31 Days of Women: Brandi Carlile

Credit: Jai Lennard

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Brandi Carlile has had a successful career as a solo artist, songwriter and producer. Whether she’s taking the stage with her name on the bill or sharing the spotlight with The Highwomen, throughout her career she’s always made a point to lift up the women around her.

On Sunday, Carlile won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song for “Crowded Table” performed by The Highwomen. She penned the song with Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna and during her acceptance speech praised her co-writers as “my heroes.”

“We just wanted to see women in country music embraced,” she said during her virtual acceptance speech. “We’re seeing that more and more.”

During the pre-show event on Carlile spoke of receiving recognition from the Recording Academy and her peers. “Nothing feels better than getting recognized by other people that you admire and getting to show other people that you admire that you’re recognizing their work in any given year,” she said.

I interviewed Carlile 11 years ago ahead of her performance in New Jersey. During our chat, she discussed how Lilith Fair shaped her life musically and socially, her songwriting process and advice on achieving success. 

“Women’s music is not a genre. It’s equivalent in every way to men’s music and it has a place,” she said at the time. “The strongest thing that you can do is to form a community around you. A community of musicians, artists, writers, free thinkers, activists. That will elevate you. You can always succeed with a community around you.”

Interviews Videos

Brandi Carlile

A few months ago, I caught Brandi Carlile’s phenomenal live show and interviewed her for Venus Zine. I’ve been anxiously awaiting to share my post with you because the interview was so honest and incredibly insightful!

Watch Brandi discuss how Lilith Fair shaped her life musically and socially, her songwriting process and advice on achieving success below. For my complete writeup, where she filled me in about working with Elton John and the stories behind some of her songs, visit Venus Zine.


Video credit: Wendy Hu

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: “Dying Day”

This week brought new single releases from several talented artists, providing music lovers with plenty of tunes for the weekend. CMT just premiered Brandi Carlile‘s latest music video, “Dying Day” off her phenomenal album, Give Up the Ghost.

With live tour footage mixed into the video, viewers get a feel for what a typical day of life on the road entails. To watch the music video for “Dying Day” click here.

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: “Dreams”

If you haven’t listened to Brandi Carlile yet, you should. After seeing her phenomenal performance last night at Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre, I walked away in complete awe. Not only is she a pitch-perfect singer, she can rock the guitar and her onstage banter with the audience is always comical.

Whether she was telling the crowd her stories of working with Elton John (he turned her onto Kings of Leon) and her mother’s love for the band (“One of the top 5 things you never want to hear your mom sing is ‘Sex on Fire'”) or covering impeccable American standards like Patsy Cline’s “You Belong To Me,” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” she captured the crowd’s attention wholeheartedly.

This week’s song of the week is Carlile’s first single off her latest release, Give Up the Ghost. For all of you wondering what “Dreams” is about, she filled me in last night: “It’s a song that’s inspired by sex dreams. That’s basically what it is. They can be really inspiring.” I have to admit, I’ve never been told that in an interview. Watch the video for “Dreams” below and be sure to catch Brandi on the road and touring with Lilith Fair this summer!



Free Album Download From Vanguard Records

Who doesn’t like free music? Vanguard Records is spicing up this holiday season with a free album download. A sampler of talented up-and-coming artists as well more notable musicians who have been rapidly climbing the charts, there is much to offer on the 16-track release.

Fellow blogger and radio host of Lyrical Venus, Heather Miller-Rodriguez, sent me the link last night and I’ve been listening all afternoon. While the sampler isn’t solely holiday music, its a solid mix of eclectic and extremely talented singer-songwriters.

You might recognize a few names from my blog coverage including Joshua Radin, Serena Ryder, Meiko, Brett Dennen and Katie Herzig. Additional contributors include Josh Ritter, Dar Williams, Greg Lasswell, Brandi Carlile and more.

To download the sampler click here. Love to know your thoughts!

Related Links:
Q&A; with Brett Dennen
Q&A; with Joshua Radin
Q&A; with Meiko
Q&A; with Serena Ryder