Dave Carroll is an award winning singer-songwriter, professional speaker, author and social media innovator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He began his music career with his brother Don in the band Sons of Maxwell and has been enjoying success as a solo artist for the since 2008. He released his debut solo album Perfect Blue in 2008 and a second solo album in 2012 called Raincoat in Vegas. For over two decades, Dave has charmed fans with his approach to music. His ability to extract the essence of a message and craft it into song is a rare gift that is attracting fans of all ages, while his sense of humour and disarmingly warm stage presence makes each live experience a memorable one for audiences around the world.
Known as a master storyteller, Dave's incredible talent was introduced to millions when his 2009 anthem 'United Breaks Guitars’ became a worldwide sensation. The song chronicled his experience in the customer service process with United Airlines. His creative use of social media to share that message as an Independent Musician, has reached over 150 million people. As the #1 most watched YouTube Music Video in the world in July 2009, United Breaks Guitars has been called ‘one of the most important [videos] in Google’s history,’ and became a metaphor for change and innovation.
The United Breaks Guitars trilogy has awakened companies everywhere to the importance of focusing on the customer and on delivering exceptional customer experience. Dave Carroll is a musician with a message, demonstrating the power one voice can have in today’s socially driven world. Dave has become internationally famous as one of the world’s top media relations innovators & customer experience authorities. He is also widely sought after as a content creator & songwriter. He is also co-founder of Gripevine, an on-line customer complaints resolution platform that brings consumers and businesses together in a mutually beneficial way, resulting in improved service for consumers and improved results for companies.
Dave has been featured in major news media around the world (including ABC’s ‘The View,’ ABC’s 20/20, CNN, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone Magazine, Wall Street Journal & BBC to name a few). Several case studies and book references about United Breaks Guitars have been published including one’s by Harvard Business School, University of Toronto and a Thesis by Allison Soule for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On February 16th, 2011, Dave Carroll and United Breaks Guitars were featured as part of a question/answer on the hit show Jeopardy.
Dave has testified (and sung) on Capitol Hill in Washington, delivered keynotes at Columbia University’s Brite Conference, TedX Hoboken, NewComm Forum, Mesh Conference, Atlantic Brand Confabulation (with Gene Simmons), SXSW Interactive, The Power of PR CPRS Conference, G-Force Prague, G-Force Melbourne & other significant customer service & corporate events (including for RightNow Technologies & Sandvik Coromant).
In 2010 Dave's song and video 'Everyday Heroes' was released on 911Song.com. In a world where broken promises are commonplace, when it counts most, there are people willing to help strangers because they gave their word that they would. The essence of 'Everyday Heroes' is about these individuals keeping their promise to respond, regardless of who is in need or the unknown risks that may await the First Responders. As a volunteer firefighter himself for 5 years, Dave wrote ‘Everyday Heroes’ after being challenged by a friend to honour those who answer the call.
In May, 2012 Dave Carroll wrote a book about his customer experience called, “United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media”, published by Hay House Publishing. Whether you are a guitarist, a baggage handler, or a boardroom executive, this book will entertain you and remind you that we are all connected, that each of us matters, and that we all have a voice worth hearing.
Dave’s newest music project, Raincoat in Vegas, is an eclectic mix of carefully crafted songs that demonstrate Dave’s growth as songwriter and performer. The depth of musical styles offered by “Raincoat in Vegas” range from Pop-Folk to Singer-Songwriter to Americana. What weaves through all of the songs, and results in a complete and refreshing album experience, is the vivid and often deeply personal stories that Dave tells with such mastery of the storytelling art.
Said to be 'one of the nicest guys in the business,' Dave Carroll is one of Canada's brightest shining stars.'
AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
EAST COAST MUSIC AWARDS (ECMA)
• WIN 2006 Vibe Marketing Country Recording of the Year (Sunday Morning) with Sons of Maxwell
• WIN 2002 Roots Traditional Album of the Year (Among The Living) with Sons of Maxwell
• Nomination 2010 Entertainer of the Year
• Nomination 2010 Fan’s Choice Video of the Year
• Nomination 2010 Fan’s Choice Favourite Artist
• Nomination 2009 Male Solo Recording of the Year (Perfect Blue)
• Nomination 2009 Pop Recording of the Year (Perfect Blue)
• 2009 SOCAN Songwriter’s Circle
• 2006 Nomination Group Recording of the year (Sunday Morning) with Sons of Maxwell
NOVA SCOTIA MUSIC AWARDS
• WIN 2009 Digital Artist of the Year
• WIN 2009 Video of the Year – United Breaks Guitars
• WIN 2008 Inspirational Album of the Year (Perfect Blue)
• WIN 2000 Group of the Year (with Sons of Maxwell)
• Nomination 2010 Digital Artist of the Year
• Nomination 2009 Male Artist Recording of the Year
• Nomination 2009 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year
• Nomination 2008 Country Album of the Year (Perfect Blue)
• 2008 Nova Scotia Music Awards – Songwriters Circle Showcase
• 2006 Nominations Country Recording, Group Recording & Pop/Rock album of the year (Sunday Morning) – with Sons of Maxwell
CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARDS
Nomination 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards – Contemporary Singer of the Year
ONTARIO INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS
Nomination 2008 Ontario Independent Music Awards – Best Canadian Artist (not from Ontario)
HOLLYWOOD MUSIC AWARDS
Nomination for 2008 Hollywood Music Awards – Male Vocalist of the Year Category
• Winner 11th Annual Great American Song Contest (Country Category) w/ United Breaks Guitars (2009)
• Nomination 2008 Independent Singer Songwriter Contest – Singer Songwriter of the Year
• Finalist in the 2008 UK Songwriting Contest (Great Divide)
• Runner Up in the 2008 Singer/Songwriter Awards (Great Divide)
• Shortlisted in the 2008 Australian Songwriting Contest (Great Divide)
• 1st Place in the 12th Annual Unisong Int’l Songwriting contest (Acoustic/Folk) (Now)
• July 2008 winner (monthly winner) 12th Annual Unisong Int’l Songwriting contest (Now)
• Finalist 12th Annual Unisong Int’l Songwriting Contest (AAA/Americana) (Great Divide)
• 2008 Great American Song Contest (Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting Award) (Now)
• 2008 Mid Atlantic Song Contest (Honorable Mention) (Now)
• Semi-finalist in the 2008 UK Songwriting Contest (Now)
• Finalist in the 2008 John Lennon Songwriting contest (Now)
• Shortlisted in the 2008 Australian Songwriting Contest (Now)
• Honour Award in the 2008 – 100% Music Songwriting Contest (Folk/Singer songwriter) (Now)
• 2012 A. D. Dunton Alumni Award of Distinction from Carleton University
• Consumers' Choice Award Man of the Year - Halifax (2010)
• TIME Magazine named United Breaks Guitars #12 out of the Top 50 Greatest YouTube Hits ever (2010)
• TIME Magazine named United Breaks Guitars #7 on the Top Viral Videos list of 2009
• United Breaks Guitars reached #1 on the UK Itunes Country song charts in July 2009
• United Breaks Guitars reached the top #14 on the Itunes Canada video charts July 2009
• Perfect Blue reached the Itunes Canada top 100 albums (in July 2009 real time stats)
• United Breaks Guitars in real time reached the #1 Most Viewed, Discussed & Top Rated YouTube Music Video (in July 2009)
• United Breaks Guitars widely lauded as one of the most important [videos] in Google's history
• Perfect Blue CD Inspires Feature Film Entitled “NOW” (Curve Productions)
• Promise to Pursue (Perfect Blue) number one on the East Coast Countdown (April 2008).
• Grammy award-winning country music star Kathy Mattea recorded “The Place I Call Home” (Perfect Blue), co-written with Grammy winner Jon Vezner. The song is part of a three disk, 36-song compilation CD called “This is My America, that was released in 2009.”
• 2005 selected with Sons of Maxwell to perform a tour in China in September following the 2004 ECMA showcase.
