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Carleen Anderson | Features



 
 
 
 
Artist Of The Month

CARLEEN ANDERSON

Soul Providence

Q: Your latest album is called "Soul Providence" but there is no title track on the album, why not?
A: The album title 'Soul Providence' refers to the musical theme of the album, as in 'my soul has been provided for'. Except for my 1st solo album 'True Spirit', all the other titles of my albums or the DVD,(Blessed Burden, Alberta's GrandDaughter,& Grace & Favours), refers to the entire body of the musical works included within, rather than a title song reference.

Q: What was your drive to make this album?
A: I was driven to make this album because fellow musicians thought I should.

Q: You wrote all the songs but one. Where did your inspiration comes from?
A: My musical inspirations come from my own personal experiences as well as my viewpoints on social politics.

Angela JohnsonQ: Can you mention a few artists who you really admire and have been an example for you?
A: My most admired artists are unknown commercially, and primarily was my Aunt Bettye Faye Anderson, who was a gospel singer as well as an opera singer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1960's. Her example of musical fusion had the most impact on my singing. As far as musical composition, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, and Earth, Wind and Fire are the most immediate artists that I admired and influenced how I write songs.

Q: As the daughter of a preacher did you feel obliged to record songs with a gospel-feel like in (e.g.in the chorus) "Sweetness" and in "Salvation is Free"?
A: As a preacher's daughter I don't feel obliged to record songs with a gospel feel, but as it was my upbringing, it's just an instinctive inclusion in my music.

Q: You begin this album with a Soul Stream Intro to spread the message of love to us and you end this album with a Soul Stream Outro to encourage us to cherish precious moments especially when times are bad. But you also use an intro to the song "Little Wouldn't I Do" which is followed by "The Preachers Prayer" that looks like an outro to this song. Have you done this because "Little Wouldn't I Do" is your favourite song on the album or for another reason?
A: The intro to Little Wouldn't I Do only stands as a preview for that song, which was actually the producer's idea to include, having obviously picked up on how strong my feelings are about the topic of being romantically and intimately available for someone in a way that I never have been before now. The Preacher's Prayer is the intro for the song Salvation is Free, relating to how my faith is the key to my peace of mind, which comes from the religious training I grew up with. The producer, Mark Edwards, thought it was important to put in these various intros, which I later entitled, Soul Stream, etc., as he viewed sharing my personality alongside my music, would add even more impact to the songs.

Q: What is your favourite song on this album?
A: It's difficult to have a favourite song of mine period, as every song I've written in my life has had a specific meaning for me. But the one I like singing live the most, is "Sweetness", as to date, it's the most descriptive song of a single special moment which I experienced, that I've ever composed.

Q: Will you only make solo albums from now on or might we expect you to do lead vocals again for other projects like you did in the past?
A: As long as circumstances allow, I'll probably always do solo albums as well as other projects. I recently recorded a track for the band, Incognito that will be on their next album, as well as tracks for Massive Attack for their next album. Working with other people enhances my musicianship and is an integral part of my development as a musician.

Q: What was the last album you bought and why that particular album?
A: The last album I bought was Eva Cassidy's Songbird, because Steve White, drummer for Paul Weller, suggested I buy it as reinforcement to convince me that I should continue making music to support his point to me that there is still an audience for songs sung from the soul.

© 2005 SaveOurSoul

Carleen AndersonLike a runaway slave, with my son in tow, I crossed the pond to opportunity. The British Music Scene has afforded me the chance to perform with Paul Weller, Courtney Pine, Johnny Cash, The Brand New Heavies, Max Beesley, Massive Attack, Ocean Colour Scene, Bryan Ferry, The London Community Gospel Choir, Paul McCartney, Incognito, and Jools Holland, to name a few. Noted international DJ’s, Sir Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson, play list my music. My concerts have been attended by actors Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, and, (rapper/musician/actor), Mos Def. I recorded a duet with Lewis Taylor, 18 With a Bullit, that was on the soundtrack album for Guy Ritchie’s film, Lock, Stock and Two Smokin’ Barrels. I was filmed singing a song, Born to Love, written by Yolanda Charles, (former bassist for myself as well as Paul Weller and Robbie Williams), in the movie, American Daylight, starring Nick Moran. I am further rewarded with the honour of being the head of the vocal department at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music where I have been teaching since 2002. When my schedule allows, I ride my horse Dexter in the English countryside. I am sure all of this occurred because I live and work in England. There was no outlet for such variety to happen for me in the land of my birth.

