Carrie Rodriguez, All Growed Up

carrie rodriguez

The first time I remember seeing Carrie Rodriguez was at a Frances Nail(her grandmother) book signing in a historic house on 7th in Austin, Tx. Carrie was dressed in fancy dress playing classic violin for the crowd. She couldn’t have been older than 10, but it is hard to say. She was really good & very confident. The dresses in “Never Gonna Be Your Bride” made me think about that day and how far she has come.

promo3Fast forward many years and Carrie has traded in her violin for a fiddle and took off her little girl dress and really laid some tracks in a short time. She’s already been on Austin City Limits and Grand Ole Opry. Some people wait a lifetime to do either.

Carrie’s grandmother Frances is my grandmother Mary’s first cousin. I remember Frances’ mother, Kate, as a kid. Somewhere in there Carrie and I are cousins. Maybe I’d met Carrie at the book signing, but let’s say the first time I met up with Carrie as an adult professional musician was at Waterloo Records. Beau and I went to a Carrie Rodriguez and Chip Taylor in-store. Frances was supposed to be there but wasn’t feeling well so when it came time to go thru the line I walked up with a handful of Texas Rollergirl swag (guitar picks, etc) and announced like a crazed  fan, “Hi, I’m your cousin Beth and I’m in the roller derby, blah blah blah blah blah…brought you some stuff…crazy talk…babble babble…this is my husband…great set…talk talk…”

Many months later, I went to the Gingerman and up walked Carrie…”Hey aren’t you my cousin?” We got to see her jazz sax playing husband, Javier Vercher, that night at an open mic. It was great. It’s been a while since I saw Carrie live, but I know she has toured with Lucinda Williams and probably traveled the world, fiddling all the while wooing the hearts of many. I was excited to see her solo, looking so sassy on Austin City Limits. I saw one of her videos on ME Television and wanted to email my mom and video and found so much stuff, I might as well pass it on to you. Looks like she has a new album, She Ain’t Me. Try it you might like it!

If I ever had to fight the Devil in Georgia, I’d definitely recruit Carrie for the event. Not to put words in her mouth, but I imagine her saying, “My name’s Carrie and it might be a sin, But I’ll take your bet, your gonna regret, ‘cos I’m the best that’s ever been.”  She’d kick her cowboy boots in the dirt and show the Devil a thing or 2 about fiddling!

Carrie sings a song called Memphis, Tx which is cool since I was born there and  lot’s of my family still lives just down the road from Turkey, Tx – home of Bob Wills.  I must mention her mom, Katy Nail.

Go Carrie Go!

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Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys – Faded Love

Bob Wills was the driving force behind Western Swing, a form of country & western that was broader in scope than the parent genre. A master at synthesizing styles, Wills brought jazz, hillbilly, boogie, blues, big-band swing, rhumba, mariachi, jitterbug music and more under his ecumenical umbrella. He has been called “the King of Western Swing” and “the first great amalgamator of American music.” Wills grew up in a part of Texas where diverse cultures and forms of music overlapped. His enthusiasm and mastery were such that he assimilated disperate genres into what might best be termed American music. (Wills called it “Texas fiddle music.”)

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I took the paragraph above from YouTube. Thought it was great. I grew up dancing on my grandad’s feet to Bob Wills and his music stands the test of time for being really fantastic.  I think I may have sat in Bob Will’s lap in Turkey at some point. A lot of my family lives in Memphis, Tx just down the road and my great aunt Starr once told me a story that led me to believe some lyrics refer to her daddy hanging out with Bob. Thank God, Willie Nelson, Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Ray Price, etc are keeping western swing alive! I’ve been lucky to see Johnny Gimble many times. Ahhhhh haaa. Bring on home, boys…