• 2004 Based on the success of three Western Canada showcase performances, Sons of Maxwell played nearly 50 soft-seat concerts in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
• Completed a 17-city tour of Germany in November 2003. This was the band’s third tour of Bavaria (Sons of Maxwell)
• The song “Hold On” was recognized by the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society for its strong message.
covered S.O.M. originals in live shows and recorded projects.
• Showing their popularity, several artists have covered S.O.M. originals in live shows and recorded projects.
Dave Carroll - Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals
Mike Hiltz - Bass
Julian Marentette - Percussion
Chris Iannetti - Guitar
(2012) Raincoat In Vegas
(2012) Book: United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media
(2010) Everyday Heroes (single)
(2010) Perfect Blue Deluxe
(2010) United Breaks Guitars: Song 3 - "United We Stand" on the Right Side of Right (single)
(2009) United Breaks Guitars: Song 2 (single)
(2009) United Breaks Guitars: Song 1 (single)
(2008) Perfect Blue
Discography with Sons of Maxwell
(2012) Christmas Super Deluxe
(2006) "The Road And The Miles" S.O.M. Songbook (containing lyrics, chords & melody lines for all SOM original tunes)
(2006) S.O.M. DVD (collection of favorite music videos)
(2004) Sunday Morning
(2001) Instant Christmas
(2001) Among The Living
(2000) Sailor's Story
(1998) The Neighbourhood
(1998) Live at Tim´s House
(1994) Bold Frontier
(1993) Sons of Maxwell
Dave Carroll: Storyteller
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A song is a story, whether abstract or concrete, that is put to a melody and rhythm. Over the pas...A song is a story, whether abstract or concrete, that is put to a melody and rhythm.
Over the past six days, the ECMAs have opened up the town of Corner Brook to an array of artists who are trying to tell their stories.
Dave Carroll, a singer-songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is one of those musical talents. On Sunday, Carroll joined Maureen Ennis and Ron Hynes of Newfoundland, and Chris Colepaugh and Steven MacDougall of New Brunswick, as they showcased the SOCAN Songwriter’s Circle at the Pepsi Studio in Corner Brook.
The Songwriters Circle was a two-hour show where the artists involved took turns playing acoustic songs to display their songwriting talents.
Carroll, who has a pop-folk style, has been playing guitar for 20 years and writing songs for 18, but he feels his music can’t be broken down to a specific genre.
“Well, in Nova Scotia, my album is up for the best country recording, and here, it’s up for the best pop recording, so my music does bridge a lot of genres and I’m happy to say that it isn’t any one genre.”
As a songwriter, Carroll has written, recorded and released more than 40 original titles, mostly for his band Sons of Maxwell’s eight CDs. His brother Don is also part of the group, but Dave said he remains the primary songwriter.
Despite the fact that Sons of Maxwell are still an active and busy band, Dave and his brother are both working on their own solo projects.
“Both me and my brother Don have solo projects in the works. He has a real passion for jazz and I have a passion for songwriting,” said Dave. “I write in any style that I feel like while Sons of Maxwell is more geared towards the Celtic, folk and slight pop sounds.”
He said that the solo projects have allowed him and his brother to grow musically and release titles that he normally wouldn’t record as part of Sons of Maxwell.
“The solo project has allowed myself the freedom to write about anything I wanted and I wasn’t trying to write for a particular demographic or the Sons of Maxwell fan base, although the Sons of Maxwell fans are really taking to the record too.”
Carroll has already been rewarded for his solo album. Perfect Blue was released late last year and is up for two 2009 ECMA awards: male recording of the year and the radio pop recording of the year. He said he is hopeful he will win, but added that just being nominated is an honour.
As time passes in his life, Carroll said the meaning of some his songs have a tendency to change a bit. The songs, he said, are more meaningful and heartfelt, while saying something that he feels the world needs to hear.
“I look at serious issues and I try to look at them from all angles,” said Carroll. “I put myself in the shoes of everybody. That way you have a better understanding of what is happening“.
“I tend to see confrontation as two different opinions, and how is one any more correct than the other?”
His work, whether for Sons of Maxwell or Perfect Blue, has made an impact on fans and has established him as one of the most decorated songwriters in Atlantic Canada. Since 2004, Sons of Maxwell has won awards as the roots-traditional group of the year, country recording of the year and Nova Scotia group of the year. They were also nominated for group of the year at the 2007 ECMAs.
