Carsie Blanton is a stick of dynamite disguised as a firecracker. Her website applies terms like anthems, moxie, and mischief – and they fit. In 2020, Blanton’s online rent parties became monthly events for her loyal and growing following.
On the 35-year-old’s ninth release since 2002 (most available “for any price you please”), her regular trio (bassist/co-writer Joe Plowman and Patrick Firth on keyboards) is augmented by guest guitarists. Mike Viola adds soulful flourishes to “Party At The End Of The World,” and Smokey Hormel gives “Be Good” jazzy grit. Longtime Nora Jones sideman Adam Levy peppers “So Long New Orleans” with staccato punctuation. Additional drums are provided by three of the best – Pete Thomas, Ted Poore, and Jay Bellerose – and producer Tyler Chester also adds guitar and keys.
Blanton can be coy, sad, sexually unapologetic, or politically rebellious, with lyrics like “You want a medal just for being a white boy,” or “They call it a riot, ’cause we ain’t quiet.” A keen sense of melody is coupled with a voice that’s comfortable with jazz standards or rockers.
Blanton’s own acoustic fingerpicking (think John Prine) shines on “Mercy,” a solo love song that’s the perfect tease for her next offering.
This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.