2011-06-10Nick's Picks: 07 Dreams, 08 Turpentine (even with the kitschy audience participation segment) FCC ALERT: Not on this cd Review of Brandi Carlile Live At Benaroya Hall With The Seattle Symphony Although her singing voice isn't as distinctive as, say, Emmylou Harris, she can certainly craft some listenable tunes. (In many respects her anthemic strains remind me of a cross between Ani DiFranco and Bonnie Raitt. And, much like her contemporary, Sarah McLachlan, she can make even the faintest sound come out clear as a bell. Most of the songs on this cd are penned by Ms. Carlile, and they are very melodic. The Seattle Symphony and the music hall make great backdrops to the band's music, and add a layer of depth that would not be found easily in the studio. Case in point: track 2 ("Sixty Years On"), makes much use of the entire orchestra, and it adds a melancholy turn to the song. Although track 3 ("Looking Out") leads in without the symphonic background, the strings play an instrumental part (pun intended) in the eerie beauty of this anthemic folk song. The next cut on this cd (4 "Before It Breaks") is an excellent listen, and a lot of the credit for that should go to the music arranger (for the symphony). The same holds true for the next song ("I Will"), as well as the 10th and 11th cuts ("The Story", "Pride & Joy"). We are treated to an uncredited song at the end of the lyrical rendition of Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah". The song is "Forever Young", originally written and recorded by Alphaville in 1984. All in all, this album is very listenable and I enjoyed it immensely. If you get the chance, go see her live - you won't regret it. And that's my two nickels worth................Nick ARTIST BIO: Before signing to a major record label, Carlile performed in local Seattle establishments like The Crocodile, Tractor Tavern, and Paragon with twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Carlile sold her self-released recordings during local performances. Carlile began to attract the attention of the music industry after Dave Matthews heard her band perform at the 2003 Sasquatch! Music Festival. Brandi Carlile performing in Birmingham, Alabama in 2006. Columbia Records signed Carlile in late 2004 on the strength of her home recordings. Her 2005 major label debut, Brandi Carlile included some of those songs as well as newly recorded tracks. After the release of Brandi Carlile, she went on tour with the Hanseroth brothers for almost two years, where they worked on songs that became part of her album The Story. In 2005, she was featured on Rolling Stone's "10 Artists to Watch in 2005" list. By the end of 2006, Carlile had toured as a headliner and supported other artists including Ray LaMontagne, Jonny Lang, Hanson, Indigo Girls, The Fray, Chris Isaak, Tori Amos, and Shawn Colvin. Her second Columbia album, The Story, was released in April 2007. It was produced by T Bone Burnett and includes a collaboration with the Indigo Girls on "Cannonball". The album was recorded in an 11-day long session with Carlile, the Hanseroth twins, cellist Josh Neumann and drummer Matt Chamberlain to capture the sound of her live performances. The crack in Carlile's vocals during the title track, "The Story", came out by accident and was a direct result of the way the album was recorded. Carlile describes the vocals as "technically wrong but emotionally right". She would also contribute vocals to "Last Tears" from Indigo Girls' Despite Our Differences. ABC's Grey's Anatomy featured three of her songs: "Tragedy", "What Can I Say", and "Throw it All Away". In April 2007, Grey's Anatomy debuted a version of the video for the single "The Story" interspersed with footage from the show. On 3 May 2007, a special two-hour episode of the show featured Carlile's song "Turpentine" during footage of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. Carlile's song "The Story" has been featured in a General Motors commercial aired during the Beijing Olympic Games, as well as in a Super Bock commercial. In March 2011, "The Story" was sung as the finale in the Grey's Anatomy musical episode by Tony Award winning actress Sara Ramirez who plays Callie. In November 2007, Carlile visited England for her first UK gig at the Borderline in London. In February 2008, Carlile performed as special guest to Newton Faulkner on five of his UK tour dates. During March and April 2008 Carlile toured through Australia with Maroon 5 and OneRepublic. In April 2008 she played four dates in the UK and was a guest performer on the BBC2 show, Later... with Jools Holland. Carlile's album The Story was released in the UK on April 21, with lead single "Turpentine" released on April 14. Her third studio album Give Up the Ghost was released on October 6, 2009. The album debuted at #26 on theBillboard 200 The album was produced by Grammy Award winner Rick Rubin and contains a collaboration with Elton John titled "Caroline". English singer Adele covered The Story's hidden track "Hiding My Heart" on a bonus edition of her 2011 album 21.
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