I picked up a new album yesterday, the latest release from Canada’s Carolyn Arends. The album is an acoustic celebration of her 20 years as a recording artist titled Just Getting Started.
As a thank-you to those fans who have followed her music over the past couple of decades Carolyn has decided to make the record free to anyone who cares to download it. If you’ve never heard of Carolyn before, you are welcome to download it too. A companion songbook, with music, is coming shortly.
I’ve always liked Carolyn’s music and I generally prefer sparse arrangements and recordings. I can’t help it, I like acoustic music. It seems more genuine somehow. That makes this an album I can recommend unreservedly.
This is a fan-driven project, a reworking of favourites chosen by those who have listened to Carolyn over the years who weighed in on the songs that meant the most to them. (There is also one new tune.)
This is not quite a live album, there is no audience, but is a fairly faithful reproduction of what you would hear if you were to catch Carolyn in concert where she usually joined onstage by multi-instrumentalist Spencer Capier.
So how do you choose the songs that encapsulate a 20-year career? I suspect that pretty much every song she has ever recorded has meant something special to someone. Carolyn explains on the website that she eliminated material from theme albums (she has two Christmas albums, and other songs that have multiple recorded versions already, but as she explains, it still wasn’t easy.
“The above parameters should have eliminated both “Seize the Day” and “Reaching”—but so many of you asked for them we decided we better do them. We challenged ourselves to make a version of “Seize the Day” that was piano-based (rather than guitar-based). Conversely, we tried an arrangement of “Reaching” that was driven by guitar rather than piano. The results were surprising … and I’m hoping you’re going to like them.”
I did – I hope you do too. You can pick up your own copy, absolutely free, by clicking on this link. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of the record – and I can pass your feedback on to Carolyn.