Well, here I am in blog world. It's exciting, really. I spent a good part of my morning writing a little piece for nessmp3, an independent music site coming out of the UK. The owner of the site describes it like so:
"Music Lovers can stream or download independent music and watch videos of bands,interviews and festivals.
Create a free "Member account" to interact with artists,become a fan, rate tracks and post reviews.Host your "Own Blog" upload images and even create your "Own Station" from music on the site.All Blogs have RSS feeds."
I highly recommend going to the site and taking a peek. It's pretty cool. www.nessmp3.com
Anywho, I'm now working with my publicist in the UK to get things moving over seas. I think for my first blog, I'll just cut and paste the message I wrote for nessmp3 this morning. It's the first time I sat down and put into words what the songs on the new record are about....
Writing from across the waters.....
By carrieelkin, Posted 18/01/08 16:43:25
I am delighted to hear my record "The Jeopardy of Circumstance" is making its way across the water and into your ears. It's never easy to brag about your own record, but I will tell you this, the project was made with an enormous amount of joy and goodness. I believe this shines through on each and every track. One of my favorite songwriters, Danny Schmidt, described the project like this: "With the fire of Patty Griffin and the rawness of Rickie Lee Jones, Carrie Elkin's songs are, at once, intimate yet universal, naked yet richly adorned. The Jeopardy of Circumstance is an irresistibly joyful and spontaneous recording." The recording is a combination of gospel, old country, rock, americana, and folk. I do believe it's more fun to listen to a record when you know a little bit of the meaning of each song and perhaps a little about the process of creating the song in the studio. Feel free not to read all my rambles. I suppose this is like watching the preview for a movie. Some folks enjoy not seeing a preview at all and some folks love to know what might happen. If you're more like the latter, I encourage you to read on. This is the first time I've attempted to really describe what's going on in each song. I hope you'll come along for the journey......
The record opens with a slow sort of ambient song called "Obadiah". If I were to write my own little bible story, this would be it. It's really about struggle with spirituality in general and how that takes it's toll in every aspect of life. It's also about wanting to talk about this issue and not being able to. It's sort of ironic really, because I still don't REALLY explain it in the song. So it goes.
Track Two "Roots & Wings" is normally tagged as the "single" on the record. It's an inspirational song and a rocker all at the same time. I love the the guitar work and the organs. They fit the energy of the song perfectly. I grew up in Ohio....the mid-west.....and I've had this struggle for a long time with wanting the traditional mid-western lifestyle and also wanting to lead this non-traditional life of music. I've had the habit of getting myself into "comfortable" situations and after a year or two, getting antsy and mad at myself for not truly following my heart. I believe there's some sort of happy balance between the two.....
Track Three "Did She do Her Best" was a last minute addition to the record and is actually where the title "The Jeopardy of Circumstance" comes from. See track two and imagine me leaving the comfortable situation. This is the story of the heartache of leaving someone I loved very much and the guilt associated with that experience. Eeeek.
Track Four "Ode to Ogallala" would take a whole blog entry to explain. In short, I was touring in my 1979 VW Type II and the engine blew in Ogallala, Nebraska where I was stranded for two weeks. I ended up meeting up with a group of cowboys and working on a ranch and even doing a cattle drive! I had a big ol' crush on one of the cowboys and we had these really sweet innocent times together dancing and talking about cows. HA. It still makes me laugh.
Track Five "Questions About Angels" is probably my favorite track. Most folks have no idea what it's about but they tend to like it because I talk about Whiskey. I do love the Whiskey. Anyway, the song is really about how ugly money can make a man (or woman for that matter). It also incorporates religion and how folks go to church with complete disconnect and for some reason feel okay about that. I say go if you want to and understand why you're there or just don't go at all.
Track Six "Year Before the War" is a little about my Grandpa. He was a photographer (and is still alive at 97 years old). Now, please note, I used my imagination in this song A LOT. For instance, he wasn't married to a woman named Clair or Helen and he didn't drink. It's mainly about going blind and how that might affect the mind. I suspect, if you're a photographer, you think of your eyes as your heart. I know he did and when he lost his vision, he lost his ability to communicate through photographs.
Track Seven "Shell of a Man" is the old school country tune in the record. My family thinks it's the best sing-along track. It's not a real personal song. Basically, I was driving in the middle of nowhere and saw a shack with a sign that read "please stop, i'll read your palm". I imagined a man stopping and having this crazy old lady tell him his life line is short. I then imagined the man running about town thinking he was going to die and hooking up with all these ladies and then discovering he wasn't going to die after all. It's silly, really.
Track Eight "Broke TV" is the pop song. It sounds like a very happy song, but if you take a good listen, you'll hear that it's depressing as hell. The production on this one is real lazy, which suits the song. It also has a killer Melodica solo in the middle.
Track Nine "Black Lung" is certainly the most sad song. In fact, take the saddest song and multiply that by ten and that's how you'll feel after you listen to this one. It's about my other grandpa who died of black lung. Quite honestly, that's the only part of the song that's true. Oh wait, he did die when I was nine and it was in between our birthdays. The banjo on this song really carries it and gives it that old timey feel. The assistant engineer for the record LOVES this song. She stayed up night after night making it just how she wanted it and I greatly appreciate her efforts. She did an amazing job.
Track Ten "The Gospel Song" is where the love is! There were a lot of us in the studio hooting and hollering and carrying on. I wrote this song after meeting someone that really "got" me. He was really open to me and my music from the very beginning. He was also drunk when I met him. But at least I got a song out of it, right?
Well, I guess this sums it up. Your eyes and brain probably hurt you right now. Thanks so much for taking a listen to my music. I'd love your feedback and can't wait to follow the record across the ocean for a tour. Simply. Carrie