I'm a Vermonter, born in St. Albans and raised in Burlington's South End. My favorite childhood memories are those late night journeys on Route 7 between home and extended family in St. Albans. The Oldsmobile was our little acoustic chamber as we six motored through the quiet Vermont countryside. Weary, but we sang our hearts out in that hour-long ride on Route 7. Yes, it used to take an hour to travel, especially in weather. In those years before light pollution, the nighttime landscape was dark, sometimes moonlit, ofttimes not. I was a little sister, and learned to sing harmony by listening to my mom, dad, sister, and brother, and finding a spot for my voice to fill. Sister would let me know if I stepped on her part! Baby brother sang along, too.
My name, Cooie, was baby brother's pronunciation of my given name, Carolyn. It stuck...from Sister Mary Imelda, my first grade teacher, to Ned Stapleton, the priest who officiated my wedding, I always identified as Cooie. Only when in trouble, or in the corporate world, did my given name come up.
Music has been my lifelong companion and source of comfort. My sister's Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Duane Eddy songs; my brother's Rip Chords. Then came with folk singers, girl groups, and the British invasion. I had the extreme good fortune of owning a transistor radio and listened to AM radio into the early morning hours. Joey Reynolds on WKBW, at 1540 in the dial - 50,000 Watts coming to me from Buffalo NY! Quick switch to 1520, WPTR in Albany. I could hear my favorite songs a dozen times every night. Every night was heavenly until the batteries gave out.
From the Beatles to the gritty, provocative, bluesy Rolling Stones. Little did I know, in those days before the interwebs, that the Stones were performing covers of disenfranchised American blues artists who struggled outside the mainstream music industry. Just take a listen to Irma Thomas singing Jerry Ragavoy's "Time Is On My Side," or Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do," and you'll hear truth to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
Jimi, Janis, Cream, Spencer Davis Group, The Animals, Traffic, Procol Harum, Blind Faith, Chicago Transit Authority, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood Sweat & Tears, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Emmylou Harris, Tracy Nelson, Ellen McIlwaine, Delbert McClinton, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Mark Knopfler, and the list goes on. Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells backing up Laura Nyro's sweet soprano. Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace" album with James Cleveland. Leon Russell and JJ Cale's 1979 Paradise Studio recordings.
I'm drawn to the Blues, and to ballads. Only in recent years have I started to trace blues music lineage back to the sources: Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Etta James, Otis Rush, T-Bone Walker, Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Dixon, Memphis Slim.
And now, after a decades-long stretch of inattention, avoidance, stage fright, I've realized that I don't want to die with the music still inside me. So I'm sending it out to you. I am full-on ready. World, I want to sing for you. I want to sing my songs for you.
What's next? A continued busy solo schedule throughout the summer months. Another couple rounds of demo recordings. Refining old material, writing new material. Growing a band to midwife the music. Bringing the music to you.
Come along with me and I'll keep you abreast of my schedule. Join the mailing list, follow on social media, check the Soundcloud, contact me. Come see me!