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Brandi Carlile


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative folk/country rock

Status:

Most recent release, The Firewatcher's Daughter (2015)

See also:

Brandi Carlile's site

Wikipedia's entry for Brandi Carlile

Comparisons:

Patsy Cline, kd lang, Eddi Reader (vocally), Laurie Freelove, Emmylou Harris, Maria McKee

Covers/own material:

Co-written and occasional covers

General comments:

The Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette influences are apparent in her rootsy music, as are hints of Freddie Mercury (Queen), Thom Yorke, and Jeff Buckley. But the comparisons, vocally, that I kept returning to were Eddi Reader (especially her upper range and the bending of notes) and Laurie Freelove (the gritty lower range and note breaks). (paul2k@aol.com)

Comments about live performance:

What i was surprised by was how familiar all her songs sounded to me, even though I didn't think I knew her music that well. I guess that happens when they've been playing her a fair amount on KCRW. That show was excellent. She reminded me, looks, performance and energy-wise, of Holly McNarland (although not quite as full force as Holly...I don't think anyone could match Holly's intensity, unless they spontaneously combusted on stage); her voice leaned towards that rough yet pretty, sometimes swoopy twang of Emmylou Harris and Laurie Freelove. But she was closest, in my ears, to the sound and songs of Maria McKee. A little more pop and rock, but still with that alt-country edge. (1/06, paul2k@aol.com)

Recommended first album:

The Story or Give Up the Ghost. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recordings:


The Story

Release info:

2007—Columbia—88697 00802 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Brandi Carlile—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Phil Hanseroth—bass, background vocals
Tim Hanseroth—guitar, background vocals
Josh Neumann-=—cello
Matt Chamberlain—drums
David Palmer—keyboards (3, 5, 6, 13)
Keefus Ciancia—keyboards (8)
Indigo Girls—vocals (9)

Produced by:

T Bone Burnett

Comments:

Fantastic country-flavored folk-rock record. There's not a weak moment on the whole album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Give Up the Ghost

Release info:

2009— Columbia—88697 24740 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Brandi Carlile—vocals, guitar, piano, banjo

Guest artists:

Tim Hanseroth—guitar, electric guitar, feedback guitar, drums, percussion, vocals
Phil Hanseroth—bass, upright bass, guitar, electric guitar solo, percussion, whistling, ukulele, vocals
Josh Neumann—cello
Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)—vocals (1)
Victor Indrizzo—drums (1, 2, 4, 7); percussion (2, 4, 7)
Jacob Hoffman—piano (1)
Lenny Castro—percussion (1, 4, 5, 8)
Benmont Tench—organ (3); piano (3, 8, 10)
Paul Buckmaster—string arrangement (3)
Chad Smith—drums (5, 6, 10); percussion (6)
Jason Lader—synth (5)
Elton John—piano, vocals (6)
Gibb Droll—slide guitar (7); dobro (8)
Jesse Carmichael—mellotron (11)

Produced by:

Jason Lader

Comments:

Another great album, again with no weak tracks. The music is more rock and Brandi's vocals are less raw. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony

Release info:

2011—Columbia

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Brandi Carlile—guitar, electric guitar, piano, vocals

Guest artists:

Jennifer Bai—violin
Mariel Bailey—violin
Theresa Benshoof—cello
Geoffrey Bergler—trumpet
Paul Buckmaster—orchestral arrangements
Jonathan Burnstein—double bass
John Carrington—harp
Vince Comer—viola
Michael Crusoe—timpani
Tony Dilorenzo—trumpet
Roberta Downey—cello
Wesley Dyring—viola
Zartouhi Dombourian Eby—flute
Justin Emerich—trumpet
Mara Gearman—viola
Sande Gillette—violin
Artur Girsky—violin
David Gordon—trumpet
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon—harp
Vivian Gu—cello
Phil Hanseroth—acoustic bass, bass, vocals
Tim Hanseroth—electric guitar, guitar, vocals
Ben Hausmann—oboe
Patrick Herb—trombone
Adam Iascone—French horn
Josh Neumann—cello, piano
Joe Kaufman—double bass
Seth Krimsky—bassoon
Mae Lin—violin
Emma McGrath—violin
Allison Miller—drums, snare drums
Michael Miropolsky—violin
Sean O'Loughlin—orchestral arrangements
Jon Pagan—electric guitar, piano
Mark Robbins—French horn
Christopher Sereque—clarinet
Mikhail Shmidt—violin
John Weller—violin
Michael Werner—percussion
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky—violin
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto—trombone

