My daughter pried the computer from my hands and promised, as she accessed Brandi Carlile’s live version of “The Story”, I would thank her. Not only did I thank her, if it hadn’t been after midnight, I would have gone immediately to buy the CD.
My other daughter was in the car the first time she heard Brandi Carlile on the radio and had the same impulse; if not pressed for time, she would have gone then to buy the CD. My best friend and my grandson watched the video and wanted the CD. My granddaughters evicted me from the computer so they could watch the video.
This twenty-six-year-old singer, musician, sage, and poet crosses generations and connects to her audience in a mutually heartfelt trance. She delivers the gut-level emotion of Janis Joplin, with the crystal-clear voice of K.D. Lang, inducing authentic, physical wrenches in the heart of the listener. Her unique genre encompasses folk, rock, blues, and pop, with a natural yodel adding a hint of an ethnic or country sound.
After spending one full day with my Brandi Carlile CD, I felt guilty. I transferred $9.98 to SonyMusicStore.com. If Sony had sent nothing more than the insert of poetic lyrics, I would be pleased with the bargain and only slightly disappointed that she is treading on the place in my heart that until now belonged to Kris Kristofferson and Gary Morris.
But the lyrics were only the beginning. In addition, I received Brandi Carlile’s heart, soul, energy, genius, magnificence, and some of the purest talent I have heard in my fifty-three years of devouring music. She enriched my life with indelible pleasure.
This tribute is the best I can offer to settle the difference. It hardly seems fair.
Brandi wrote eight of the songs on this CD and co-wrote three others. Phil and Tim Hanseroth, who provide background vocals and musical accompaniment, wrote the others. All are inspirational. The pleasing intensity of the passion in her delivery, which is smooth even though at times sounds as if it erupts from an overflowing well of emotion, authenticates the contradiction between her youth and the wisdom of the lyrics.
Brandi Carlile’s natural talent and beauty are refreshing in this culture where superficial is often packaged and sold ahead of talent. She is a true musician, using her voice as an instrument instead of a means with which to trade minutes for dollars or fame, and therefore someone to whom I vow my deepest respect and gratitude.
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