July 17, 2008
Interview by Scott Preston
Caroline Herring digs deep—deep into the rich soil of American roots music for her sound, and deep into the recesses of her own consciousness for her themes. The musically understated, psychologically intense songs of this Atlanta-based Mississippi native ponder the eternal verities while probing the complex nature of contemporary existence; she delivers them in a fine-grained alto replete with the residue of hard-earned insight.
On Lantana, her beautiful and eloquent third album (Signature Sounds), Herring fills the listener’s heart with hope one moment and sends a chill down the spine the next. This pivotal album, which documents a personal and artistic crossroads for its author, cements her status as a truth teller, and no matter how bitter or disturbing the story leading to the truth may be, she approaches it clear-eyed and straight-on, getting down to the nub of it with quiet tenacity. No wonder fellow artist Dar Williams, who co-headlined a European tour with Herring in 2006, described her as “the elusive ‘real thing.’” (from carolineherring.com)
Cincy Groove: What was it like when you first moved to Austin? I know you came from a pretty small town.
Caroline Herring: It was intimidating, but it was good, its always nice to have connections to plug into when you move to a new place. I was going for my PhD in American Studies which I never finished, but I was able to meet people that way. As for the music scene, I didn't even think I would be playing out for a while so I just went at my own pace. There was a cafe I worked at just so I could see the music for free.
Cincy Groove: How did you recent trip to Europe go? Where did you play?
Caroline Herring: I just got back 2 weeks ago, I played in The Netherlands and Belgium for about 10 days. I absolutely loved it, it was my 5th trip over to Europe. In past trips, I have played at the Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, Paris, and last year a festival in Denmark.
Cincy Groove: What music was playing in your house when you were growing up?
Caroline Herring: A lot of The Kingston Trio, my dad was really into that 50's folk music. I also listened to a lot of gospel, classical, and R&B music. I really didn't listen to any country at all at the time. As I got older I discovered bands like REM, U2, Joni Mitchell. Then in college I started listening to more contemporary folk music and classic country music, like the Carter Family.
Read the full Interview here