Carrie Rowan

It takes guts to do what Carrie Rowan followed through with – spending years and years in corporate America, chasing the dream of sitting atop the ladder, cash flow and respect at their pinnacle. To her credit, Rowan found some great success in that world… but it was the jump off that deserves even more applause. She says “When I was climbing the ladder I loved it, but the time came when I knew in my gut it was time to jump. I went through a brief period of disorientation because I really identified my job with who I was. But once I realized that we are so much more than what we do, I got my feet on the ground and a game plan and forged ahead. There was no looking back after that!!”

Good stuff. And Carrie has already released her debut record, a collection titled “Almost Home”. She says “Fans can expect some very poignant moments of honesty. I feel like this CD is my heart all wrapped up in cellophane. There were great moments of discovery while writing this music and exploring some of life’s lessons that were unfolding in my life at the time… I think every piece of an artists’ work describes a moment in time that can unfold for each listener in a very personal way… For me, connecting to another human heart is the very reason I make music!”

 

 
Rowan will remain busy, as she prepares to record another record, and she’s teamed up with other musicians to release a children’s album as well called “Just Like the Stars”. Obviously, when Carrie goes after something, she goes after it HARD. There’s so much more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Carrie Rowan

 

PensEyeView.com (PEV):  How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

Carrie Rowan  (CR): It’s a slightly spiced chai latte with two pumps of Shawn Colvin, a shot of Jewel and a sprinkle of indie served with a touch of funk that tastes vibrantly honest while remaining hopeful…poured hot from the heart!  I think the writing helps lift the music up along with the beautiful harmonies!!

PEV: What kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence

CR: My older sister was a big influence on the music I was exposed to as a young child.   She was always spinning Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Carole King, Neil Young, Harry Nilsson which really opened me to all kinds of music. It was after college that I started exploring local folk acts like David Wilcox, Shawn Colvin, Barbara Kessler, and more national acts like Karla Bonoff, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, and Jewel.

PEV: Tell us about your first ever live performance.

CR:  It’s hard to say when that really was.  As a child I was always performing and organizing neighborhood talent shows.  As an adult getting back into music, I started playing open mics with some friends.  I guess my first feature was at Great Brook Farms in Bolton.  The place was packed!  It was such a thrill to stand up and play the songs that I had been writing.  I was pretty new to guitar as well so it was truly a gratifying feat to get up there and let it all out!

PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out and making the transition to professional musician?

CR: It was fun and exciting!  When I first started I was auditioning in Boston as well for some voice over and commercial stuff.  I loved the voice over work as it was so similar to recording music.  But I was really jazzed about getting into the studio to record a full length CD of my original music. When I would play live, it was so amazing to have people come up to me and tell me how my music moved them.  It made me go, wow, this is totally what I’ve always wanted to do!  Sometimes I still have to pinch myself and say....hey I’m living my dream no matter what the outcome is. The ride is awesome!

PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?

CR: Yeah, it was after my CD release party and all my friends and family gathered around to support me and my music.  I’ll never forget the feeling of love in the room that night. I told stories of why I was doing this and what a ham I was as a kid, and I loved the audience’s reaction!  The response from people afterwards was really overwhelming.  There was no doubt in my mind that I made the right career change!

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Carrie Rowan show?

CR: Honesty!  I really like to lay it out there and share what my songs are about in the hopes of connecting to people. But I’d also have to say FUN!  We LOVE making music and when I’m playing with my duo partner, Adrienne Fawkes, everyone comments on how delightful it is to be a part of the energy that we are creating.  The harmonies are such a lifting part of the show as well!   It’s really amazing to make music with someone and be great friends as well!  People recognize that and everyone wants to join in the fun! 

PEV: You’ve said, “After a successful ten-year climb up the corporate ladder, I assessed the view from above, took a deep breath and decided to jump.” What was going through your head when you decided to take that leap?

CR: I was probably holding my breath kind of like a child jumping off the high dive!!  When I was climbing the ladder I loved it, but the time came when I knew in my gut it was time to jump.   I went through a brief period of disorientation because I really identified my job with who I was. But once I realized that we are so much more than what we do,  I got my feet on the ground and a game plan and forged ahead. There was no looking back after that!!

