I have wanted to interview urban folk/pop singer/songwriter Edie Carey since seeing her in concert at Cayamo this past February. She’s got a new album set for release by late October 2010, called Bring The Sea. In preparation for its release (and thanks to Carey for her time [as well as Concerts in Your Home founder Fran Snyder for putting me in contact with Carey])we discussed her music in this brief email interview.
Tim O’Shea: When a singer/songwriter goes to a country like Tanzania for two weeks on vacation as you recently did, do you typically get inspired to write a song or two. Or when you take a vacation do you decide to give your songwriting part of your brain a break as well?
Edie Carey: I definitely relished the opportunity to get on a plane without my guitar in tow for once. I love my job, but it can make me a bit single-minded sometimes. It’s good to remember the things that I loved to do before I ever started doing this….camping, exploring other countries, learning about history, architecture, science….It was a great mental break after finishing the new album.
A couple of months ago ConcertsInYourHome.com (CIYH), the largest and most active community of house concerts on the web, released its 48-page House Concert Guide and 2010 Calendar. As noted when the calendar was released: “The booklet is available as a free download, and hard copies are free for a limited time ($4 for shipping is the only charge.)…The guide, written by Fran Snyder [CIYH founder], provides all the basics for launching your own house concerts series, or simply hosting one show. It also shares tips and suggestions for experienced hosts to get the most out of the experience – how to engage your friends to attend, how to prepare for the evening, and how to attract the best talent possible.” The main goal of the website (which sports the fun motto of “Living rooms were made…for live music”) is to connect musicians with house concert presenters. I recently got a chance to do an email interview with Snyder about the guide and CIYH in general.
Tim O’Shea: When and how did you come up with the idea for CIYH?
Fran Snyder: At the end of 2005, my wife and I were contemplating another move (Texas to Kansas – for her job) and I needed a break from the gig-chasing rat-race. I had recently performed my first house concerts and was smitten with the idea of doing them on a regular basis, in different parts of the country. My online research turned up so many dead-ends and out-of-date information, that I decided someone needed to fix the problem. Someone, (me,) had to create a place where house concert presenters could form a community, inspire others to participate, and allow professional, talented artists to connect with them in a simpler way.
Singer/songwriter Sarah Sample has a subtle, yet impressive presence. The first time I saw Sample was not on a stage, it was on an elevator in the Norwegian Dawn (cruise ship) during the second day of Cayamo 2010. She boarded a crowded elevator in the midst of a conversation with another group. Just as quickly as she was engaged in discussion with them, she just as easily brought my wife and myself into the conversations. Not surprisingly she’s just as engaging on stage and with her music in general. After her performance with Darrell Scott on the cruise, I spoke with her briefly and she agreed to do this email interview. We got a chance to discuss her music and her affinity for in-house concerts. Before getting to the questions, consider some of the influences that Sample lists at her Facebook fan page: “Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Paul Simon, The Weepies, Emmylou Harris, Ray LaMontagne, Shawn Colvin…” My thanks to Sample for the interview.
Tim O’Shea: Can you breakdown the process of how you ended up as a performer on the Cayamo 2010 cruise–by winning the Concerts in Your Home (CIYH)/Cayamo contest?
Sarah Sample: I went on the Cayamo Cruise as a listener last year. My experience being on the boat as a listener was filled with beautiful memories of incredible musical moments; and at the same time it was hard to be a singer/songwriter and not be able to perform. This year I saw that CIYH was doing a contest where you could submit a video performance of a house concert, and the winner got to be an artist on Cayamo 2010. I play a lot of house concerts, so I selected a video of a song called ‘Mercy Me‘ and sent it in. When I got the call that I had won, I started jumping up and down in the kitchen. Really big dream come true.
Sorry for the blog silence for the past several days. My professional and personal life got quite busy just prior to going on Sixthman‘s Cayamo Cruise 2010 from February 21 to 26.
I was hoping to see a few shows on the first day of the cruise, but even I was surprised I was able to work five concerts into one day. I was banking on getting to see Katie Herzig and Emmylou Harris in concert on the first day–but I lucked out and was able to see John Hiatt, Edie Carey and Darrell Scott perform as well.
Ultimately, when all was said and done–I actually saw Hiatt perform four separate times over the course of the cruise. There are numerous other artists I got to see and learn about for the first time. A few of them, I really hope (can’t promise) to be able to interview in the coming months. If nothing else, I hope to interview folks at Sixthman, who organized the cruise.
And if I’m lucky, I’ll get to go to Cayamo 2011. But for right now, I am grateful for getting to be part of Cayamo 2010.
In my run-up to next week’s Cayamo 2010 cruise, I am trying to focus on certain new artists I am just learning about prior to the cruise. Today I am focusing upon Edie Carey. Go to her site, listen to her music.
Given how much of a Shawn Colvin fan that I am, I’m shocked I’ve not run across Carey before. I’ve never heard anyone sound so much like Colvin–and as you can guess that’s a compliment, not an insult. She has her own distinctive songwriting style, however, and I look forward to seeing her perform live next week.