“I think that I have a rebellious nature and it’s always bothered me that people aren’t more willing to talk about sex; especially female sexuality. I think I talk about sex for the same reason that I talk about radical politics because nobody else is talking about it” and rest assured that there is nobody else like Carsie Blanton.
Provocative, sexy and unafraid are all adjectives that describe Blanton. This edgy songstress who currently resides in New Orleans and her music both ooze with sensuality which is raw, bold, unabashed and definitely unapologetic.
February saw her release a new album titled, “Buck Up;” a 10 track collection, her seventh studio release and her third with The Figgs bassist Pete Donnelly producing.
“Yeah it’s called “Buck Up” and it came out on February 15,” she said with excitement. “I made it near Philly in South Jersey with Pete Donnelly producing and yeah, this is the third album that I’ve made with him. There’s a familiar cast of characters on there and also my whole band. There are a few themes; it definitely has more of a political theme than the previous albums. I am pretty far left on the political spectrum which I think is fairly obvious from the writing, so the election of Trump was not a great moment in my life; it was a dark time for me and I think for a lot of people and the country in many ways. So a lot of these songs are exploring the darker side of all of that and sort of how I think of America and being American and being a person in the world at this time. My music has always been more about playfulness, pleasure and joy and so I’ve tried to put those ideas through a lens of playfulness and fun and sexiness so that it’s a little easier to swallow.”
“It’s 10 tracks, I did one album in New Orleans but the last two, this one and “So Ferocious” I’ve done with Pete Donnelly in his home studio in South Jersey. I had done a record with Pete back when I lived in Philly; we just have a really good working relationship. It’s not every day that you get a really good creative collaboration and I think I’ve found that with Pete, so I think I’ve kind of found a home for recording albums.”
Blanton also has a very visual side and has released multiple videos over her career; her two most recent off of “Buck Up” epitomize her very essence. Carsie chuckles a bit when asked about the symbolism and not so veiled sexual references in her work; particularly in this case with, “Jacket” and how she found participants willing to be as open as she.
“American Kid,” came out on February 21; New Orleans is a pretty great place to live because there’s a lot of talented people and it still has a pretty low cost of living so people are ready to participate in shoestring budget projects like that. My videos are always pretty creative and we always have a lot of fun with them so I think at this point it’s easy to find people who want to come party with us (laughs). “Jacket,” obviously there’s a few different women in the video who are sort of touching fruit suggestively (laughs) and we found them just through casting on Facebook. They have all different backgrounds; one is a burlesque dancer so she was used to being in that context publicly but another was an elementary school teacher so we had a lot of different kind of people. The roller skating; he was a guy called Bobby Bonsey who is sort of a break dancer on roller skates and has been in a few of my videos. He helped us find all the other incredible dancers; they were all at a skate night on the west bank of New Orleans called “Skate Country” so it was easy.”
A native of Virginia who left home at an early age, she has bopped all around the globe making music. Before making the move to Louisiana she had been in the Philadelphia area and although she flourished there she finds her current digs a bit more nurturing.
“I would say that I’m getting more prolific all of the time and I think that the move has been part of that. I feel like I’ve written more and made more creative projects since I moved here. Nothing against Philly but I do think that this city has something really special in being a safe haven for creativity and eccentricity of all kinds and also for music in particular.”
Music isn’t all she has on her plate, a while ago she created, marketed and distributed a card game based on one of her favorite subjects; sex.
“The game is called, “The F’ing Truth,” it’s a talking about sex game and I invented it and released it through Kickstarter a little over a year ago; now it’s for sale in Urban Outfitters in around like one hundred stores. I’m hoping that they’ll put in another order for an even bigger run but I’m happy that it’s on the shelves there.”
A tireless road warrior, Blanton is on an extensive coast to coast run which sees two shows just outside our area; April 10 at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City and April 12 at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia.
Starting out west with some familiar faces, she is doing these shows a bit scaled back as a solo/duo act before going full band a bit down the road.
“I’m mostly on tour from now until June; these shows were with The Wood Brothers and it was just a duo but the rest of the shows will be with a full band.This is maybe the tenth or eleventh time I’ve toured with The Wood Brothers but it’s been about seven years since we were on the road together so I’m very happy to return and get to hang out with some of my favorite people and favorite musicians.”
As stated, Blanton is a tireless creator, performer and songwriter who seems to always have something up her tattoo sleeves; so what’s in store after this tour is in the books?
“I’m already working on the next album but it will be at least a year until I get back in the studio; I’ve got some songs a-brewin’. I have two more videos that are almost done; one for the song “Bed” and one for the song “Desire” and possibly another one after that. I’ve always wanted to do a music video based on an old Hollywood musical, like the dance numbers in “West Side Story;” that’s my dream but I haven’t come up with the budget for it yet but maybe I’ll find it over the next couple of months (laughs).” To find out more about Carsie Blanton or purchase tickets to one of her area shows, please go to www.carsieblanton.com.