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Fantastic fiddler tears it up with friends in high places

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Carrie Rodriguez a monster talent with friends in high placesCarrie Rodriguez is not only a monster talent on fiddle, four-string mandobird and tenor guitar, as anybody at her July 8 show at the Geomatic Attic will attest, but also has  some pretty high profile  names  pulling for her. The Austin born, Brooklyn based classically trained violinist found she had a calling for folk and country music and was discovered playing at the South by Southwest in 2001 by Chip Taylor, a renown songwriter best known for writing “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning.”
 They subsequently recorded four albums together.
“He’s the reason I’m a singer,” Rodriguez said before her show, adding he pushed her into singing harmonies, then eventually singing solo.
“I just played fiddle for other artists, I never entertained the idea of singing,” she said adding she learned a lot just by watching Taylor perform and write.

“More than anything, I leaned the importance of singing a simple heart-felt song. When I watch him, I noticed the seriousness he puts into a performance. When he sings he is in the song. He is 100 per cent in the story and feeling all of the emotions. And that’s really important if you want to reach people,” she said adding another big break came from Lucinda Williams, who named Rodriguez’s 2006 solo debut “Seven Angels on a Bicycle” in her top 10 albums of 2006.
That lead to a tour with Williams and Rodriguez’s latest CD, a live effort which came out this year called “Live in Louisville,” which was recorded on the last date of the tour.
Rodriguez moved to Brooklyn to work with Taylor, who is from New York and who found it  easy to launch European tours. She met her  husband, saxophonist Javier Vercher who tours a lot overseas with a popular Spanish pop singer Alejandro Sanz and ended up staying there.
“I moved to New York because Chip is from there and a lot of young people live there. I moved to Brooklyn because it is cheaper to live there than Manhattan and there are lots of musicians and artists. Every street corner has two of three people carrying guitar cases. And it’s a little bit calmer than Manhattan. And I have four trees on my block,” she laughed, adding Chip Taylor inspires her. 
“Chip can write a song anywhere, on a napkin, on a newspaper. I do my best writing  at home when I’m at my most miserable and lonely and missing my husband. He’s on tour a lot too, so it’s good because he understands what it is like. We both know what  each other is doing,” she said adding she will take some time off in the fall, after a sold-out tour with John Prine, to visit her home and write.
Rodriguez said moving from classical to folk/Americana music was a positive one.
“I chose classical violin at an early age after hearing a scratchy ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ and ended up taking it pretty seriously for quite a few years (She attended the Berklee School of Music). But I’ve been away from classical music for so long now that I don’t think I have the skills to play it anymore. But I’m very happy with what I’m doing now,” she said adding she took up the four string version of an electric mandolin called a mandobird because it looks like a Gibson Firebird guitar, because it was easier to sing and play it simultaneously.
“It’s easier to sing a tender ballad with it, it’s nice to have something to just strum while you sing,” she said.
“Success has come very gradually. Meeting Chip was very fortuitous. I’m very grateful to have had as many opportunities as I have,” she said.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 July 2009 16:26 )  
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