Singer-songwriter Carolyn Sills is always mining the depths of the human experience to find the best way to write a killer song—even if the experience is not her own. Sometimes this means looking beyond the obvious and fixating on details that some might consider insignificant. Those are the things she finds truly fascinating.
“I love looking at what’s going on in the background,” she says. “There was a song written about a woman who was shot on stage by her ex-husband who was a sniper. I’ve been obsessed wondering, ‘What song was she singing?’ There’s the facts of the story—the who, what, where, why, when—but what about the little things on the fringe that turn it into something romantic or creepy? I’ve always been attracted to that kind of stuff.”
The Carolyn Sills Combo released their self-titled debut album last fall, in an attempt to provide the best possible showcase for the vocalist-guitarist’s unique storytelling.
“Our whole mission for the album was to capture the feel of our live show, to tell the stories of these songs within the broader picture of the Spaghetti Western/Americana landscape,” says Sills.
Her songs tell a series of imaginative stories which are fictional, and yet relatable at the same time.
“That’s big for me, writing in that manner,” she says. “With ‘Aces and Eights,’ for example, I’m picturing Wild Bill Hickok’s last moments on earth, that last card game when he got shot, and the feelings that evoked; and then relating that to an experience in my own life.”
INFO: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.