Jazz and Blues Vocalist. Songwriter. Actress. Artist. Storyteller. There are defining moments that shape the unique story of our lives. Carrie loves to share her story through musical performances, interweaving known jazz and blues standards with her versatile, award-winning original material. Whether taking a “Sentimental Journey” while reminiscing on her album “Home” or singing the blues on her latest album “Waves”, Carrie, a recent breast cancer survivor, shares hope, joy, struggle and peace through music.
Carrie studied classical piano beginning at age 7 and was performing Mozart by age 9. A versatile artist, she was writing and performing her own material by late high school. Soon afterwards she was performing on stages across the Northeast for both intimate and large audiences of thousands, as the lead female singer with a local Boston based band.
Carrie and her family moved south and spent a few years in Nashville, allowing her the privilege of fully studying the art of songwriting under the tutelage of world-class songwriters. She recorded and released her CD “Redemption”, garnering a semi-finalist award with the UK International Songwriter’s Competition for her song,“When Love Was Green”.
After moving to North Carolina, Carrie began singing with regional jazz musicians and quickly found her musical home and a new love affair with jazz and blues. She won singer/songwriter of the year from the NC Songwriter Co-op for her vocal jazz original song, “Queen City” and was named North Carolina’s Top Charlotte Vocalist by the Carolina Entertainment Network. Carrie was soon performing in music festivals and events across the Carolina’s, including such notable events as the Democratic National Convention, Theatre Raleigh, Middle C Jazz Club, The Blumenthal Theater with Jazz Arts Initiative, Durham's Centerfest, and more.
Influenced by her immersion in the jazz classics from the Great American Songbook, Carrie’s performance range and writing pays homage to the vocal jazz greats, while making the songs her own. Her sophomore album "Home", featuring more award-winning original songs in the style of the Great American Songbook and is produced by legendary drummer Jim Brock (Beth Chorneau, Indigo Girls, Kathy Mattea). Producer and engineer, Jason Richmond (Nneenna Freelon, Avett Brothers), recorded her two subsequent albums, “Waves” (described as “passionate bluesy explorations to quieter ballads, from rockish romps…” (Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene) and her jazzy holiday album, “Songs for Christmas”.
Carrie also works as an actress and tv host. She won Best Supporting Actress at the Love International Film Festival in Los Angeles for the multi-award winning film, “Changeover” (currently on Amazon Prime), produced and directed by Estes Tarver (now her husband!). She also composed the musical score and theme song, which was nominated twice for Best Musical Score.
Beginning in 2020, Carrie battled several health issues with what she now calls "The Triple C": A Concussion, Covid and breast Cancer. During this time, Carrie’s creativity still flourished and she found time to write new songs, perform over zoom and host a songwriting group for teens. During her cancer recovery, she created a new show called “Syncopated Gold”, that weaves her love of the jazz classics with the hopeful message of “finding the gold” during dark times. On the other side of cancer, Carrie’s show is filled with hope, optimism and joy.
“Not that many singers can sound sincere and musical in so many moods and styles, or write such thought-provoking and enjoyable songs. Carrie Marshall, who sings throughout with understated power, occasionally cutting loose in impressive fashion, has created a set of music that is filled with subtle surprises and inner heat. She is a talent well worth following.”
- Scott Yanow
Carrie Marshall is a very versatile singer and songwriter based in North Carolina who has had a wide-ranging career. By the time she was a teenager, she was writing her own songs and lyrics. Since then she has performed frequently on the East Coast, lived in Nashville for four years where she worked as a session singer, recorded her debut album (Redemption), and moved to North Carolina in 2008. She has won such awards as singer/songwriter of the year in 2010 from the NC Songwriter Co-Op, 2012’s Top Charlotte Vocalist from the Carolina Entertainment Network, and her song “Thoughts Unspoken” won the Top Ten Finalist award in the UK International Songwriting Competition in 2014. She has performed at such notable events as the Democratic National Convention, the Theatre Raleigh Songwriter Series, Jazz Arts Initiative (at the Blumenthal Theater), and Durham’s Centerfest. The multi-talented Ms. Marshall, who joined the Moonlight Stage Company as the music director and songwriting instructor, has written music for films, been an actress, and released her CD Home in 2013 (new compositions written in the style of the classic songwriters including Cole Porter) and a Holiday EP Songs For Christmas in 2018.
