with Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of The Cactus Blossoms
Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 8:00 PM EDT
(7:30 PM Doors)
The Southgate House Revival - Revival Room, Newport, KY
18 years and over
Carrie Rodriguez, who came to attention a decade ago performing with singer-songwriter Chip Taylor, has established an impressive roster of touring, recording, and co-writing affiliations—with Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones, John Prine, Mary Gauthier, Alejandro Escovedo, guitarist Bill Frisell, and others. Although she has issued three albums under her own name and enjoyed major label support for 2008’s She Ain’t Me, the release of Give Me All You Got marks a giant step for Rodriguez. The album was recorded with her own band and produced by the renowned Lee Townsend, with whom she has worked closely in the past. And the songs—which she wrote, co-wrote, or handpicked from the repertoire of longtime collaborators—establish her musical identity more powerfully than ever before.
After recording four studio albums with Taylor, Rodriguez made her solo debut in 2006 with Seven Angels on a Bicycle. “All of a sudden I found myself in this position of being called a singer-songwriter, which felt so strange,” she says. But she returns to that role quite comfortably on Give Me All You Got. The album includes songs by Taylor and Ben Kyle (with whom Rodriguez recorded the 2011 EP We Still Love Our Country), but its emotional core resides in originals drawn from Carrie’s personal experience. “I feel less afraid to write about what’s really happening, both to me and to people around me,” Rodriguez says. The song “Sad Joy,” for instance, arose from a conversation with Taylor about a loved one who was maintaining a “bright, beautiful attitude” while dealing with Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Chip and I were talking about how, when we are faced with those kinds of things, as sad and difficult as they are, they can also bring about a type of joy. The simple joy of people loving each other and holding each other up—in times of both celebration and in mourning. We started strumming some chords, and there it was, a song that lays out those raw emotions without being shy about it. Celebrating them, in fact.”
Give Me All You Got deals with a few dark themes, which is not surprising given that one of the first songwriters who inspired Rodriguez in her early teens was Leonard Cohen. “I listened to Leonard for a year and dwelled in the deep lowdown feelings he helped me feel,” she recalls. The sound of the new album, however, is “a little more infectious, rather than contemplative,” says producer Lee Townsend. “It still addresses Carrie’s roots in Americana, but also with a bit of a pop edge. I think it is her most mature record—every direction that is explored is distilled to an essential kind of expression.”