This year or that

Happy 38th to singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, a woman of many musical styles anchored to a single point: “I’ve gone through all sorts of vocal phases, from pop to blues to R&B,” she has said, “but no matter what I do, I just can’t get the country and western out of my voice.” And indeed, some of her most compelling work is the sort of girl-with-guitar stuff that many do, but that few do consistently well.

Brandi Carlile and her guitar

Brandi Carlile heads down the breezeway

Brandi Carlile and her lovely bride

That last picture: Catherine Shepherd was a charity coordinator for Paul McCartney when she and Brandi met; they were married in 2012. They have two daughters.

My own introduction to Brandi Carlile was the song “That Year,” from her third album, Give Up the Ghost (2009). It’s pitched so subtly that it takes a couple of listens to take in the whole story:

Give Up the Ghost made it to #26 on the Billboard Hot 200; each new album — she’s done six — has climbed just a little higher.


  1. Roger Green »

    2 June 2019 · 7:00 pm

    I love how she and her twin male writing partners are a team, but they agreed to be billed by her name.

  2. CGHill »

    2 June 2019 · 9:23 pm

    It surprised me when I read about that, but I figure if it works for them, it’s fine.

    Isn’t one of them married to her sister?

  3. Roger Green »

    3 June 2019 · 8:09 am

    I do believe you’re right. Phil married her younger sister.

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