Carrie Rodriguez talks about working fiddles into her songs, the influence New York had on her music, and channeling Alejandro Escovedo.
Plus feel good rock from Marshall Chapman, roots rock from The Del Lords, Texas twang from Shinyribs, a tribute to Louis Armstrong from the Dukes of Dixieland, new country from Ashley Monroe, and bluegrass from Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.
Carrie Rodriguez talks about how Give Me All You Got came together. She said she’d been putting out solo records since 2007. But she says “It was nice these last couple of years to just sort of take a step back especially from the songwriting part. And kind of assess where I’m at as a human being and what kind of songs are moving me. It was almost easier to do that by choosing other people’s songs to sing. Through that process I became excited about writing my own songs again. Many of the tunes on the album were written just after I moved back to Austin from New York City.”
Carrie Rodriguez sets up “Devil In Mind.” Shes says it’s fairly self explanatory. It’s about a night on the town. “A lot of times I get inspired, I’ll be out taking a jog in my neighborhood and some crazy line will pop into my head with a little fiddle melody. That was the case with ‘Devil In Mind.”
[Calvin plays "Devil In Mind" from Give Me All You Got by Carrie Rodriguez.]
Calvin asks Carrie Rodriguez why she decided to include an instrumental reprise for “Devil In Mind” on the album. Carrie Rodriguez says she loves instrumental tracks on albums. She knew she wanted one on the album but didn’t decide on which track would be the instrumental. “I think it was possibly our guitar player Luke who suggested, hey why don’t you try “Devil In Mind.” We went for it. It was very spontaneous. We just started playing, we didn’t know where it would go or who would take solos when, but I love the way it turned out.”
Carrie Rodriguez runs through the band line up on the album. Luke Jacobs palsy a lot of the rhythm guitars, sings backup vocals and plays lap steel. Hans Holzen is a long time friend and collaborator plays lead guitar. Kyle Kegerreis plays electric and upright bass. Don Heffington plays drums. Erik Deutsch plays keys. Carrie Rodriguez is lead vocals, fiddle, and tenor guitar on a couple of tracks.
Calvin asks Carrie Rodriguez about balancing fiddle with taking lead vocals. “When I first started doing solo stuff. I had trouble finding where to fit fiddle in. I was really concerned with singing the songs and getting the song across. It’s taken me some years to find out it fits into what I do and also to write songs that are geared to letting me play the fiddle. For example, “Devil In Mind” is based around a fiddle melody like an old timey fiddle tune. so that helps get it in there. And in my live show I often do instrumentals, at least one or two. I played the fiddle since I was five and was doing that long before I had any desire to be a singer or songwriter. So it is very important to me to keep it going and staying shape on my instrument.”
Carrie Rodriguez sets up “I Cry For Love.” Carrie says “This was a true gift. It came from one of our greatest songwriters of all time, in my humble opinion, Chip Taylor. Chip, just out of the blue, sent me this song as an MP3 file in an email and said Carrie, I wrote this song for you. It’s custom written and you better record it because I think it’s a hit. So I said ‘All right, It’s such a powerful song and I almost feel like I wrote it because I feel so close to it.”
Calvin plays “I Cry For Love” from Give Me All You Got by Carrie Rodriguez.]
Calvin asks if we can hear a little bit of Patti Smith coming through on that track. But Carrie Rodriguez says “I like the Patti Smith reference, but I was thinking about Alejandro Escovedo when I recorded that. I was thinking ‘What would Al do?’ I’ve had the pleasure of getting to work with him quite a bit, playing violin in his band and opening for him as well. There’s something about that energy when I am playing violin with him. He’ll just get right in my face and really demand that I ‘bring it.’ So I was trying to imagine him right there in the studio demanding that I bring it.
Calvin asks how Carrie keeps up her grueling tour schedule and making beautiful music every month. “When I am on the road, I’m kind of in another state. And I stay there. I get so much back from the people when I’m performing. It’s really a two way street and they really energize me. If’ I’m playing music that is moving people then they are going to give me back all the energy and more than I need and it’s really a beautiful thing. I think the tough part is when I finally get off the road and I actually stop the moving it’s tough to figure out what to do with myself and all that energy. It’s then that I start to feel road worn. But when I’m out there, not only am I getting the beautiful interaction every night at the venue. But also getting to see the world as a traveling musician is pretty cool. It’s a fun way to get to know our country and other countries as well.”
Carrie Rodriguez sets up “Lake Harriet.” She says this song “poured out of me one day almost complete. I was back stage at Eddies Attic in Atlanta, Georgia. I wrote most of it there. But truthfully I was pining for a guy who’s from Minneapolis. I was just kind of remembering the peaceful feelings that I had when I was taking a walk around their lovely lake.”
[Calvin plays "Lake Harriet" from Give Me All You Got by Carrie Rodriguez.]
Calvin asks about “Must Be The Whiskey” which was the first song Calvin remembers hearing Carrie Rodriguez. She says she doesn’t play that song unless Chip Taylor is there with her to sing the duet part. “His songs are so unique and uniquely suited to his voice and the way he delivers lines. So I just reserve those songs for when we’re playing together. We did a show together back in November. I flew all the way north of the arctic circle in Sweden to play one gig with Chip. It was a festival celebrating the coming of the dark. Because in the town of Kiruna in the winter it gets dark. I mean the sun doesn’t come up. So we played this festival and played a bunch of those songs. I remember doing ‘Must Be The Whiskey’ and it was really fun.
Calvin asks Carrie about the sound of Give Me All You Got. “It is the result of all our music personalities of the band put together. I lived in New York for nine years. I moved up there to be able to work with him more because he lives in the city. I was exposed to the most avant-garde jazz. I would go to the Village Vanguard and see amazing jazz. The indie rock bands in my neighborhood in Greenpoint Brooklyn. were pretty phenomenal. I think that all just started to seep in to what I do. Also I think the influence of Luke Jacobs who’s a big part of this recording can be felt. He comes from more of a pop/rock background. He was in the Minneapolis scene. I’m also more open these days to other things getting into my music…. I grew up in Texas. I love Texas music and I’m always going to sound somewhat Texas, but it’s fun for me to stretch out. This is probably the most diverse record I’ve ever made.”
Carrie Rodriguez sets up “I Don’t Mind Waiting.” She says, “It was fun to close with this. This is the one track I didn’t record with the full band at the studio in Berkeley. I started to write it with Luke in the studio. We were writing it during the sessions and came back to Texas. I felt like the album wasn’t quite complete. I felt like it needed a more intimate kind of folks song to close it. And this is a dreamy love song about meeting up in a dream world.”
[Calvin plays "I Don't Mind Waiting" from Give Me All You Got by Carrie Rodriguez.]
- Love In The Wind / Marshall Chapman / Blaze Of Glory / 3:20
- Chicks, Man! / The Del Lords / Elvis Club / 3:47
- Sweeter Than The Scars / Shinyribs / Gulf Coast Museum / 5:05
- Struttin With Some Barbecue / Dukes Of Dixieland / Celebrating Satchmo / 5:09
- Monroe Suede / Ashley Monroe / Like A Rose / 2:34
- I Fell Short (With Rob Ickes) / Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen / On The Edge / 3:56
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