy Hopper. I find four-leaf-clovers.
If I died, and somebody came up to me in the afterlife and said, “What were the best parts?”, I’d have to say songs, sex, creativity, raw oysters, bravery, small children, and the feeling you get when somebody is utterly in tune with you, like the same spirit is kissing both your faces.
I’ve spent a good part of my life in the library, a good part of my life in music venues and a good part of my life next to the record player. I grew up like most American suburban kids in the 1980’s, watching MTV and listening to top 40 radio. I also raided my friends’ parents’ record collections for all of the cool old stuff they had. “The Harder They Come” was one of the first albums I loved and it’s still one of my favorites. My songwriting heroes have always been the really smart ones who write great poetry over great tunes: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Irving Berlin, Hank Williams, Bob Marley. My favorite singers were always the real churchy ones: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Ralph Stanley, Dolly Parton, Toots Hibbert, The Staples. I also love raspy, intimate rock singers like Rod Stewart and Paul Westerberg. More than just about anything in life, I love a tune that you can’t wait to hear again, a story that takes you somewhere and a singer that you can feel in your heart.
I started hanging out in Greenwich Village when I was 12 or 13, looking for old records, checking out poetry readings and watching punk rock matinees at CBGB. My brothers had a band and I was often their roadie. I went to college and studied English and Spanish literature in New York City. I still live there today. I love the city very dearly. I love the country too, but I feel most at home in downtown Manhattan.
I started filling up notebooks with little rhymes and verses from a very young age. In high school and college, I’d write songs in class while the teachers lectured. I started playing my first gigs in coffee houses and bars, wherever I could. I only knew a few chords and I knew nothing about singing. I was lousy but I got better. I learned a lot on the job. I sent my first demos to a club called the The Living Room and soon I was a regular performer there. I put together a band to back me and we played all over the place. I was playing a solo set at a music conference in Florida when I got approached to make my first album. I sent it to my local radio station WFUV and my song “In the City” got a lot of airplay. Since then I’ve played a lot of gigs in a lot places and put out three other albums. I’ve written and recorded a lot of songs, I’ve played on TV and on radio stations around the country and I wrote the score for an HBO movie.
Just like when I was a kid, I’m still filling notebooks with rhymes every day and freaking out about great writing and great songs. You can hear echoes of a lot of my old records in my stuff, whether it’s blues or country or Nick Lowe or Jimmy Cliff or any number of things. I love keeping the roots alive in my music and I love the intimate experience of a song. I’d like to write a thousand more songs and play a thousand more gigs. You might see me on stage singing by myself, with a trio or with a six piece band. In whatever format I play, I’ll be going for something intimate and honest, trying to catch a good groove and tell you the story with all I’ve got.