PEV:  What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

CR:.  From real life stuff!  We all have things that happen in our lives that are there to help define us and make us reach down deep.  These are the very things that inspire me.  I love the human spirit and how resilient it is.  There’s so much to write about all the time, but a certain phrase has to hit me first.  The words always come first for me.  I’ve been writing poetry since I was a kid and was an English major in college, so I guess I that makes me a lover of words.

PEV: Tell us about your latest work. What can fans expect from this work?

CR: Almost Home is my debut CD!  Fans can expect some very poignant moments of honesty.  I feel like this CD is my heart all wrapped up in cellophane.  There were great moments of discovery while writing this music and exploring some of life’s lessons that were unfolding in my life at the time.  Making this was a labor of love and I enjoyed all 9 months it took me to record this.  (It’s sort of like my 3rd child!!)  I think every piece of an artists’ work describes a moment in time that can unfold for each listener in a very personal way.  I’ve been blessed with moments that brought me to tears from fans telling me how a certain song got them through something difficult in their life.  And I’m humbly reminded why I chose to do this.  It serves to remind me that some of the other aspects of this business are nothing more than a distraction.  For me, connecting to another human heart is the very reason I make music!

PEV: Describe the kind of mindset you had to be in to create this album?

CR:  Open to whatever was supposed to come my way, in terms of song material, other artists being drawn to the project, the right studio, etc.  Letting it all flow into place.  It was a beautiful experience!

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Carrie Rowan?

CR: That I only started paying guitar in 2004.  I decided to pick it up after my Dad passed away.  It was a lovely distraction and gave me new inspiration to write from and a different feel to the music than piano does.  I love learning new things so who knows what instrument will intrigue me next! My daughter started playing violin and it seems really cool.  Those fretless instrument players amaze me!

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted music to be a large part of your life, if not the biggest part?

CR: I always kept music in my life even when I worked my corporate job.  It was always on my personal list of goals and I made a point to continue to study private voice.  Somehow I always knew that I had to continue to nurture my inner artist.  Now I know why!

PEV: What one word best describes Carrie Rowan?

CR: Resilient.

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

CR: I travel around New England, NY and NJ, but I don’t go far away for too long because of my family! We travel a good amount locally and really enjoy the time in the car to discuss new song ideas and strategies for making each show the best it can be!  It’s also great to have these little adventures for gathering silly stories to share with the audience between songs and it creates a real bond between the band members!

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

CR: I would love to do a Canadian tour.  They have such great music up there!!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

CR: In the beginning some relatives thought I was crazy giving up a successful career but now I think they get it! J  Friends are always super supportive!!  It’s so fun playing in my town!  I also perform children’s concerts and have quite a following.  When people I went to school with bring their kids out to see me it’s such a special connection!  It’s really cool to have lots of little fans around town!  They come up to me and hug my leg (they are usually preschool age).  It’s truly so lifting to expose this age group to live performance that will hopefully inspire their love of music for a lifetime!!

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

CR:  Spare time, what’s that??  J Haha!  You might find me at the local football games watching my daughter cheerleading or volunteering at my kids’ school!  I also teach preschool music classes.  I hope you find me working out at my home gym sometimes as well! 

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

CR:  Yes I would recommend checking out my fellow artists on our label, 5th Chakra Records.  It’s a collective group of talented artist supporting other artists!  My good friend Lori Diamond (also a local Mom of 3) founded this label along with Stuart Ferguson.  They are both amazing!  You can find us at www.5thchakrarecords.com!!

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?

CR: Maybe starting my own alternative teaching community for children or I’d love to be an inspirational writer/speaker!

PEV: So, what is next for Carrie Rowan?

CR: I am heading back into the studio to record what will be my 3rd CD.  I just released a children’s CD last March called Just Like the Stars with my dear friend Oen Kennedy.  This time I am working with my duo Stefilia’s Stone (www.stefiliasstone.com)  with my partner in crime, Adrienne Fawkes! It’s so exciting to be working together on this true collaboration of thoughts and music.  We have found a really cool sound together defined by her classical piano style and my finger picked guitar.  The harmonies add such a lift to the music.  It can transcends the listener to another space when you have soaring harmonies riding a cresting wave of melody!  

 

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