Instead of settling on being a one hit wonder though, Cary went on to release two EPs on his own Procrastination label - All the Rage (2004) and Waiting for Your Letter (2005), and then continued to work on the material that would become Who You Are, the album that he's releasing on May 29th via Bluhammock Records.
The record is a blend of songs ranging from piano driven ballads such as All the Rage (supported by Matt Hales from Aqualung) to smooth string arrangements such as Loneliest Girl In the World, to new wave 80's homages like The Last One (inspired by brat-pack flicks like Sixteen Candles according to Cary). “The songs are pop, but not built-for-radio pop songs,” Brothers explains. “I like melodies that grow, songs that have more than one meaning. Radio songs have the big hook at the beginning, then they hammer that into your head for the next three minutes, instead of letting the song grow slowly, organically.”
Although it's hard to believe, Cary was not always steering his course towards a musical career. His family has a long tradition of working as teachers, and in fact he majored in English at Northwestern University where he played in a cover band playing the Allman Brothers and the Velvet Underground. He then went into film in L.A., starting his own independent movie company, which he eventually closed to pursue his dreams of writing songs that he could share with others.
I was lucky enough to see him live last night opening for Brandi Carlile at the Ironhorse Theatre in Northampton, MA. Unfortunately because they were late arriving due to heavy traffic coming out of NYC (where they played two nights before), Cary played a very short set, only 6 songs. Five were from his upcoming album (including the two below), and the sixth was his well known Blue Eyes. I had the chance to talk to him before Brandi took the stage and he commented on how odd it was playing with just a cellist backing him after just having finished the album in the studio with a full band behind him. He is planning on coming back around in July with a full retinue to support him, and I'll be eagerly awaiting seeing him play again.
Cary Brothers - The Glass Parade : Who You Are
Cary Brothers - If You Were Here : Who You Are
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I wouldn't want to slight Brandi Carlile in this post so I'll add that her set was a wonderful and generous mix of songs from her older albums, her latest release The Story, and some kick-ass covers (Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah). At the end of the night, the crowd was even blessed with an appearance by Brandi's sister hopping up on stage with her and singing a few songs.
Brandi Carlile - What Can I Say : Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile - Hallelujah : KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic
TOUR DATES - Cary Brothers and Brandi Carlile4/30: Towson, MD @ Recher Theatre
5/02: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
5/04: Portsmouth, NH @ Music Hall
5/05: Boston, MA @ Paradise
5/07: Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
5/08: Cleveland, OH @ Cambridge Room – House of Blues
5/09: Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
5/11: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
5/12: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
5/15: Indianapolis, IN @ Music Mill