Modern Roots, is perhaps a contradiction in its very name, but a musical ideal that Brian Carroll stands firm to uphold. Drawing inspiration in style and delivery from songwriters of yester-year, while writing from what inspires him in his everyday life, he bridges the gap between folk roots and current day Americana music. 

Originally from the South Shore of Massachusetts in the sea salt swept town of Scituate, Brian was raised on a healthy mix of SRV, The Grateful Dead, and The Band. Playing in a variety of blues and rock n'roll bands through the younger years of life gave him an appreciation for musicians creating music through improvisation and true feeling. It was, however, in college where Brian found the bluegrass and country roots music which  his style most sonically emulates today. Incorporating legendary roots musicians Hank Sr., Doc Watson and Johnny Cash with his love of modern day songwriters such as Todd Snider, Justin Townes Earle and Glen Phillips, Brian spins a web of music that is part storyteller, part jammy blues musician, but all emotion.

He just released his second studio EP release entitled "Blood & Water" and has been receiving consistent airplay on local, national and international outlets. Max Bowen (The Noise) described it as "an  introspective, solid collection of music that you won’t regret picking up".  His first EP Outta This Town (recorded at Noise in the Attic Studios, Scituate, MAalso received great local support. Brian is writing at a frenetic pace, playing out as much as possible, and sharing his music and stories with anyone who will lend an open ear. He is currently in the midst of penning songs for a full length 2014 release.

In addition to his solo project, Brian sits in on mandolin and guitar with friends bands as often as he can, plays in duos with friends such as banjoist/songwriter Mark Whitaker, pulls double mandolin/acoustic guitar duty with the Nate Leavitt Band and runs a monthly series entitled "Roots in the Round" with friend and fellow musician David Deluca. (click photos to the right for more info)

The seasons change... 



About 6 months ago I started on an adventure into songwriting. I was just coming off of a studio EP release, pushing it to radio and media outlets and while that was a big focus, I didn’t want to lose sight of the importance of actually writing songs as a songwriter. After all, you wouldn’t call yourself a watch maker if you didn’t make watches, or a fisherman if you didn’t fish, right? I decided to steal (ok, borrow) an idea from a musical comrade named Marc Pinansky (http://marcpinansky.bandcamp.com/). That idea was to write, record, and release a new EP for each and every month in 2013. 

While the first 6 months of this were extremely fruitful in the way of songwriting, keeping up with the recording aspect proved difficult for me. I could keep a scrap of paper in my pocket and write down ideas all day. I could get home from work and pick up my guitar or mandolin and flesh out an idea for melodies or a full song. But I tend to be entirely too critical of takes to record songs in a timely manner without external input/assistance (at least that I am content with).

All in all, I ended up writing more new songs per month than the number I could reasonably record, mix, and release. On average, I recorded about 3 tunes while I was writing around 6-8, plus additional ideas and pieces for other arrangements. I now have pages and pages of notebooks filled with ideas, half finished ideas recorded on my phone from dipping into a stairwell at the office, and enough material I am happy with to move onto the next step. I think I have accomplished what I set out to do in keeping the songwriting bug alive and moving forward to continue writing consistently.

Starting in October I will begin to work on a new full length record. Some songs have been picked out, not all, not all of the arrangements are put together, but that is what is exciting to me. Even more so, I will be having a slew of my best musical buddies involved in the process. So far I have enlisted the help of my good friends Mark Whitaker on banjo, Eva Walsh on fiddle, and Noel Coakley adding some pedal steel and I am sure that list will grow as the songs are arranged. This record will be recorded at home as autumn transitions into winter and subsequently mixed and mastered elsewhere. The end result, will hopefully be my first full length recording with a mix of all the influences I have absorbed over the past 7 years being a musician in this town. The countless gigs, sessions, and just hanging with wonderful folks. I am really happy to see what comes of this all…hope you guys will be as excited to hear what I have to say!

Keep on keepin’ on,

B

The seasons change... 



