“Talented, smart, funny and wonderfully deviant. What’s not to love?” Listening to Carsie Blanton’s sparkling seventh album, it is easy to agree with the YouTube comment that appears below one of her clever videos.
Raised in rural Virginia, this 35-year-old singer-songwriter and activist has been on the road since she was 16, learning her craft, sharpening her left-wing politics and having a good time “banging drums and banging drummers” – as she describes it on the infectious opener, Party at the End of the World.
Blanton has mostly shunned the music business, preferring the crowdfunding route. Hence her low-to-zero profile on this side of the Atlantic. But she is a class act, sultry, salty, serious and seriously funny, an incisive commentator on the “politics of gender, sex and dancing”, as one critic put it.
The space she and her band occupy with such brio could be broadly described as Americana, hints of country, folk, soul, blues, swing, pop, laced with a New Orleans sensibility picked up when she lived there. Her lyrics are shaped by personal experience and progressive politics, but her light touch, redolent of John Prine (hear her wonderful tribute on YouTube), opens up her songs to all. The blissful Be Good is a perfect example; the other 10 tracks are not too far behind.
What’s not to love indeed?