He said that despite the success that he has had with his band and solo career, there have been roadblocks. Writers block has periodically caused a bit of trouble for him, but he said that just putting the pen down isn’t his solution.
“You try to work through these problems. That’s what really successful songwriters seem to do. Everyone gets in a slump but they seem to blast through it by continually working, and I think that’s the trick,” explained Carroll. “It’s not so much putting it down, but writing a different song, a humourous song, learning new chords or learning an alternate tuning which inspires all sorts of creative ideas.
“Changing the perspective you’re coming from writing-wise, opens up a lot of doors.”
In an attempt to improve his abilities, Carroll took a trip to Nashville last year and said that it taught him a lot about country roots.
Carroll said he has more songs in the works but no date has been set for the release of a new album, but he’s sure it’s coming.
View a slideshow of the 2009 ECMA Songwriter's Circle featuring Carroll's performance of The Place That I Call Home.
Living in the Now
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He was sitting around one day playing some chords on his guitar when Dave Carroll noticed the copy o...He was sitting around one day playing some chords on his guitar when Dave Carroll noticed the copy of The Power Of Now on his coffee table.
“I just thought there was this profound message in this book,” the musician said of the Eckhart Tolle book — which Oprah has endorsed as one of the most influential of our time.
“I was just playing around with ideas and I started thinking more and more about what the book meant to me, and this song came out of that.”
Called Now, the song is one of a dozen Carroll — part of the brotherly duo Sons Of Maxwell — is including on his solo album, Perfect Blue.
“The message in the book is about living in the moment and being present and aware of yourself,” said the Timmins, Ont., native. “More importantly, it is about not spending time living in the past.
“It’s a pretty liberating idea, and that is what I wanted to capture with the song.”
It was also what Carroll was trying to capture with the album. It is the first solo release for the singer-songwriter, who has released eight CDs as part of Sons Of Maxwell.
Thinking about a solo project two years ago, he had been writing a number of songs that were not included on the duo’s albums, but which Carroll felt were still strong enough to be used.
Making this album was a calming experience. I didn’t have any expectations; there were no demands or timelines, no audience I was writing for and no one who could be upset.”
Carroll said his goal was to write songs that pleased him creatively, but still make sure the ones he used on the album would be entertaining to the listener.
“Creatively, there are moments when you are writing songs that are extra special, and when I was writing Now, I got a little tingle that I’ve gotten a few times in my career.”
Carroll up for East Coast Music Awards
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By JESSICA YOUNG (Dec. 12th, 2008) Recognition from the music industry keeps rolling in for Dav...By JESSICA YOUNG
(Dec. 12th, 2008)
Recognition from the music industry keeps rolling in for Dave Carroll.
On Thursday, the East Coast Music Association announced its 2009 award show nominees. It was announced that the Timmins native is up for the Konica Minolta male solo recording of the year and the NewCap Radio pop recording of the year awards for his debut album "Perfect Blue."
"It's fantastic," Carroll said. "The really neat thing about these two nominations is that they complete the circle in terms of what I wanted to accomplish with the record.
"I come from different musical backgrounds so with this 'Perfect Blue' recording I tried to have a record that demonstrated that. Usually you get criticized for being too eclectic. It's something hard to do and I'm very fortunate for that (the nominations)."
Carroll was just in Timmins, where he performed his 10th-anniversary Sons of Maxwell Christmas show with his brother Don. At Timmins High and Vocational School last weekend, hundreds of people gathered to listen to their favourite brothers sing songs of the season and originals by Don and Dave.
Dave performed two songs from his new album: "Now" and "Great Divide."
Getting on stage in Timmins has always had a special place in his heart.
"My roots run and deep and are still tied to Timmins," he said.
Before the nominations were released, Dave admits he was hoping for a nod from the association, but was surprised he got two.
"I was hoping I would (get a nomination) but there's so much good music being made here in the east coast. To get into a category that isn't genre-specific really surprised me."
