Carsie Blanton releases “Not Old, Not New” at Ardmore Music Hall

 

Curly-haired chanteuse Carsie Blanton hasn’t called Philadelphia home since 2012, but she still cites the city as the place where she cut her musical teeth. Now she lives in New Orleans where she managed to run a hyper-successful Kickstarter campaign to make her latest album, “Not Old, Not New“. The album, full of some of  Carsie’s favorites gem-like songs from the past,  is the proof behind her proclamation that “Jazz is for everybody.”

The Philly-bred singer-songwriter is coming back to her former home turf to celebrate the release of that record, at Ardmore Music Hall on Saturday, July 19th. Opening the show will be NYC singer-songwriter Milton, as well as local jazz band and Carsie favorites Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five. While she’s in town, Rock on Philly decided to take advantage of this excuse to ask Carsie a few questions about jazz, the new album, and good songs.

 

Rock on Philly: You do a fair amount of swing and jazz dancing (and I happen to know firsthand that you’re a pretty fabulous dance teacher, too.) How did your dance background and living in the jazz mecca of New Orleans influence this album? Did those parts of your life play any part in deciding to put out “Not Old, Not New”?

Carsie Blanton: Although my love of this music preceded the dancing and the moving to New Orleans, I definitely think that both influenced the record. The players are all from New Orleans, and I think you can hear that in the sultriness and laziness of the record. The players had a HUGE influence on the final product, of course, and I feel really grateful to all of them for their dedication and incredible musicianship. Swing dancing gave me a greater appreciation for swing, groove and pocket, all of which feature prominently in this album, even though most of the tracks swing slow and gentle.

 

ROP: You’ve named Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Louis Armstrong as influences and favorites for a long time now. How did you decide which of your favorite jazz artists and songs you were going to put on this album?

CB: Billie Holiday was my introduction to jazz, and is still my all-time favorite singer. I discovered a lot of these songs by way of Billie, Louis, and Nina, as well as Chet Baker and Nat King Cole. I list my favorite versions of each song in the liner notes of the record.

 

ROP: You’ve said before that you’re a songwriter first, and anything else second. What do you admire most about the songs you chose to put on this album?

CB: My aim in making this record was to showcase the most well-written songs I could find. In my opinion, these are them! It’s hard to explain how I decided on this particular batch of songs, but I will say that I have a big soft spot for unusual words and phrases, vibrant lyrical imagery, and haunting melodies.

 

ROP: Are there any other songs–any other long-lost gems–that you really wanted to put on the album, but just didn’t have time for?

CB: We recorded a few others that didn’t end up fitting on the album: Crazy He Calls Me, I’ve Got it Bad (and That Ain’t Good), and an original song of mine all ended up being cut. It’s hard to tell what will fit until you hear everything together!

 

ROP:  Have you had any good stories come out of this latest tour that might turn into songs later?

CB: Don’t know yet – ask me in a few months! 🙂

Get a taste of the new album with Carsie’s brand-new video for “Laziest Gal in Town”, a Cole Porter tune, below. Make sure to catch Carsie at Ardmore Music Hall on Saturday starting at 8PM, where she’ll be playing a combination of her spunky, occasionally-ferocious originals, and the sweetly-swinging sounds from the new album. Not sure how to get to Ardmore? SEPTA’s Regional Rail line goes right to the venue!

Photo Credit: Lauren J. Andrews

 

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Logue

    July 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    AWESOME Video and song. Carsie sounds amazing as always 🙂

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