Brandi Carlile - "The Joke"
In June we will be featuring all LGBTQ+ artists in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month
Few people in music have the kind of fabled career that Brandi Carlile has. Since her heartbreaking album “The Story” which is a perennial best seller, she has been the indie darling, but has struggled to find commercial success. She is more than respected in the industry, but her audience never quite seemed to know where to land with her, until after last year’s Grammy’s where her album “By The Way, I Forgive You” was the most nominated album of the year, it seems she is finally on the ascendant.
Her voice is charismatic and emotive. She makes you feel every word she sings, and the plaintive calling tone her sound rings true the blue american sound. She has something that most female singers strive to find. She has that old troubadours grit that is reminiscent of Kris Kristofferson, or Willie Nelson, and yet is young and fresh as the Avett Brothers & Mumford & Sons. Her voice is plaintive and calling and yet there’s a Johnny Cash style razor’s edge behind those soft violin-esque vibrations. She finds a way of singing in a way that seems like she’s speaking directly to you, and she makes you remember every word. She makes you believe that she's lived every single story she sings about.
Carlile's music through the years has been categorized in several genres, including pop, rock, alternative country, and folk. She said of her style, "I've gone through all sorts of vocal phases, from pop to blues to R&B, but no matter what I do, I just can't get the country and western out of my voice.", and the truth is, we don't want her to. Her sound haunts you like a good dream that you don't want to let go of but still can't quite remember.
In a November 2002 interview, Carlile identified herself as a lesbian. She later told the Los Angeles Times, "I don't have to have a lot of formality around it ... there were people before me who paved the way." In June 2012 she announced she was engaged to Catherine Shepherd. The two were married in Boston, Massachusetts on September 15, 2012. The couple have two daughters.
She’s been a beacon and a guide paving a road where others before her cut the way through the brush. She is a true inspiration.
So today, with a fire in my gut, I choose Brandi Carlile’s “The Joek” as my, do not tread lightly, fight until there is no fight left, do not be the silent witness, song for a, stand firmly on the firmly right side of history, song for a, shine up, shine out, let the light in, Wednesday.