The song "Now" off of his new solo album was chosen as a finalist in the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and was also was awarded the Unisong International Songwriting Contest. His album also was nominated for two Music Nova Scotia awards for country and inspirational album and a nomination in the contemporary singer of the year category for the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
So far Carroll continues to be on an upward climb on the ladder of success but says his accomplishments would not be possible without the help of others.
"I'm very grateful to everybody who helped out on the project recording it, Jamie Robinson, my producer, and locally Johanna Harrison has been a big help when submitting for contests last year."
Carroll has received five ECMA nominations and won two ECMA awards with his brother Don as the Sons of Maxwell.
The Incredible Power Of The Individual
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http://grandrants.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/the-incredible-power-of-the-individual/ The Incredib...http://grandrants.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/the-incredible-power-of-the-individual/
The Incredible Power Of The Individual
~ Or, How A Guitar Cost United Airlines $180 Million
You’ve got to love irony… especially when it’s mixed with Stubris (a term coined by our own Alan Speakman which he defines as is an act of stupidity-fueled hubris).
It’s the mixture that causes the mighty to be humbled; the undefeated to suffer an unexpected humiliating loss.
It’s Barack Obama with his insistence that whether “we the people” want something, if it’s his will, it shall be done.
It’s the hubris of John Edwards, Rod Blagojevich, Mike Tyson, Gary Hart, Mel Gibson all discovering they are not infallable although they’ve lived their lives as if they were. In each case, their “stubris” has cost them dearly.
The corporate world has also had its share of embarrassing losses, the result of lawsuits (W R Grace) or simply bad management (Digital Equipment Corporation) all stemming from, that’s right, stubris. But seldom has a huge corporation been humbled in such a wide-spread public manner by a single customer who simply wanted them to do the right thing. Until now.
United Airlines, meet your biggest headache: Dave Carroll and his $3,500 guitar that has (so far) cost you $180 million.
I’m writing about his story, because I think it’s a metaphor for what even a single individual who is in the right can do if he has conviction (and, in Dave’s case, a good sense of humor and fantastic songwriting skills). The results can change an entire industry, an entire nation, or the entire world.
If you’re a regular here at Grand Rants, you’ve undoubtedly seen our coverage of how United Airlines damaged Carroll’s $3,500 Taylor Guitar and then steadfastly refused to accept responsibility for the repairs. For the benefit of our new readers, however, you can find Stoutcat’s articles here and here. Go ahead and take a look. It’s well worth it, and we’ll wait…
OK. Now that we’re all up to speed, Carroll, part of a Canadian country band called “Sons of Maxwell,” simply wanted United Airlines to pay the $1,200 to repair his $3,500 Taylor guitar which was damaged by grossly negligent baggage handling. United decided to pass on the opportunity to “do the right thing” in an attempt to avoid paying for the guitar’s repair.
Dave tried working with United. Honest he did. And when their final answer was, in effect, “Sorry, you’re just out of luck,” he decided to write three songs and post them on Youtube (the second of three has just been posted). If there had been an iota of intelligence in the upper level management at United, they’d have sent Dave a check with some roses with a note that said, “You had me at ‘Youtube’.”
Since posting the original song, “United Breaks Guitars” it’s been viewed by millions of people… people who fly and will now think twice about choosing United.
But the biggest impact is that as Dave’s video “went viral” on the Internet and United got inundated with calls from angry consumers, a not-so-funny thing happened to their stock: It plunged in value by 10%. The net loss to United’s stockholders totaled $180 million according to an article in The London Times. And it could have been avoided by simply doing the right thing.
The metaphor is this: Given a chance, big government or big corporate management will usually choose to do what’s in their own best interest, regardless of the impact to the consumer/constituent.
The simple solution for citizens and consumers is, “Don’t let them get away with it.” And you accomplish this by making every effort to work within the established guidelines . When you’ve exhausted all efforts and are still not satisfied with the results — and if you’re still convinced you are in the right — then it’s time to do things in a creative manner. Sometimes this can be done within the law, but sometimes it requires the guts to perform civil disobedience in order to accomplish something for the greater good.
Think of what a single young man accomplished in Tiananmen square 20 years ago, facing down a tank in an act the world would largely note and long remember.
