JM: Carrie, when
did you start singing, you sound like a natural?
CH: I started
singing in church at the age of 8. I knew that from
that moment I wanted to be a singer.
JM: I was
surprised when I heard your first CD at how good it
was in every way. I shared some mp3s of that disc
with some musical buds of mine and a couple of them
were quite blown away too. Your career has been a
bit of a fairy tail. I have so much respect for
Jim Van Cleve, it must have been amazing when
he took you in after hearing your demo tape? Do you
have any favorite artists that have inspired you?
CH: As a
pre-teen on into my teen years I sang everything
Sherri Easter released. I am also a huge
Patsy Cline fan. I started singing gospel,
and then went on to a variety of other music.
However, the first bluegrass song on stage was Steel
Rails... it was then that I knew bluegrass was where
I wanted to be. Bluegrass has been very good to me.
The people are very honest and real. Those qualities
are very important to me. I think that is why I love
bluegrass so much.
JM: I have been
doing some kind of music my whole life and I just
love the resurgence of bluegrass. There is stuff I
call new grass like the Greencards and the Duhks.
Your music is traditional, but it is recorded in an
incredible modern way, the sound has a sheen on it.
Your second CD is one of the highest quality
recordings that I have heard this year and easily,
(not easily), but best by a bluegrass group. The
tones of the instruments and vocals are Big Time.
Can you explain what it is that makes this second CD
jump up several notches into the realm of
CH: We have
worked very hard as a team to create a sound that
stands out. We wanted to create a sound that was
still true to it's roots, but at the same time had
Jim VanCleve and
David Hall (album engineer) understood what
we were trying to achieve, and captured it on this
album just like we had envisioned.
JM: I just
Mountain Heart's Live CD, what a group, Your
label, Rural Rhythm, are a great bunch of folks.
Your vocals have a quality that is hard to describe,
"Turn The Page" with
Shilling is past incredible, I just love that
kid, he is so creative. He sings so well with and
does some great things. You must be grateful for all
of the great songs that your group members have
written for you, they seem made for you. Do
you enjoy the studio experience? What was it like
getting to use Omnisound Studio, that place has a
great reputation and the best equipment made, but
you have to have someone who knows how to use it,
for an engineer.
CH: The studio
experience is very rewarding and at the same time
exhausting. You want to make sure that everyone that
has put something on the CD is happy with their
part. Sometimes this means long hours and many
takes. Having a studio like Omnisound and an
engineer like David Hall is icing on the cake. It
all goes into making a product that makes everyone
JM: You can't
teach emotion, yet you really live your songs, Does
"She's A Stranger In His Mind" touch your life, I
mean the lyrics?
CH: I think
that anyone that truly listens to the words of this
song could not help but be touched in some way. Mark
Brinkman simply did an amazing job writing
this song. It was difficult at times just to make it
through the song getting it ready for the album. You
can read the words to this song and totally be
filled with emotion. This song literally puts you
into the lives of the people in the story.
JM: Well, Carrie,
from my boss Jim Weaver at CSO (he's a big bluegrass
fan too) and myself, thanks for time and this great
CD, I grew up in Tennessee and used to go thru
Crossville a lot, I hope you and your band can make
it up to Philly some time, we have a lot of
CH: Thank you
so much for the opportunity and for your time. I
hope that we are up your way very soon. I appreciate
your kind words and look forward to seeing you soon.
Thank you for the wonderful album review.