Rising Stars [Issue
Beyond Compare By
Seattle have compared Brandi Carlile to Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley,
and Bruce Springsteen. Like them, Brandi records for Columbia Records, but she
doesnt see herself as a female version of any of them.
our musics a little darker, she says in regard to the Springsteen
comparison. But its definitely a compliment.
Maybe the comparisons are due to Brandis age - shes only 23, but
she has put in years of performing at clubs, parties, sports bars, and showcases.
Shes sung backup for an Elvis impersonator, appeared at the legendary Lilith
Fair, and made a splash at this years South By Southwest music showcase.
Her debut album is a collection of gracefully arranged, warmly acoustic
songs that would formerly have been described as contemporary folk,
but have the modern perspective of alternative rock. While the guitar/bass accompaniments
by Brandi and Tim and Phil Hanseroth lull the listener into a mood of intimacy,
Brandi sings lyrics like, Maybe someday when youre old and gray
/ and your hair falls out and your tattoos fade / You might see me standing
/ Hat in hand (from Someday Never Comes.)
Brandi Carlile grew up in the small town of Ravensdale, near Seattle.
She developed an early interest in country music and remembers performing Tennessee
Flat-top Box at the age of 8. With a friend, Amber Lee, whom she commemorates
in the song Happy, she formed a rock band when both girls were in
their early teens. It was with Amber that Brandi also joined up with the Elvis
impersonator, the two girls creating their own choreography while singing.
When Brandi became serious about launching her career, she turned to the womens
rock community. She credits a conference held by Seattle-based Rockrgrl magazine
for teaching her about the music business. She teamed up with the Hanseroth
brothers, who also had a rock background, and played every gig she could get.
Hard work paid off when Columbias Tim Devine received Brandis demo
from her manager, was impressed, and came to see her in Los Angeles when she
opened for James Taylor. He called me the next day [while] I was at Disneyland!
As an acoustic performer, Brandi Carlile may be in a minority among Seattle
artists. But she notes: In our sets theres anything from me
sitting down with an acoustic guitar to all of us jumping and screaming.
Someday, critics maybe comparing new artists to Brandi Carlile.