Sandy Carroll Sings About Blues & Angels
on New Catfood Records CD Coming October 19
Special Guests Include Johnny Rawls, Rocky Athas and Bernard Allison
EL PASO, TX
- Catfood Records announces an October 19 release date for Blues & Angels
, the new album from singer/songwriter/keyboardist Sandy Carroll, with distribution by City Hall Records. Produced by Sandy’s Grammy-winning husband Jim Gaines, Blues & Angels
features special guest appearances from Blues Music Award winning singer Johnny Rawls, guitarists Rocky Athas and Bernard Allison, as well as many members of the famed Muscle Shoals studio crew, including bassist David Hood and keyboardist Clayton Ivy.
Blues & Angels
is her fourth album for Catfood Records and comes after Carroll’s previous albums focused on her Americana and country music connections. Her 2017 CD, Last Southern Belle
, hit #1 on the Roots charts for Contemporary Country Song for six weeks straight and was #1 CD on the Hot Indie 100 Charts. In 2017 Sandy played at the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville.
“Returning to the blues is my comfort zone,” Sandy Carroll says about the new album. “This CD was one of the hardest to write because I really wanted to say something about what’s going on around us, but keep true to the genre of the music’s tradition.
“Blues is not just about a 3 o’clock in the morning heartbreak or a cheating man … it’s also about giving worth to the loss of a loved one, the state of one’s world, depression, mortality, healing the hurt … I think we experience these to know the true joy of gratitude as in dancing like a child, knowing that LOVE truly is a wonderful thing. Blues is universal and it lets us know we are never alone in times of trouble or wonderment.”
On Blues & Angels
, Sandy Carroll touches on a wide assortment of universal feelings and truths. “Some of the songs are written for healing,” she admits. “‘Wrapped in an Angel’ and ‘Headin’ Home’ are two of those; some are songs of awareness like ‘Road Angels and ‘Movin’ On.’ ‘Slings and Arrows’ and ‘Blues All for Myself’ are about recognizing the dark and either being prepared with a lifelong armor or letting it run its course. Some of the songs are joyous: ‘Somebody Gotta’ Dance’ and ‘Love is a Wonderful Thing;’ some are tongue-in-cheek songs about atonement: ‘Soak Me in the Spirit’ and the timely ‘Mama Don’t Like It,’ that speaks to the empowerment of women and a sassy blues warning to anyone ignoring the ‘me, too’ movement. One, and only one, is a true love song: ‘Mississippi Me’ is for my husband and its delicate simplicity grants me peace.”
For the songs on her new disc, Carroll collaborated again with Songwriter Hall of Fame member Mark Narmore, as well as William Lee Ellis and some new writers, including Stephanie C. Brown (“Burning Bridges” – Garth Brooks). From the musician side, Hall of Fame guitarist Will MacFarlane, plus special guests Bernard Allison and Rocky Athas put the blues licks and tones in their proper place.
“I was honored to write and duet with Johnny Rawls,” she declares. “Once again we recorded at Bessie Blues but also took it on the road for a cut at East Avalon Studios in Muscle Shoals and home to Memphis for a day’s work at American Studios.
“The A-Team rhythm section is the great Steve Potts, Dave Smith, Rick Steff and Steve Selvidge from Memphis. The A-Team from Muscle Shoals: David Hood, Clayton Ivy and Justin Holder laid it down for a glorious cut. Drummer Derrick Young worked in our studio while we were experimenting and did so well he ended up on two cuts. And I couldn’t be luckier than to have singers Reba Russell, Daunielle Hill, Barbara Blue, Nancy Apple, Lorina McMinn, Trinecia Butler, Rachel Robinson and Trey Hardin give the songs the texture and power they deserve.”
Sandy Carroll will perform shows around the country in support of the new album’s release.
Hi-res CD cover
About Sandy Carroll
Last Southern Belle is Sandy Carroll’s third album for Catfood Records. Her prior releases, Unnaturally Blonde (2013) and Just as I Am (2011) received international critical acclaim and substantial radio airplay on blues and Americana/country radio stations. In 2012, the single “Romeo and Juliet,” off the Just as I Am CD, stayed on the New Country Indie Chart for three months and reached #5. Also, “Good to be Home” from Unnaturally Blonde made it to #3 on the Country Indie Chart and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks.
