I have a long and compelling history with Carly Thomas. I met her for the first time probably nine years ago, when I was working on what was the creative forerunner to the JHP: my London Groove Machine music blog. I interviewed her for the blog. She had recently released her Explode EP, which I really liked (and still do). In researching for the interview, I listened to her earlier music and was genuinely impressed with her songwriting. We did the interview and it was great, and at the end I told her that I would love to play with her if she ever needed a drummer. Turns out she actually did need a drummer.
The rest, as they say, is Geschichte.
Carly and I have played together off and on in the years since then. As we discussed in the episode, we’ve gone back and forth across the country together via train, and played everywhere from main stage at folk festivals to market stalls nestled in the mountains around Banff. We recently reconnected and began playing together again and it’s been a lot of fun.
You know my catchphrase: Good things happen when you put yourself out there. Carly does that in her music in ways that not everyone can. In the episode she talks about writing from personal experience and from a place of vulnerability. She has a way of sharing her experience that is poignant and at times even whimsical, and I think it’s partly the honesty in her writing that makes her songs so resonant. It was interesting for me to get inside her creative mind a bit (or perhaps her creative heart?) to hear how the music works for her.
And it is working, by the way. After 20 years in the game, persevering and plugging away and at times holding on, things are really beginning to happen for her. She’s had substantial traction on Sirius radio, and recently announced a cross-Canada tour opening for Matthew Good this fall. Not surprisingly, a lot of this success has begun to come after she committed to her own vision and trusted her own intuition on the sort of artist she wants to be.
Oh, she also mentioned in the episode how much she likes the drum part I wrote for her song Lion’s Gate. I like it too, and if you’ll allow just a hint of self-indulgence, I’ll include a live recording of it below, along with the video for her breakout single, Stay With Me.
Thanks as always for listening!
Stay With Me