Brandi Carlile: More to the Story

What a fine piece of writing, and what an intriguing artist. In other words, Carlile defies established convention about making a living doing music. It's interesting that we find ourselves having to make repeated elaborate arguments for the validity of art and authenticity as opposed to commerce, a dynamic which is ageless, but which is particualrly fraught in this culture, one in which greed and crap are the dominant norms, and then agree to accept that because somebody else, most others in fact, supposedly prefer it.

I think very few people, when asked directly, would say they do - only the cynics who consciously and intentionally profit from the weakness of others. But we are all, even those who buck the tide, trapped in it. There is nothing inevitable about the degree to which worshipping money is currently practiced. It's mutual consent that materialism is more important than anything else, assured and enforced by those who profit greatly. 

Here's to the Brandi Carlile's, the Hanseroth's, the Avett's, the Kelly McCartney's, and the rest of us who care to live another way, and may the norms change so we don't have to justify what is good, and rationalize what isn't. 

Thanks so much! I'll drink to that!!


Really fine article on Brandi & the twins. I first saw them perform at the Edmonton Folk Festival in 2011. They were just before the closing act whom I have forgotten. But not Brandi! They had 20,000 plus people eating our of their hands which is damn hard to do at an outdoor festival. Since then I have been fortunate to catch her/them on a number of occasions and each time left me feeling blessed. One of the things she does at each concert is to pay homage to her influences such as Johnny Cash, Elton, Freddy, Patsy and so on. These "tributes" really help bring her audience along as most of us know these works so well. On this site, it is likely the converted talking to the converted but here goes: If you have a chance to see the Brandi Carlile group perform, for heaven's sake get your ass there! You won't regret it.

I second that motion!

Saw Brandi at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival last month. She needs to realize that people want to hear more of her older material, especially since her newer material is rather pallid compared to some of her classics. It was sad to see her lyrics descend to pop psychobabble devoid of the authenticity that once defined her writing. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires owned the show that night.


Hmmm....have you heard the songs on the new record?

Check out this YT sampler of the tracks here:

The songs are really all over the map from a genre standpoint.

Mainstream Kid, Alibi, Blood, Muscle, Skin & Bones are not country at all. In fact, I love their sound. 

I am curious which songs you consider her "classics". I could probably ask different Brandi fans which songs they consider her "classics" and they wouldn't all give me the same answers. It's what I think is cool about her music.



Yes, she played most of her new record at the Folk Festival.  She has always transcended genres, she did so with depth- not schmaltzy pop psychology maxims that might be better suited for Oprah.  If you'd like to know which songs are considered her classics, listen to the songs she chose for her Live at Benaroya Hall recording.  I've seen Brandi live several times and the crowd was not with her in Ann Arbor this year as they usually are.  She put me in mind of Whitnney Houston or some other pop singer that night- great voice, but not so great material.  It's not that I don't appreciate new material. Ani DiFranco palyed the second night of the Folk Festival,  played mostly new material and knocked it out of the park.

Excellent piece!  I cannot wait for my copy of the new album to show up, and for my "bucket list" trip to Red Rocks for the Avett's run this July.  ('Too bad Brandi & Twins sell out so fast here in MN.)  If you're looking in the right places, it is a very good time for music!  

Red Rocks is on my list of must-dos, too. And, yeah, there's a LOT of great music happening these days.

Good read! What else can I say?

Do not know why Brandi Carlisle never got onto my radar. The videos made me realize what I've been missing. "The Story" .... WOW.    The harmonies on "the Eye", a treat for the ears. Now to delve into the music of Brandi Carlisle and the Twins.

DO IT!!! 

Personally, I say start with The Story, her second release, but not everyone agrees... as you read.

I WILL !    :)