Interview with Caroline Smith [Podcast]

photo credit: Reginald Van Nurden

Caroline Smith is a singer and songwriter who will not hesitate to point out how the music she creates, like herself, changes over time. Her sound could previously be clearly defined as indie rock, but a whole new world opened up to her when she covered the song “Drown in My Own Tears” by Aretha Franklin. Her new album Half About Being a Woman is a modern neo-soul/R&B/indie rock gem, young-spirited yet mature. As a woman in the music biz, Caroline has dealt with challenges. This interview was recorded before her show with Dessa at the Majestic Theatre, and it contains valuable insights about those challenges, and also advice for up-and-coming musicians.

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Who: Caroline Smith; interviewed by Kayla Liederbach
What: Caroline talks about influences, the Minnesota music scene, and the world of a difference that two years can make
Where: Ancora Coffee, Madison, WI
When: Thursday, April 10th, 2014
How: Recorded by Kayla Liederbach
File: mp3 version

Find music by Caroline Smith in our shop.

Checkout more at carolinesmithcarolinesmith.com.

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Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.


[Album Review] Caroline Smith: Half About Being a Woman

Half About Being a Woman
Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith, who we originally met back in July 2012 at a house show in Madison, gave us a taste of her new material that night when she performed the song “Child of Moving On”.

Contrasted with the more indie rock sound previously conveyed with her band, Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps, this new song showcased a more soulful Caroline, with deep roots in soul and R&B.

That’s exactly what Half About Being a Woman is all about: Soul. Within the first few seconds of the first song, you know that this album brings something different to the table. It showcases Caroline’s powerful, soulful voice, over songs that range from more beat-driven R&B to slower jams about love.

That’s not to say the indie element is completely lost in this album. Songs like “Magazine” and “Walking Off Strong” sound very intertwined with indie rock still, with electronic garnishes. Contrast that with those slow jams including “All That I Know” and “Half About Being a Woman”, and you’ve got an album featuring the best of both ranges which Caroline so successfully masters.

This album really is incredible—and that’s coming from someone who went in with no preconceptions. I’m going to go ahead and say you’ll enjoy this album if you enjoy Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, and classic neo-soul queens like Erykah Badu. But keep in mind, it comes with a modern twist—and it doesn’t fully depart from the original indie rock sound which Caroline’s band started off playing.

Half about Being a Woman is now available on Murfie. Check out the track clip previews and I know you’ll want to hear more!

This Week in Music History (December 11th-17th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

12/11- On this day in 1964, soul legend Sam Cooke was shot and killed by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. Courts later ruled the shooting a justifiable homicide, but the ruling and the circumstances of Cooke’s death have been widely debated since.

12/12- On this day in 1970, The Doors played what would be their last ever live show with frontman Jim Morrison. The show was played at The Warehouse in New Orleans.

12/13- On this day in 1997, kids’ TV characters The Teletubbies reached No. 1 on the UK singles chart with “Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!”. The single spent a total of 32 weeks on the charts, but continues to haunt parents to this day.

12/14- On this day in 1968, Marvin Gaye scored his first US No. 1 hit single when “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” began a five-week run at the top of the charts. The song had previously been recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Gladys Knight & the Pips.

12/15- On this day in 1977, The Sex Pistols were refused entry into the United States two days before they were scheduled to appear on NBC TV. Johnny Rotten was turned away because of a drugs conviction, Paul Cook and Sid Vicious because of “moral turpitude”, and Steve Jones because of his criminal record.

12/16- On this day in 1974, guitarist Mick Taylor announced that he was leaving The Rolling Stones. Taylor said the time had come to “move on and do something new”.

12/17- On this day in 1968, The Who played their Christmas party at the Marquee Club in London. Also on the bill was a new and largely unknown group called Yes, which would go on to produce several number one singles, including “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, and tour the world.

Check out these and other pieces of history in our music marketplace! Enjoy unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and Apple Lossless to go along with every album in your Murfie collection!