My journey began with me being raised by my birth father’s parents, who had been Louisiana sharecroppers born near the beginning of the 20th century. The union of a preacher’s son whom himself became a preacher, and the female soul singer who was the featured vocalist for James Brown during the 1960’s and 1970’s, educated me well in the extremes of human nature. I grew up with my very lovingly religious grandparents in Houston Texas during the civil rights movement. After a brief marriage in 1978, I spent the 1980’s being a single Mom in California, then my son and I brought in the 21st century as UK residents. This experience, full of social and political diversity, has been the reference source that earns my keep through lyrical and musical expressions. It is a unique heritage full of complicated challenges that have caused me to have a strong faith in the belief that the primary sustenance for a balanced life depends on the ability to truly love and to be loved truthfully, in return.

Carleen AndersonMy recording career began with the Young Disciples after relocating to England in June 1990. The album I recorded with them, which I sang and wrote songs for, Road to Freedom, included the dance club hit, Apparently Nothin’, a spring board that later spearheaded me to being the lead vocalist for the Brand New Heavies in 1999 and 2000, for their tour to promote their album, Trunk Funk, a collection of the Brand New Heavies greatest hits. From 1992 to 1998, I was signed to Virgin Records on their Circa Label and recorded 2 solo albums for them, True Spirit and Blessed Burden. My music production and song writing skills were groomed and polished with my second solo album, Blessed Burden, recorded with Paul Weller, who co-produced the album with me and co-wrote some of the songs as well. Paul Weller continues to be a loyal supporter of my music and the encouraging brother that champions me, regardless.

My first independently recorded album, Alberta’s GrandDaughter, a tribute to my grandmother, released in 2002, was co-produced with the talented Ben Castle, son of the famous British trumpeter, Roy Castle. Ben Castle brought with him several talented musicians to record on Alberta’s GrandDaughter, who still tour and record with me. Colin Walker, who engineered and co-produced Alberta’s GrandDaughter, also became my business manager, a decision that has brought me indescribable benefits. Colin Walker, along with keyboardist and co-producer of Alberta’s GrandDaughter, Mark Edwards, also produced my live performance DVD, Grace & Favours, filmed in Birmingham, England, in 2003. My current offering, Soul Providence, scheduled for release early autumn 2005, again produced by Colin Walker and Mark Edwards, has guest performances with Jocelyn Brown and Paul Weller. This album represents the mature me, the woman who survived the disappointments with a passionate smile of joyful restitution.

I live a life that could never have been planned. I take the road less travelled, continuously. Despite the conflicts and complications, my soul is provided for and my salvation is free. Onwards and forwards, love and let love be.

Soul Providence
2005
Carleen Anderson - Soul Providence Track Listing:
1. Soul Stream Intro
2. A Different Me
3. Gotta Believe In The Future
4. Whose Business?
5. Wanna Be Where You Are
6. Careful
7. My Door Is Open
8. All In My Mind

9. Sweetness
10. Parting The Waters
11. Just Like Me
12. Little Wouldn’t I Do
13. The Preacher’s Prayer
14. Salvation Is Free
15. Onwards And Forwards
click here to buy Soul Providence
Up to Now
2004
Carleen Anderson - Up to Now Track Listing:
1. Apparently Nothin' (Circa Mix)
2. Nervous Breakdown (Radio Edit)
3. Mama Said
4. Let It Last
5. True Spirit
6. Mr Businessman
7. Sights In The City
8. Fortune's Drive (Edit)

9. Maybe I'm Amazed
10. Woman In Me (Single Edit)
11. Leopards In The Temple
12. Swinging Big Tom
13. Saturday Nite
14. Stories
15. Dance In The Rain
16. Don't Look Back In Anger (Live)
click here to buy Up to Now
Alberta's Granddaughter
2002
Carleen Anderson - Alberta's Granddaughter Track Listing:
1. Love's remedy
2. Dance in the rain
3. The best you
4. Night falls
5. Apparently nothin'
6. Desiderata trilogy

7. Don't look back in anger
8. When the light shines
9. Cage street memorial
10. Pegasus
11. Famous patience
12. There's a song
click here to buy Alberta's Granddaughter
Blessed Burden
1998
Carleen Anderson - Blessed Burden Track Listing:
1. Until I See You Again
2. Woman In Me
3. Leopards In The Temple
4. Shifting Times
5. Fortune's Drive
6. Redemption
7. Who Was That Masked Man

8. Interlude Highlands Part I
9. Interlude Highlands Part II
10. I'm Gonna Miss You
11. Maybe I'm Amazed
12. Peace In The Valley
13. Piece Of Clay
14. Burning Bridges
click here to buy Blessed Burden
True Spirit
1995
Carleen Anderson - True Spirit Track Listing:
1. True Spirit
2. Morning Loving
3. Mama Said
4. Ain't Givin' Up On You
5. Only One For Me
6. Nervous Breakdown

7. Secrets
8. Let It Last
9. Feet Wet Up
10. Welcome To Changes
11. Ian Green's Groove Conclusion
click here to buy True Spirit

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