Carrie Rodriguez possesses a duality within the fabric of her being. The mix is a natural state, not necessarily as extreme as the angel/devil polar positions, but in line with the yin/yang principle in which seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the world. Friends and fans are aware of the healthy merger of the pieces that make up the whole in Carrie. Lucinda Williams broke down how she sees Carrie Rodriguez as “I have to say I am very impressed. She’s got something unique in her voice that’s very subtle and a little smoky and sweet. She’s got a refreshingly spunky attitude to go along with it. I detect wisdom in her, and yet a sense of wonder as well.”
Give Me All You Gotis the fifth solo album from Carrie Rodriguez. The past dozen years have been a consistently rising arc in the career of Ms. Rodriguez. In 2001, Chip Taylor of Train Wreck Records fame, and author of “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning”, saw Carrie perform at SXSW. The two became a duo, with the fragility of Carrie’s high sweet voice balancing Chip’s been there/sang about it deep, gravely tones. Starting off in the band as a fiddle player, Carrie quickly became a full partner as singer and collaborator.
On her recent album outing, Give Me All You Got, Carrie Rodriguez wears the skin of an artist who is stretching beyond what is expected of her without completely shedding the sound that brought her to the party. The grace and poise that freely roam throughout Give Me All You Got grant the album a sonic texture that comfortably fits it into the roots world with obvious yet subtle influences of country, rock, soul and folk. The songs mirroring the music that formed the soundtrack for Carrie’s Texas years and the ten years she has spent in Brooklyn. The emotions in Give Me All You Got are as equally separate as her states of residence. Carrie describes the songs, “These new original tune run the gamut of intense emotions, from heartache to budding new love, from betrayal to resigned acceptance, and finally to the sheer joy of being alive.”
Joy seems to be a default in the songs and music of Carrie Rodriguez. In “Cut Me Now”, Carrie perfectly steps into the lead character in the Chip Taylor penned tune. Talking of past experience, using it as a guide, as she urges a possible love interest to make the strike. The words and music of Chip Taylor make other appearances on Give Me All You Got, most notably in the edgy, hurried rush of “I Cry for Love”. The song again lands Carrie in the driver’s seat of a woman who knows the possible pitfalls and failures that a future of heart wanderings will hold and can still rise to the challenge. Carrie Rodriguez original tracks fulfill the cool heat that is the make-up for the lady behind the fiddle, microphone and pen. “Devil in Mind” playfully teases, “Lake Harriet” prances and skips with simple pleasures like holding hands and walking outside in the sun and “Whiskey Runs Thicker Than Blood” slowly pours through the speakers and into a glass of memories that have trouble weighing the good and bad parts of a relationship. Carrie’s adopted home gets a shout out in the song that name checks the town, “Brooklyn”. The tune is a carnival ride of notes and beats with Carrie hanging on loosely and obviously enjoying each spin.
Carrie Rodriguez was born into the music-friendly environment of Austin, Texas. She began training on classical violin at age five and developed a taste for the fiddle at the same time from the influence of her singer/songwriter father, David Rodriguez. She received a scholarship to Oberlin College of Music, graduating from Berklee College of Music. Carrie has recorded with Patty Griffin, Los Lonely Boys and John Mayer and performed live with Los Lobos, Rickie Lee Jones, John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Alejandro Escovedo among others. DANNY MCCLOSKEY