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With a striking voice that instantly commands attention, Carrie McFerrin makes audiences sit up, take notice and fall under her spell. But it’s the emotional power she puts into her heartfelt songs and performances that really sets McFerrin apart. “It’s not just singing the words but remembering why I wrote the song and remembering those emotions,” the West Michigan-based singer-songwriter acknowledges. “Usually, my songs are about some kind of heartache. That’s why it’s emotionally exhausting when I play a show, because I feel like I relive my whole life while singing.”

It’s that sort of uncommon passion – combined with penetrating songs about loss, bittersweet sentiment and inner strength – that signals the arrival of a new voice on the Midwest’s indie-folk scene. McFerrin’s EP, “The Wolves,” certainly marks an impressive debut for an artist whose music stirs the pot with country twang, folk-rock sensibility and that special voice. “I haven’t heard anyone that I really sound like,” she concedes. “I’ve been singing this same way my whole life, so I think I’ve got something that works and something that’s unique.”

Indeed, even the background of this native of Warsaw, Ind., is unique, growing up “pretty much living in a log cabin in the woods,” raised by musician parents who encouraged their children to take piano lessons and embrace music. “It was something I thought everybody did in the world,” offers McFerrin, who cites artists ranging from The Cranberries to Fleetwood Mac to Tom Petty as influences. “It’s something I’ve always been around. It wasn’t a choice, it found me.”

Carrie moved to Atlanta, Ga., where she dove into the music scene and eventually found a home as backing singer for the high-energy country-blues outfit, The Lindsay Rakers Band. Performing and touring with that band gave her the confidence to forge ahead on her own after moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, capitalizing on her independent streak and self-described “methodical” Type A approach. It all paid off on her stunning debut EP, gorgeously recorded at Electric Angels Studios in Goshen, Ind., featuring the bracing tracks “Momma Said,” “When a Gun Goes Off” and “The Wolves.”

Now, McFerrin’s ready to showcase that compelling material for listeners in the Midwest and beyond, telling stories, bantering with the crowd “as if I’ve known them forever,” and offering some musical surprises along the way. “I want it to be a little unexpected, but in a good way,” she says. “I have the freedom to do whatever the heck I want and I like that.” And so will her audiences. ~John Sinkevics, LocalSpins.com

 

Accolades

  • 2019 WYCE Jammie nominated for album The Wolves in two categories:
    • “Best Contemporary Folk Album”
    • “Album of the Year”
  • Arts Council of Kalamazoo grant recipient – Borr McFerrin recording project
  • Two-time Fretboard Festival Play-in Contest Finalist
  • Two-time Acorn Theater Songwriting Competition Finalist
    • Song: “When a Gun Goes Off”
    • Song: “Gypsy Queen”
  • Local music scene advocate – Hosts three different open mics in Kalamazoo:
  • As a solo artist, Carrie has opened for artists such as Amy LaVere, Matt Giraud, and Ferron and has played shows as large Kalamazoo’s Pride Festival (14,000 people attended).
  • During her past musical endeavors, Carrie has been part of opening acts for Blues TravelerDonna the BuffaloAmos LeeRoger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and Chris Knight and has performed at venues such as the Bowery Electric in NYC.

 

The Wolves WYCE Jammie Nominated 2019 (“Best Contemporary Folk Album” & “Album of the Year”)



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