Over one million people had come to mourn the death of pro-market, pro-democracy, and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang and to protest the government’s dismissal of Yaobang. The group protest led mostly by students and intellectuals, eventually resulted in a government crackdown on public demonstrations. This, in turn, resulted in hundreds of deaths.
Suddenly, the unknown man took a stand in front of a line of tanks. When the tanks tried to go around him, he shifted his position to block them again. Eventually, the man left the area never to be seen again. But in that moment, he defined the power of what one man can do.
Think of Rosa Parks, revered as the mother of the modern day civil rights movement. “Tired of giving in” to racist demands that blacks move to the back of the bus, on December 1, 1955, she simply decided enough was enough and she would not give up her seat to a white person as ordered by the bus driver. For her efforts, she was arrested. She wasn’t the first black person to refuse, but she was secretary of the Montgomery Alabama chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (although she maintained that she took this action as a private citizen). Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was, in part, organized by a young minister named Martin Luther King Jr. And from this incident, by a lone black woman who had the guts to stand up for “the right thing,” a nation would be forced to examine its own behavior towards a major sector of its citizens. The Civil Rights era was born.
Think of John Walsh, a doting father of a precious 6 year-old son who was abducted and brutally murdered by a pedophile. After discovering the hard way that America had no organized approach to the problem, rather than letting his son become just another statistic, he dedicated himself towards addressing the lack of child protection legislation nationally. Through his efforts, there are hundreds of child-protection laws nationally and federally that, while not perfect, go a long way towards making this a safer country for children to grow up in. Most states now require stringent background requests for workers who have any contact with children. Walsh secured the federal funding to start the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, DC, and for over 20 years has been the host of Fox network’s “America’s Most Wanted.” I was honored to work with John for several years and can say from personal experience, he is the epitome of what one man can accomplish when he puts his mind to it.
Think of Erin Brockovich who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Her story was an inspiration to what the spirit of one determined person can accomplish to protect her community against the poisoning of the public water supply by an indifferent corporation. Her efforts led to a $333 million settlement which is, to date, the largest settlement in US history for a direct-action lawsuit.
And it’s not just limited to certain people or specific causes. It’s all of us who need to be Rosa Parks, John Walsh, Erin Brockovich, the Tiananmen Square ”tank man” and, yes, even Dave Carroll in this world today. It’s that spirit that makes America the greatest place to live.
We’ve seen the power of their commitment and what it can bring. It should be no surprise when you think back to what a bunch of colonists did when they were unhappy with England’s taxation without representation.
And that’s why those of us opposed to President Obama’s attempted takeover/makeover of democracy and the free enterprise system do what we do. We stand up for what is right; we speak out for what is right.
And that is why we will win.
Flying On His Own
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Flying on his own Sons of Maxwell’s Dave Carroll releases debut solo CD Perfect Blue By STEPHEN CO...Flying on his own
Sons of Maxwell’s Dave Carroll releases debut solo CD Perfect Blue
By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter
Thu. Mar 13 - 6:26 AM
IT MAY TAKE some getting used to, seeing Dave Carroll performing without brother Don at his side, sharing the harmonies.
But when the Timmons-born singer-songwriter launches his new solo CD Perfect Blue at Casino Nova Scotia’s Schooner Room tonight, he’ll have a new batch of songs that didn’t quite match the format of the popular folk-pop duo Sons of Maxwell.
Instead, fans will hear a more introspective and insightful side of Carroll, one that practically demanded to be heard all on its own.
"This project has been brewing, perhaps even before I realized it, for the past couple of years," says Carroll, who continues to perform shows with the Sons from here to Nebraska. "Every Sons of Maxwell record would have an extra song or two — or an idea — that never got added to the record. Not for any particular reason, but maybe the song that got left off was too close to something else we were doing.
"Or maybe a song wouldn’t have worked so well with that Sons of Maxwell harmony, but would turn out to be a great song for a singer-songwriter. So I already had a good start on a collection of songs, and I decided if I had a lot of songs to choose from, like 25 to whittle down to an album’s worth, I could put together a record."
