Singer and songwriter, Brandi Carlile has been categorized in several genres of music from alternative country and folk rock to pop and rock. Although her music has changed categories over the years, her country and western has never left her overpowering, enchanting, wonderful voice. Born in a small town with few residents just outside of Seattle, the Washington native spent her days making her own entertainment including hiking in the woods, building forts, and playing music with her siblings. As a self-taught singer, Carlile began her music career at the age of eight, when her mother took her on a local country radio show. By seventeen,she took her inspirations from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Elton John, learned how to play the guitar and piano, picked up song writing, and showcased her empowering voice in Seattle music clubs. Impressed by the instrumental skills and spot-on harmonies of the Hanseroth twin brothers, Tim and Phil, Carlile persuaded them to join forces with her, creating the emotionally powerful group, belting out tunes and leaving music lovers gasping in awe.
Just over a decade ago, Carlile released her debut self-titled album, earning her Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists to Watch in 2005,” which coupled with non-stop touring, slowly but steadily build her loyal fan base. Just two years later she had success with The Story, which was recorded in an eleven-day session with the twins and Matt Chamerlanin on drums, capturing the raw intensity of Carlile’s live performances and showcasing her famous lung power as she belted out lyrics as her vocals crack in the perfect places evident in the title track, “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am. So many stories of where I've been, and how I got to where I am.” In 2009, she released Give Up the Ghost, featuring one of her early influences, a collaboration with Elton John on Caroline, but her voice is still the highlight of the album, this time, thick and elegant. Her live performance in 2011, Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony, features recordings of two sold-out shows and a mixture of original and cover songs with her long-time band, the Hanseroth twins and help from the Seattle Symphony to dress up Carlile’s music, featuring woodwinds, horns, and strings. Again in 2012 she teamed up with the Hanseroth twins to make Bear Creek, showing a flirtatiouscountry folk side featuring A Promise to Keep, where Carlile sooths you with her melancholy voice, “I still talk to you in my sleep. I don't say much cause the hurt runs too deep. I gave you the moon and the stars to keep, but you gave them back to me.” Her latest album which was released last year, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, earned her first Grammy Award nomination. The album has a loose and live feel, and while each song has its own dynamic, the album is riddled with the familiar personal experiences and Carlile’s haunting but mesmerizing voice. The album varies from the quiet, acoustic, harmonizing melodies as The Eye sings, “You can dance in a hurricane but only if you’re standing in the eye,” while the album strays several times from the familiar tunes such as with the heavy foot-stomping beat in the song The Things I Regret.
With a love of classic country, the folk singer and songwriter blends her love of rock with the harmonies of her long history with the Hanseroth twins, incorporating gripping, operatic emotions to share her honest, familiar life experiences with her fans.
Do not miss Brandi Carlile’s incredible voice at Forecastle this Sunday on the Boom Stage!