Sandy Carroll returned to her Memphis roots in 1983 and spent a year headlining at a local club on historic Beale Street, following several years of performing on the road. Writing and recording the singles, “If You Got It” and “Memphis in May” in 1984, Sandy partnered with Jim Dickinson, NARAS Memphis chapter’s seven-time producer of the year. “Memphis in May” became a regional hit and for several years, the unofficial theme song for the Memphis in May annual festivities. Sandy performed at the Memphis in May Festival with the Memphis Horns (and special guest Rufus Thomas) and also at the first Beale Street Music Festival. She sang the national anthem and “Memphis in May” in front of 30,000 people at the Memphis Showboats football game, as well.
A year later, Sandy left for San Francisco to write and record. After three years on the West Coast and a short stay in the Midwest, Sandy returned to Memphis. In 1989, the legendary Albert King recorded Sandy’s, “If You Got It” which appeared on his final studio album, Red House. She then starting writing songs for her own full-length debut album, Southern Woman, released in 1993. Following the release, Sandy was invited on a month long tour of the United Kingdom.
Back in the States, Sandy continued promoting Southern Woman by performing at various festivals in the South, including Arts in the Park, Eureka Springs Blues Festival and the Southern Heritage Festival. She maintained a heavy performing schedule at all of Beale Street’s most prestigious clubs, and one of Sandy’s more unique gigs was writing the Memphis Mad Dog football team theme song, “Mad Dog Boogie,” recorded by Southern-fried soul and blues musician Preston Shannon.
In 1997, the great Luther Allison recorded Sandy’s “Just as I Am” and “It’s a Blues Thing” on his final album, Reckless, which was nominated for a Grammy. That same year, Sandy recorded and released her Memphis Rain CD, which was honored by the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Music Commission. She went on to receive a nomination by NARAS’ Memphis chapter for Songwriter of the Year.
Beginning the new millennium with concerts, club and festival performances, Sandy appeared at Muscle Shoals Songwriters, Beale St. Caravan National Radio Show at B.B. Kings, W.C. Handy Festival and the (invitation only) International Songwriters Festival in Orange Beach, Alabama, where she opened for songwriting legends Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. In 2001, Sandy was filmed by Memphis’ PBS station WKNO, along with great songwriters Keith Sykes, Teenie Hodges, Nancy Apple, Duane Jarvis and Delta Joe Sanders as part of the “In Their Own Voices” concert. Premiered in 2001, the concert has been syndicated on PBS affiliates nationwide.
Inside Sounds released a CD entitled Memphis Belles: Past, Present & Future in 2002 that featured Sandy along with Ruby Wilson, Cybill Shepherd, Carla Thomas and other Memphis female artists. In 2007, Sandy released an EP, Rhythm of the Rivers, with five previously-unpublished songs and a reprise of “Bound for Glory.” The localized release featured “The Pickwick Song” popularized in Sandy’s home community. Rhythm of the Rivers showed another side of Sandy’s music and writing, and the songs reflect her love for home – both her Memphis musical heritage and her childhood and present home by the Tennessee River at Pickwick. In 2008, Sandy was awarded her own brass note on Memphis’ historic Beale Street, and in 2010 the note was formally presented and enshrined in front of the Hard Rock Café.
Sandy Carroll also co-wrote cuts on Catfood Records labelmates Johnny Rawls’ Soul Survivor CD, Barbara Carr’s Keep the Fire Burning, James Armstrong’s Blues at the Border and Daunielle Hill’s self-titled album. Sandy was one of the first inductees into her hometown’s Music Hall of Fame along with famous Memphis DJ, Dewey Phillips in 2013. Sandy was also named a “Memphis Music Emissary” in 2015 in recognition of her contributions to Memphis music.
Sandy’s last CD LAST SOUTHERN BELLE hit #1 on the Roots charts for Contemporary Country Song for six weeks straight and was #1 CD on the Hot Indie 100 Charts. In 2017 Sandy played at the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville … she continues to write, record and perform.
For more information, visit www.catfoodrecords.com and www.sandycarroll.com