Waves is different than all of those projects. It features 11 of Carrie Marshall’s songs, including “Monday Blues” which she co-wrote with Tim Ross. The music ranges from passionate bluesy explorations to quieter ballads, from rockish romps to moments of spirituality. Utilizing a band comprised of organist Chuckey Robinson, guitarist Scott Sawyer, either Darion Alexander or Ron Brendle on bass, drummer Jim Brock, tenor-saxophonist Dave Finucane, and occasionally Carter Minor on harmonica and Carrie’s husband actor Estes Tarver on second vocals, the focus is primarily on the singer who also contributes some piano playing.
On Waves, Carrie Marshall shows a great deal of variety in her singing. She is haunting on “Rainy Season” (a song with a “House Of The Rising Sun” vibe although covering a different topic), displays plenty of power on “Poor Wayfaring Stranger,” is sensuous on the atmospheric “Under The Moonlight,” and exudes a happy country feel on “Pollyanna.” She hits some particularly strong notes at the end of “Monday Blues,” is touching on the poignant love song “Me, My Lonely Heart, and I” (which has Dave Fox on piano), sounds intense on the rockish “Undone” (which features members of the group Peter Lamb and the Wolves), and is quite passionate on the blues ballad “Dividing Lines.” Waves also includes the gospel ballad “Come Weary Child,” “Phases” (which sounds like a vintage folk song), and the infectious “Waves” which has a powerful guitar solo from Scott Sawyer.
Not that many singers can sound sincere and musical in so many moods and styles, or write such thought-provoking and enjoyable songs. Carrie Marshall, who sings throughout with understated power, occasionally cutting loose in impressive fashion, has created a set of music that is filled with subtle surprises and inner heat. She is a talent well worth following.
Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers
By Courtney Devores
Charlotte transplant Carrie Marshall is among the five songwriters featured at Matthews Alive's Songwriter Sunday - part of the Labor Day weekend family-friendly cultural festival's live music schedule. Marshall's latest release is "Home," which finds the singer-songwriter delving into original material written in the style of jazz standards.
She's written and arranged "Home" in the cinematic style of Burt Bacharach or Cole Porter filtered through `70s AM pop, which today translates to easy listening, smooth jazz, and at times adult contemporary. It's classic, but it's also new. That's what's really exciting about "Home." Marshall has made the kind of record we don't hear often outside of artists like Diana Krall and Norah Jones. And "Home" is done extremely well with assists from producer/percussionist Jim Brock (Kathy Mattea), Van Sachs, Terry Peoples, and Mark Stallings. Marshall and this handful of co-writers and musicians have crafted an extremely polished, classic-sounding record in that style without making something that comes across as kitschy or retro.
Vocally it's obvious Marshall is capable of belting out country, pop, and gospel as well as the jazz and blues that fill her current repertoire. On "Home" she brings to mind contemporary jazz singers like Krall as well as some of the biggest voices of the `70s - Carole King, Carly Simon, Rita Coolidge, and a pre "Grease" Olivia Newton-John for instance. But while she shares qualities with those singers she carves out her own sound, while remaining stylistically versatile.
"Sentimental Journey," for instance, is a nod to vocal groups like the Andrews Sisters with Marshall handling all the harmonies, demonstrating her range and versatility. More, please!
The music throughout is subtle and Marshall's voice is lovely, but never over-the-top. You can clearly hear, for instance, each snare hit, cymbal shimmy and the low thump of walking bass on "Over the Moon." The fills are never showy on songs like "Carry On," a sunny, sing-songy track. "Don't Forget About Me" is a sultry samba laced with sax, piano, and guitar fills. There's a feeling of discovery and newness - as if she's observing places she's never been before or forcing a sunny outlook in the face of a new day - on songs like "Twelve Trinity Square" and "Carry On."
Marshall isn't solely a jazz singer though. Knowing that, "Home" seems like it might be a self-imposed challenge for a seasoned singer-songwriter and music instructor to see if she could create a new collection that may easily be mistaken for jazz standards. If that was the case, she certainly meets the challenge.