While the idea of a solo record had been percolating in the back of his mind for some time, the project really began to take shape during a two-week writing session at the Banff Centre in early 2007. The generosity of the centre and the beauty of the Rockies helped inspire a string of personal songs that set the tone for Perfect Blue.
"Kurt Bagnell is the artistic director, and a Maritimer, so he has an affinity for East Coast artists, and does what he can to help them," explains Carroll. "It’s a resource centre for artists of all kinds, and they gave me a room with a piano — not that I really play piano, but it was there if I wanted to use it — which I could use 24 hours a day.
"So every day I’d go hiking, and then spend some time writing and letting the ideas flow. And I was hanging out with all these different artists, poets and sculptors, and talking about what we’re doing. You ask one person what they do, and they say, ‘Oh, I make animal headdresses out of brass and I go into the woods and act out these scenes. What do you do?’ ‘Um, I write songs.’ "
That kind of environment spurred Carroll to stretch his legs creatively, broadening his emotional palette an tackling material like the social critique of The Average Man which might not have worked as a Sons of Maxwell tune.
"Every song stands out and stands on its own merit," he says. "I didn’t pick one song because it fits in with something else. I went the opposite way, picking each song because of how I felt about it, and not because it fit a particular style. I’m certain there will be people who’ll think it’s too eclectic to be marketable in one genre, but that really doesn’t bother me.
"I think I’m more unguarded in my writing now; I’m not so concerned with revealing some of my perspectives on the world or how I feel about things. That’s been a growing thing. In earlier songs, I would have said that it was a character in the song talking, but now I don’t mind saying that this is what I think, and I want to go deeper to the heart of things."
Carroll cites Perfect Blue’s Now as one of his more personally powerful compositions. The song was inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s best-seller The Power of Now, which hooks readers with its straightforward guide to enlightenment.
"The lyrics of the song are not complex, by any means, but the message of the book is simple, and when I perform it I get a strong reaction from people. They’ll come up to me afterwards and say they’re moved by it or they relate personally to it, and as a songwriter, that’s the best compliment you can get.
"I was blown away by the book, every 10 pages there’s an epiphany. So I took what I got out of the book, the message about living in the moment and finding peace in that moment, and using that as a reference. In a way, it’s about achieving that perfect state."
Carroll releases solo album
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Carroll releases solo album By Chelsey Romain It's been years since Dave Carroll first played on...Carroll releases solo album
By Chelsey Romain
It's been years since Dave Carroll first played onstage in front of crowds of people, but the Timmins native admits he gets nervous before every show.
Just hours before Carroll released his first solo CD in his home town, he said it was important to have butterflies before going onstage. "I think those nerves keep you inspired," Carroll said. "If you don't get nervous, I think you get lazy when you hit the stage.
"There's 350 people out there tonight and I want to give them a good show."
"It's an eclectic mix first of all. And I stretched my vocals further than ever before."
Janet Dunn said she has been a fan of Sons of Maxwell since the brothers were playing gigs at Casey's, and was excited to see how Carroll did without his other half.
"You're so used to seeing them together," said Dunn, "But I loved it, the music is really from the heart.
"I'm very impressed."
For years Carroll has been known as one half of local band Sons of Maxwell, along with brother Don. It's been years since the two left the area for the East Coast, touring and even playing gigs in China. But Thursday night wasn't about the previous albums or shows, it was about striking out on his own and showing Sons of Maxwell fans a different side of the singer/songwriter.
"The writing is not radically different from the Sons of Maxwell songs," said Carroll. "But I wrote these songs because I wanted to and not to fill the demand in a certain kind of market."
Backed by longtime friends and sometime co-writers, Compass Rose, Carroll treated a sold-out crowd at the Porcupine Dante Club to a show featuring his entire solo album "Perfect Blue".
"It's an eclectic mix first of all," Carroll said. "And I stretched my vocals further than ever before."
He said his first stab as a solo artist is a mix of relationships, both his own and others he has observed, as well as his perspective on the world.
"Some songs are a little on the rocker side, but there are also a few more ballads than I would have written for Sons of Maxwell," said Carroll, who invested in his own recording equipment and was able to record his vocal and guitar parts at home.
