Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 7th 2010 9:00PM by Matthew Wilkening
Carrie's unique blend of country, rock and folk caused Knoxville's Metropulse to rave that "radio stamps like Americana, chick-rock, and new traditionalist don't come close to all that Carrie's doing." Rodriguez is currently touring the country in support of her new covers album, 'Love and Circumstance.' Spinner recently spoke to a "very caffeinated" Carrie recently on the phone from a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon.
Describe your sound in your own words:
Well, there are a lot of different elements that go into what I do. I play the fiddle, so some people might think country when they hear my music, in the beginning. But I play a lot of other different instruments in there, too. I think that helps create a more ambient sound. Sometimes we rock out, sometimes we play intimate folk tunes.
How did your band form?
I've been playing with the same bass player, guitarist and drummer for about three years now. Sometimes we have to scale it down, depending on the tour. But they're all gonna be with me in Austin, as well as a pedal steel player.
But there's no set band name?
No, no, we've been toying with names for the last three years, but they're usually pretty inappropriate. We make them up after we've been in the van for 12 hours, and they get pretty awful. One of these days we'll get a real one.
Who are your musical influences?
My dad is a folk singer, a songwriter [David Rodriquez] and when I was a little girl, I remember him playing me political folk songs to put me to sleep at night. He also gave me a Leonard Cohen tape for my birthday when I was nine. So I know that probably has something to do with why I'm doing what I'm doing now. But also, growing up in Austin, I mean, I got to see a lot of great Texas blues, plus other singer-songwriters, people like Lucinda Williams, who's been a huge influence and inspiration to me. Also, I listen to a lot of instrumental music, world music, people like Ali Farka Toure. I love Bill Frisell, he's one of my all-time favorite musicians. I probably have about fifteen of his records in my collection.
What's your biggest vice?
Ooh. Coffee is a pretty big one. It's a necessary vice, though. There comes a point where if I haven't had my coffee at a certain hour in the morning, all hell breaks loose and you don't want to be within ten feet of me.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
OK, I actually like Lily Allen. I mean, there's nothing wrong with liking Lily Allen, but British pop music is a guilty pleasure. I listen to it when I go running.
You've always lived in Austin, right? Then later you got your professional start at SXSW?
I grew up there, left when I was 17, went to college up at Berkley College of Music in Boston, then lived in New York City for the last nine years. I'm just about to move back to Austin--March 1st will be my move in date. So I haven't lived there in years, but it's my hometown, my whole family is there.
As an resident expert then, what's in your festival survival kit?
Well, at South-By, you just need to eat a bunch of tacos and stay hydrated. I've played a fair amount of festivals, especially in the summertime. Outdoor festivals, that kind of thing. Which is fun--it's a nice way to see your friends. Usually there's a band or two on the bill you're friends with. It's a good opportunity to connect with people out on the road.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Let's see. I mean, I can think about the ones I have now, but as for when I was a kid. Johnny Depp is definitely up there, that's for sure. I remember, what was that TV show, Jump Street, that was probably the first place I saw him. But now, I dig on Benecio Del Toro. He's dark, brooding. We all want to see 'Wolfman.' We've been on the road, looking for a theater to see it on a day off.
Beatles or Stones?
Stones. I actually grew up listening to the Beatles more. I love them, 'The White Album' was one of my favorite albums growing up. But, as I've gotten older, I think the Stones records stick with me more. I keep going back and listening to them. I love 'Beggar's Banquet.' I love the sloppy, semi-country rock that they did. I'm out on the road now with Alejandro Escovedo, he does the most killer version of 'Beast of Burden' I've ever seen, so I'm just more in that mindset right now.
What's the craziest thing you've encountered while on tour?
My first gig was with Chip Taylor--that's who I got hooked up with at SXSW. So I went on the road with Chip in Sweden, and my first tour over there, I came to realize he had some die-hard fans. There was this one family that would follow him around to all the gigs in Sweden. The grandmother had a tattoo on her arm of Chip's signature. She had him sign something, took it to a parlor, and had it tattooed on her arm. She was 80 years old!
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