Friday, November 21st
Doors 7:00pm, Show 8:00pm
Bring some food/beverages!
“Accidental Poet,” one of Edie Carey’s earliest songs, describes a particularly eloquent friend, but could just as easily refer to Carey herself and the circuitous and serendipitous route that led her to become one of the country’s most notable young songwriters. Somehow, all of the seemingly unrelated turns – from her intention to become a doctor, to a tiny music room in the basement of a Morningside Heights’ chapel, to a year in Italy – managed to steer her towards music.
Born in Burlington, Vermont and raised in the Boston suburbs by her English teacher father, therapist mother, and poet stepmother, Edie Carey couldn’t help but learn to love words. But her ear for music only became apparent after she “took the stage” in the back seat of her babysitter’s green Cadillac, belting out her own rendition of “Up Where We Belong.” From age nine, after beginning voice lessons, she became involved in singing groups and musicals, which she continued all the way through high school. A child of the 80’s, she dressed in lace and sequins and dreamed of appearing on Ed McMahon’s “Star Search.” However, as much as she loved performing, Carey was unaware that there was any middle ground between singing at weddings and being Madonna, and never considered music a real career possibility. So, she made plans to major in English/Creative Writing with Pre-Med classes at Barnard College in New York City. However, during her freshman year, two pivotal discoveries knocked those plans right off course - The Postcrypt Coffeehouse and the Italian language.
In the Postcrypt, an intimate music venue in the basement of St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, the seeds of possibility were sewn as Carey watched Jeff Buckley, Ani Difranco, and Lisa Loeb among others perform unplugged to candlelit audiences. She saw how words could sometimes have even greater power when used in a song, and simultaneously came to appreciate the sonorous quality of words regardless of their meaning or the melody in which they were framed. This appreciation for their musicality grew deeper with the study of Italian, which eventually led her to spend a year abroad in Bologna, where she taught herself to play the guitar.
In Italy, Carey set herself up in a corner of the main piazza and played every Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, and Rickie Lee Jones song she knew, throwing in a few of her own tunes, which would later land on her debut album, The Falling Places. Her experience abroad gave her a newfound confidence and encouraged her to begin performing on campus, where she started to build a student following. She made her first album in 1997, while working long days at Worth Magazine and recording until 3 am each night. Though the process was a daunting one, by the time she was finished, Carey was sure she had “accidentally” ended up exactly where she was supposed to be.
After the release of The Falling Places in 1998, she began venturing outside of New York City to play neighboring east coast cities, and gradually expanded throughout the United States, then Canada and the UK. While the debut was a very sparsely produced acoustic contemporary folk album, Call Me Home, Carey’s follow-up in 2000, was by comparison an all-out pop record, a tribute to her early inspirations and the reckless abandon of her childhood. With its release, the “accidents” continued, and Carey unexpectedly found herself achieving her childhood dream of appearing on television with Ed McMahon.
Since 2000, she has been working as a full-time performing songwriter, touring rigorously to promote all of her independently self-released records, which now include Come Close, her 2002 live CD, When I Was Made (2004), Another Kind of Fire (2006), itsgonnabegreat (2008) (a collaboration with award-winning singer-songwriter Rose Cousins), and the latest addition to her growing catalog, Bring The Sea. Looking back, she has to wonder if maybe this wasn’t an accident after all.