BIG HAT LARRY'S
by Chris Montgomery
Veteran recording artist Carrie Marshall drives it home as a jazz singer-songwriter! There is little doubt fans will get lost inside the array of refreshing vocal arrangements. Her fresh and clean vibe is ideal for a romantic dinner or an evening backdrop with close friends.
The aptly titled HOME features eleven tracks. Each song captures Marshall's signature jazz style laced with hints of R&B. "Thoughts Unspoken" puts the listener in mind of a smoky Havana bar, complete with sweat-stained suits and wicker ceiling fans. The imagery continues with "Twelve Trinity Square" and "Let the Heavens Say", with the exquisite singer tickling the ivories at the grand piano.
"Seven After Eleven" and "Sunny Day" have a mellow tone, reminiscent of fellow North Carolinian James Taylor. "Red Rose" incorporates a sultry, seductive feel with a touch of the blues.
Surprisingly, the standard "Over the Moon" was written in 2013, not 1940 as some might assume, with its reminiscent jazz standard, classic feel. Inspired by the birth of Marshall's nephew, there are clever references to the old nursery rhyme “Hey, Diddle, Diddle” woven within this feel-good, love song.
"Don't Forget About Me", is a rousing samba-like treat, including saxophone and guitar interludes. You can almost see the artist smiling while performing "Sentimental Journey", (a tribute to the Andrew Sisters) and "Carry On", although both share old memories and wintery seasons.
"There's A Long, Long Trail" is the perfect final page of a scrapbook full of musical photographs. Originally written in 1913, the artist gives this WW1 era song her own stylistic twist, while recalling days as a preacher's kid, playing out of tune pianos in old, musty church foyers.
An award-winning ensemble makes the difference. Jim Brock, a legendary percussionist, drummer and producer, produced and mixed the album. Bassist Terry Peoples assisted with arranging songs along with guitarist Van Sachs, who was the first to introduce Marshall to the Charlotte music scene. Brad Bailey, yet another collaborator and frequent performing partner, lent his talent on guitar to many of the tracks. Craig Nelson can be heard on the upright bass. Nashville producer, songwriter and guitarist Paul Buono, added his touch by recording vocals, guitar and added production as well as co-writing a couple tunes. Saxophonist Gabriel Bello, keyboardist Mark Stallings and and Nashville
Symphony Flugelhorn player, Steven Patrick rounded out finishing touches.
Simply put, both followers and newcomers will be happy to add selections to their audio libraries. Carrie Marshall delivers. These days that's hard to find, but it’s definitely something to write home about.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
"Carrie Marshall possesses a wonderful voice and presents a wide variety of American classics as well as her own material. Equally comfortable alone at the piano or backed by musicians, you can easily detect the influence of the greats, but in the end you will acknowledge her ability to make the songs her own. Her vocal range and intelligent interpretation plant her firmly at the front of the class for today’s performers."
- Victoria Clegg, Jazz Curator
"In “Home” she’s created a collection of originals that play like standards. It’s a versatile record that riffs on the Andrews Sisters and Burt Bacharach as well as the contemporary jazz of Diana Krall (minus the brass and smoke) or Norah Jones filtered through 1970s AM pop singers like Carly Simon, Carole King, and pre-“Grease” Olivia Newton John."
- Courtney Devores
"Take a little Diana Krall, add some southern blue-eyed soul, shake over ice & pour, and you've got a most tasty album!"
Randy Franklin and the Sardines
" An artist that hopes for success must soak up all their experiences and be able to share them through their songwriting. This is no easy task but as with any skill, with enough practice you can perfect it. Our recent discovery Carrie Marshall has been hard at work exploring her art for years and is still expanding her reach."
-Keith Pro, www.indiebandguru.com
"You sound terrific! Keep doing what you're doing..."
Charlotte Today, NBC
"Carrie Marshall's...already made quite the impression in the local music scene."
- Page Leggett
Lake Norman Magazine
"She's really great. You see that right there and go, 'Why is she not nationally known?'"
WCNC NBC News
"The jazz singing, piano player delivers a classic and romantic style that’s gaining popularity locally."
- Laura Fenton Pidge
Ft. Mill Magazine
" Carrie Marshall is one of the best talents we have the pleasure of working with. A true professional!"
- Brandon Crumpton
Key Signature Entertainment