Produced by:

Martin Feveyear

Comments:

I really like this CD. It totally made me want to see her live and even playing with a symphony, the album feels loose and passionate rather then over-arranged. And it seems like you can't have too many versions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". Also a really beautiful video for "The Story" came out in conjunction with this release. (neal)

Love this woman, love this album. Some of the songs showcase the orchestra more than others. "Before It Breaks" isÉ wow. The beautiful audience-participation rendition of "Turpentine" was my go-to song for catharsis this year, always calming me down and making me feel better. Overall it really makes me want to go see her in concert, and isn't that what a live album is supposed to do? (JoAnn Whetsell)


Bear Creek

Release info:

2012—Columbia

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Brandi Carlile—primary artist, songwriter, vocals, guitar, piano, organ, handclaps, electric guitar

Guest artists:

Phil Hanseroth—bass, vocals, handclaps, percussion, tambourine, piano
Tim Hanseroth—guitar, vocals, banjo, ukelele, handclaps, percussion, electric guitars, additional recording
Jeb Bows—mandolin, violin
Matt Chamberlain—drums, handclaps, percussion
Jared Faw—piano
Frogs—Bear Creek frogs
Jay Joyce—mandolin
Allison Miller—drums, percussion, handclaps
Josh Neumann—cello, tambourine
Dave Palmer—piano

Produced by:

Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth, Jay Joyce, Frank Liddell, Trina Shoemaker

Comments:

One of the best of 2012. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

Another great album, this time with more of a country/country rock feel. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Firewatcher's Daughter

Release info:

2015—ATO Records—8 80882 22372 4

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Brandi Carlile—vocals, acoustic guitar, guitar, electric guitar, organ, piano, electric piano, percussion, keyboards

Guest artists:

Phil Hanseroth—vocals, bass, ukulele, stomps and claps, drums, percussion, electric guitar
Tim Hanseroth—vocals, electric guitar, guitar, slide guitar, bass, stomps and claps, percussion
Brian Griffin—drums (1, 3, 4, 8, 9); percussion (1, 3, 6–10)
Ryan Hadlock—stomps and claps (4); percussion (7); piano (10)
Josh Neumann—cello (5, 6, 8, 10); strings (12)
Jerry Streeter—bell (7)
Mike McCready—electric guitar (7)
Catherine Carlile—vocals (8)
Jay Kardong—pedal steel (8)

Produced by:

Brandi Carlile and Phil & Tim Hanseroth, Trina Shoemaker, Ryan Hadlock

Comments:

Some reviewers are calling this album Brandi's most rocking to date, and it is, but there's also a good dose of slower, moodier folk songs and the sort of alt-country/folk rock that make up The Story and Give Up the Ghost (my favorites among her albums). Indeed, The Firewatcher's Daughter feels much closer to those albums than Bear Creek did. I could name several standout tracks (especially the first three, "Wherever Is Your Heart," "The Eye," and "The Things I Regret"), but I think the most affecting track is the simple and beautiful album closer, "Murder in the City," an Avett Brothers cover. Overall, a very strong effort. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Compilation work includes:

  • "Closer to You" on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants soundtrack (2005)
  • "One Magic Kiss"* on Nickelodeon's Sleepytime Lullabies (2008)
  • "The Heartache Can Wait" on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs (2008)
  • "Dreams" on Lilith (2010)
  • "Folsom Prison Blues" on the CD/DVD set We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash (2012)
  • "The Chain"* on Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs (2014)
*Track not available elsewhere.

Collaborations include:

  • "Last Tears" with the Indigo Girls on their album Despite Our Differences (2006)
  • "Ozilline" and "Don't Think Twice" with the Indigo Girls on their album Staring Down the Brilliant Dream (2010)
  • "Old Rugged Cross" with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the album Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall & the Preservation Hall Outreach Program (2010)
  • "Take Me Home, Country Roads" with Emmylou Harris on the compilation The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver (2013)
  • "Making Believe" with Willie Nelson on his album To All the Girls (2013)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2015-09-22 18:18:01.
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