It’s the story of local girl makes good. Born in Washington State, Brandi Carlile got her start playing Seattle clubs, but word of her incredible live performances caught on so quickly that she debuted on a major label and worked with top shelf producers like T Bone Burnett and Rick Rubin on future releases (also all on Columbia). Even with her growing success, Carlile has kept to her roots, having released in 2011 Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony and now Bear Creek, named for Woodinville, WA’s Bear Creek Studios, where the album was recorded and which has also seen the likes of Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, Blonde Redhead, Bill Frisell, and Soundgarden, among countless others since it opened 30 years ago. But also, Brandi Carlile has been active in the community, supporting causes through her Looking Out Foundation and speaking out for gay rights and marriage equality. Amid constant touring, Carlile found her way back home to perform live in her native Washington earlier this Fall and stopped by the KEXP studio where she treated us to four songs from Bear Creek, accompanied by her long-time collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Together, they delivered a fresh take on the music that has made Carlile so succcessful — folk-rock, foot-stomping alt-country, and hushed ballads — plus a terrific cover of Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s “Helplessly Hoping.”
Check out the videos below, and be sure to catch Brandi Carlile in the Northwest this week. She’s playing two shows this Friday in Bend, OR, at the Tower Theater, and then will head to Olympia on Saturday and Bellingham on Sunday, to play the Washington Center for the Performing Arts and Mount Baker Theater respectively. Check her website for other upcoming dates in the Northwest and elsewhere this winter and spring.