Tonight singer/songwriter extraordinaire, sex blogger, card-game-inventor (see: “The F’ing Truth”), and former Philly resident, Carsie Blanton, returns to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection to perform for the first time in about a year. The folky, jazzy songstress is currently wrapping up nearly two months’ worth of dates and will be headlining our very favorite Philly (or Philthy) venue, Boot & Saddle. This February, shortly after her current jaunt began, I got a chance to chat with Blanton, as she and her band drove across Arizona, and the first thing I asked her was her thoughts on her time in the 215: “I lived in Philly for six or seven years – like 2006 to 2012 – and Joe, my bass player – who’s currently driving – still lives there, in the Germantown area. My favorite place was always Carman’s Country Kitchen, which is closed now, but Boot & Saddle is my favorite venue, so I am excited to play there again… I also love Uncle Bobbie’s Café!”
Carsie’s latest tour is in support of her latest LP, Buck Up, which dropped this February, which she says shares a lot of similarities with her last full-length, So Ferocious, but also embraces a bit of a different tone: “I have almost exactly the same personnel on this one, but So Ferocious was a much more light and playful album. And Buck Up is playful in a way, but also has darker themes. I mean, I’m as far left on the political spectrum as you can get and living in Trump’s America is quite a bummer for me.” And when I ask her about the album’s biggest influences, she admits that politics definitely played a part in it… in addition to the more existential aspects of life: “The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein… I became a socialist around the time the election happened… But also lust and love and heartache, and I did have a big breakup around the time of the election.”
My own personal favorite album track is, “Harbor,” a song reminiscent of the kind of poppy alt country that could’ve been an anthem at Lilith Fair. When I ask Carsie how the track came about, she tells me, “It all started with this phrase, ‘ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for,’ which I thought was just such a beautiful metaphor and illustrated the idea of why it’s okay to get your heart broken every so often and also why it’s okay to feel heartbroken for the country.’” And when I ask her what can be expected of the live show, when she hits up our favorite former honky-tonk tonight, she tells me that it should be quite the small-scale spectacle.
“I’ll be there with my full band and all the guys sing. We’re all dressed very snappily. It’ll be very snappy. I try to put on an old school entertainment show, like Vaudeville. We got shirts made for the first time. We like humor, even slapstick. We’re going to bring the humor and bring the drama.”