Interview with Amy Ray

One of my favorite Murfie podcasts is the Amy Ray podcast. Not only did I have a great chat with her in the basement of The Frequency, surrounded by walls that are covered in thousands of band stickers, paintings, and initials, but I stuck around for her show—and it was rockin’! We even got her song “Glow” on video!

Here’s a transcript of that podcast from May 2012. Read on!

INTRO: This is Kayla here, with your Murfie podcast. I’m pleased to say that I got to meet Amy Ray when she came to town. You probably know her as part of the Indigo Girls, the award-winning folk-rock duo from Georgia. Now, she has a solo career to go alongside that, and a rockin’ new album called Lung of Love. Here’s a clip from the chat that we had before her show at The Frequency.

[MUSIC: “Glow” by Amy Ray]

Kayla: So I’m talking to Amy Ray right now, at The Frequency in downtown Madison. Welcome to Madison, first of all.

Amy: Thanks, I always love bein’ in Madison—always, always.

Kayla: Awesome. So you’re here debuting your new CD—you’re on tour for that. And for the past ten years, about, you’ve been going solo; so what’s that like after two decades with the Indigo Girls?

Amy: Well actually, I still do both, so it’s like, I started going solo around 2000 and just interspersing it with Indigo Girls stuff. And so, I mean, at first, it was kind of crazy because we Indigos were playing kind of big places and then when I started doing solo, I started just doing small clubs like The Frequency—which I’m still doing. So, it was kind of at first like I adjusted, and just learned how to— We drive ourselves, you know, fix my own amp, fix my guitars, you know, whatever needs to be done. And so, for me it’s like kind of, extremely DIY [laughs], is what it is, and Indigo Girls are extremely the other way. So, it’s like this great sort of thing that I just go back and forth between, and it gives me perspective on both things.

Kayla: Awesome. So, is it different putting out music nowadays, compared to the earlier days when you got started?

Amy: Yeah, ‘cause when we started, it was still, like, ’85. I mean, we started in ’80, but we were putting out music starting in ’85, and we were just out of high school. And we were doing cassettes—like how you made your friend mix tapes, we would make our little cassettes of our songs, and we did like a little vinyl single, and a little vinyl EP, and LP. Yeah, and college radio was a really big deal then, so that’s what you wanted: you wanted to get on college radio—and you still do, but now it’s harder. And um, you just had like a network—like in each city, you sort of had this network: you had the record store, the indie art paper, the college radio station, and the venue, and you tried to get all those things to kind of stick together. And that’s still what you should do, but like the difference now is that we have so many great tools—Facebook and Twitter and all these things—and ways to record music, and ways to get music out there, and everything’s cheaper. It’s either like, a really great thing, or it can be a really bad thing, but I think personally I like to look at it as a really great thing, cause I think it’s like tools that we can use to sort of get music out there, and cross-pollinate more, and share with our friends, and have music take its place as more of a community thing.

Continue reading Interview with Amy Ray

Interview with Eric Hutchinson

Way back in the day (April 2012, actually), we had the pleasure of recording a podcast with Eric Hutchinson. It’s been fun seeing his career really take off over the past year and a half, especially since we caught up with him right as his new album, Moving Up Living Down, was being released. Here’s a write-up of our interview, and another chance to get to know this singer/songwriter that you can’t help but love!

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INTRO: This is Kayla here, with your Murfie podcast. Eric Hutchinson is someone you might know. He’s got a good vibe to his music, and his fans are so devoted. Before he left on his tour, he gave me a call, so that we could all get to know some more about him.

[MUSIC: “Watching You Watch Him” by Eric Hutchinson]

Kayla: So where are you calling from?

Eric: I’m calling from New York City.

Kayla: Alright, and I see that you’re about to head out on a really big tour across the country.

Eric: Yeah—I’m really excited. I’m starting the tour April 17th, the same day the album comes out—my new album. I’ve never done that before, so it’s gonna be fun to, you know, get the fans to learn all the songs, and I expect they’ll want to get the music as soon as possible and learn the songs, so they can come out and sing along with me.

Kayla: Who are you going on tour with?

Continue reading Interview with Eric Hutchinson