About 6 months ago I started on an adventure into songwriting. I was just coming off of a studio EP release, pushing it to radio and media outlets and while that was a big focus, I didn’t want to lose sight of the importance of actually writing songs as a songwriter. After all, you wouldn’t call yourself a watch maker if you didn’t make watches, or a fisherman if you didn’t fish, right? I decided to steal (ok, borrow) an idea from a musical comrade named Marc Pinansky (http://marcpinansky.bandcamp.com/). That idea was to write, record, and release a new EP for each and every month in 2013. 

While the first 6 months of this were extremely fruitful in the way of songwriting, keeping up with the recording aspect proved difficult for me. I could keep a scrap of paper in my pocket and write down ideas all day. I could get home from work and pick up my guitar or mandolin and flesh out an idea for melodies or a full song. But I tend to be entirely too critical of takes to record songs in a timely manner without external input/assistance (at least that I am content with).

All in all, I ended up writing more new songs per month than the number I could reasonably record, mix, and release. On average, I recorded about 3 tunes while I was writing around 6-8, plus additional ideas and pieces for other arrangements. I now have pages and pages of notebooks filled with ideas, half finished ideas recorded on my phone from dipping into a stairwell at the office, and enough material I am happy with to move onto the next step. I think I have accomplished what I set out to do in keeping the songwriting bug alive and moving forward to continue writing consistently.

Starting in October I will begin to work on a new full length record. Some songs have been picked out, not all, not all of the arrangements are put together, but that is what is exciting to me. Even more so, I will be having a slew of my best musical buddies involved in the process. So far I have enlisted the help of my good friends Mark Whitaker on banjo, Eva Walsh on fiddle, and Noel Coakley adding some pedal steel and I am sure that list will grow as the songs are arranged. This record will be recorded at home as autumn transitions into winter and subsequently mixed and mastered elsewhere. The end result, will hopefully be my first full length recording with a mix of all the influences I have absorbed over the past 7 years being a musician in this town. The countless gigs, sessions, and just hanging with wonderful folks. I am really happy to see what comes of this all…hope you guys will be as excited to hear what I have to say!

Keep on keepin’ on,

B

May 2013 Newsletter 

Hey All,

Newsletters are something I have tended to stray away from in my year’s as a performing musician. Sure they are a “necessity” and even if 1 out of 20 people read it, it may well be worth it. Simple fact is, I just never took those collected names from the crumpled sheet after a gig and put them into an electronic intermediary…so bear with me, its my first time.
May is a super exciting month and I just wanted to share a few things with you fine folks.

First and foremost, I have two really great Tuesday gigs this month. I know Tuesdays are tough, but they are going to be a hell of a time.

May 7 – Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA - Opening for Glenn Yoder and the Western States’ May residency. I will have two special guests sitting in with me as well (my pal and musical backbone Dave Hanlon and old bandmate and good friend Matt Chieffo (www.manaliveband.com)). It will be the first time we are going semi-electric, so it's sure to be a doozy and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this one. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/377444

May 14 – Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA – Rising: Songs of Hope and Recovery benefit for the Boston Marathon bombings. Greats acts, both friends old and new. The fabulous Randi Millman has been so kind as to set up a really great night for a great cause and I am really happy to be involved in this. http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3546134&pl=jds

And I'll be sitting in on mandolin with my good pal, Jeff Byrd on May 11th (Perks and Corks in Westerly, RI) for any of you folks in the Rhode Island area.

Roots in the Round, with my musical accomplice, Dave Deluca, has been going strong and we are always on the look out for new folks to play! We are also looking into taking the show on the road more often and hitting clubs in Cambridge (Plough and Stars on May 30th), Somerville, and the greater New England area in the coming months. https://www.facebook.com/RootsInTheRound

And finally, some good news that just so happens to not cost you a penny. Since I released my second studio EP “Blood & Water” in January, I have been recording a short EP every month for 2013. Each month I choose a different theme and write, record, and release 3-5 new songs in that time. So far it’s been a challenge, but very rewarding (thanks to Marc Pinansky for giving me the blessing to steal his idea). Head on over to http://briancarroll.bandcamp.com/ and download the lot for free (and grab my last 2 studio EPs while you are over there!).

