My New Best Friend Carsie Blanton! – By: Niki Kaos 

Written by on July 14, 2022

I confess I had not yet heard about the most delightfully talented and genuine Carsie Blanton and her Handsome Band until her brilliant Facebook campaign hit my computer. (Yes, I’m FB old in social media years) I was intrigued by her live video performances and her promise of solidarity and swearing! I reached out to some of my best friends and said – let’s go!!

WAMC Linda is truly a unique concert experience, with a live recording studio inside a historic, repurposed bank. The hospitality is spot on, and everyone is seated concert style. The stage was adorned with a pink neon light sign “Carsie Blanton” and instruments set up and ready to go. There was no opening act, and starting on time, Carsie and her Handsome Band hit the stage. 

Carsie has more than a few songs to pull from and highlights her 2021 release “Love and Rage” and her 2022 album, “Body of Work”, which is currently only available in CD format at her live shows. (I got a copy, and it is fantastic!)

Currently based in Philly, Carsie is originally from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and her southern hospitality shines through with how she engages the audience. Completely at easy on stage, these road tour veterans are clearly family.  Joe Plowman on bass and Patrick Firth on keyboards complete the trio. The group performs effortlessly, or so it seems, and you are immediately drawn into the storytelling of her lyrics and her beautiful vocals. 

Every song performed featured the beautiful harmonies and musicianship of the Handsome Band and Carsie’s stunning guitarwork. I barely noticed she was playing guitar until halfway through the set. (Kidding! I was watching closely to check out those amazing chord progressions!) Her guitar technique was fluid and perfectly matched with the cozy indie-alt-Americana vibe of her songs. But mostly I was distracted by the earthy beauty of her voice and her smart, sassy lyrics. The arrangements provided seamless support with this finely tuned trio. A delightful surprise given I hadn’t heard much of her music prior to the show.

“Be Good” and “American Kid” telegraph her wry lyrical style, reminding me of one of her musical inspirations, John Prine. I felt relaxed and charmed the whole night. Completely captivated. She’s truly a natural and I’ve fallen in love. Toward the end of the evening, I got my chance for audience participation, so I chimed in with “That ain’t the way we do it no more” (lyric from the song “Shit List”) when called upon. A rowdy stomper of a song!

I highly recommend checking out Carsie’s website and Patreon, where you can access her songs and other exclusive content. If you get a chance to catch this one in concert – you should make every effort. She’s a true musical knock out in the best way possible! 

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