That’s all for now.

Keep on keepin’ on,

Brian

www.briancarrollmusic.com
briancarrollmusic@yahoo.com

Look back over my shoulder... 

The past 6 months have been quite a trip. Filled with music, friends, travel, dealing with personal demons, and writing….always a lot of writing.
September marked my first year performing in and being part of the planning committee for the New England Americana Festival. It was a whirlwind of weeks leading up the 3 day jamboree of music, no sleep, and excess in every sense of the word. My wife said she doesn’t remember seeing me during this time, which I suppose is partially true (I was at meetings, work, or in the barn making things for the festival most of the time). All in all, we learned a lot, I got to play for some great people, and met a ton of amazing musicians I hope to collaborate with more.

I left the band I had been playing in for about 6 months (Man Alive! www.manaliveband.com) on mandolin and lead guitar to focus on recording my new EP and while it was a tough decision, it was the best for the band moving forward and for me as a musician. I wish them all the best and they have been doing some really awesome things lately. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings for them.

Roots in the Round has had some awesome guests and we have taken the show to another venue as well. Not going to be a normal thing, but its nice to bring the whole idea of the series into the city. A change of scenario and crowd certainly isn’t a bad thing. Its going to be an exciting year for the collaborations and improvisation that this residency has brought so far…keep an eye and ear out for us!

I actually toured the south, heading to Austin to visit my good buddy Greg Loftus. My other pal, Mark Kilianski sat in during my set. And we headed to New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. I really hope to do this again…the road may be tiresome, but its great.



And finally, after two years, I got back into the studio and am releasing a new EP. The show is on February 16th at one of my favorite venues, Toad in Cambridge, MA. Also playing are my good pals Highway Ghosts, with Dave Hanlon sitting in during my set and I am really happy that this was able to come together. It may be a small venue and not an official “release” given the EP has been up online for about a month now…but the hand pressed hardcopy CDs will be available to purchase for the first time. And it has been quite an undertaking doing it all by hand, but something I hope people will appreciate. The most important part of it is sharing the stage with people I have grown close with over the past couple years and (hopefully) having a ton of friends come out and support.
I guess that’s all for now…hope to see you out at the release show or somewhere down the road.



-B

Heading down south... 

As this Friday will mark my first actual tour outside of the Northeast, I thought I would take a stab at this whole "blogging to capture the experience" deal. Whether or not I make it all the way through and keep the updates going is to be decided, but for now the thought is there.

As a quick overview...

We fly down to visit and play with my good pal Greg Loftus and his band in Austin,TX and are holding up there for a few days. Taking in all that Austin has to offer from backyard BBQ (where I am sure guitars and stringed things will make an appearance) to taking my picture with a picture of my old man at the SRV statue downtown. I am real excited to catch up with two old friends, share some songs, and throw back a few Lonestars over a long weekend. From Austin we will rent a car and head east, stopping overnight in New Iberia, LA before heading on to New Orleans. At this point I don't have an official New Orleans date, but if the timing calls for it I am sure the old acoustic will come out of its case when we are in town. After we get our fill of cajun spices and voodoo we head north to Memphis to catch up with Elvis at Graceland, play all night at the Java Cabana and take in some more BBQ Memphis style. The final stretch of road will be Memphis to Nashville where I will be playing at the Commodore's writer's night. I hope to meet a lot of great people over there and make some lasting connections in Music City.

Anyway, thats all for now...hope to catch up soon and see some folks out on the road.

Keep on keepin' on

B
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Press

 

"Brian Carroll's music is from the soul and really nice to listen to over and over." - Jonny Katz, The Boston Local Music Show

"a great singing voice with a nice Americana twang to it, and the tunes can catch any audience, large or small..." - Max Bowen, The Noise


"Whether it is his upbringing, musical inspirations or life experiences (or maybe all of the above) that have given Carroll the soul and drive to write such passionate songs we don’t know but we sure are grateful." - Kerriann Curtis, Wordkrapht
 


 


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