"It's a little intimidating when you're watching the clock and know you're paying by the hour, while two guys think a track was good enough and rush you on to the next one.
"I was really able to zero in on what I wanted the songs to sound like."
The crowd was treated not only to two sets by Carroll, which included all songs on the album, some that didn't make the cut, a few lesser known Sons of Maxwell songs and a handful by back-up band Compass Rose.
"I really couldn't have done it without these guys," said Carroll.
One of Carroll's favourite songs that did make the final cut on the CD is "The Place that I Call Home" - a song co-written with Grammy award winning songwriter Jon Vezner.
"It's about all the places we've been and that home is really where the heart is," Carroll said.
When asked why so many songs are about relationships, winning the heart of a woman and the rest of the good (and bad) that comes with being in love, Carroll said music is a great outlet to express ourselves, and relationships are a big part of a lot of experiences. "I figure at the end of life, it's the relationships we've had and the people loved and lost that stand out the most," Carroll said.
"Even if I'm talking about someone else's relationships, it's my observations and there's still a little bit of me in there."
And while many artists would have gone to a bigger city to launch a CD, Carroll said there is no place besides Timmins he would rather host the occasion.
"Timmins has been there for Sons of Maxwell, and it's been great to us," he said. "It sold out, so that tells me people here support me, it's like coming home.
"You want to start from the safest, most supportive space and for me that's Timmins."
"Perfect Blue" is available at CD Plus in Timmins or on Carroll's new website www.davecarrollmusic.com as of next week.
Carroll holding CD release party for his solo effort 'Perfect Blue'
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Dave Carroll - one half of Timmins' favourite duo the Sons of Maxwell - is set to debut his new solo...Dave Carroll - one half of Timmins' favourite duo the Sons of Maxwell - is set to debut his new solo project, "Perfect Blue," during a CD release party at the Porcupine Dante Club tonight.
Carroll will be performing with Compass Rose and it should be a fantastic show.
I had a chance to get a copy of "Perfect Blue" in advance of tonight's show and following is my review of the CD:
Dave Carroll - "Perfect Blue" - Like most musicians, Dave Carroll knows the music industry is in the midst of great change.
Massive layoffs and cost-cutting measures are big news.
Artists have to find ways to make themselves sustainable.
Believe me folks it's no picnic.
At the same time any singer-songwriter will tell you they have to speak from their heart, no matter if 100 or one million people hear it.
When you have songs you have to get them out, it's therapy.
The good news is the song is still king, and Carroll is working very hard at showing he can continue to pen solid material.
And folks he's well on his way.
There are plenty of variations, great hooks and interesting lyrical content on "Perfect Blue," his first solo CD.
The major to minor chord changes and falsetto vocals Carroll brings to "Great Divide" are out and out gorgeous.
"Perfect Blue" is an acoustic album, make no mistake.
It's also, for the most part, a quiet, reflective album that finds Carroll writing about relationships.
"Just As You Are, Now," and "A Woman Like You Are" show off this soft side where Carroll lays out lines such as "Turn to your cornerstone when you're tired and alone, to find your way through ... You thought I wanted freedom, but without you I'm a king with no kingdom, 'cause I love you" and from the track "A Woman Like You" - "Heart broken people and red carpet kings, losers of love and collectors of things, they'll never know what happiness brings."
To be sure the giants of East Coast songwriters like Stan Rogers ("Northwest Passage") Lennie Gallant ("Tales of the Phantom Ship") Bruce Guthro, ("Factory Line") Ron Hynes ("Sonny's Dream") and the terrific Jimmy Rankin all possess a story-telling sense that brings the listener into almost cinematic landscapes.
On "Perfect Blue," Carroll steers clear of this form of songwriting and topics like politics or Canada's involvement in Afghanastan.
Instead, his focus is on his singing - which to me has grown nicely in its nuances.
Check out the terrific vocals on "Promise to Pursue" and "When I Got You" which he co-wrote with the extremely-talented Steve Fox.
If you want to get closer to what's ticking in Dave's world, just set some time aside and let the easy-going "The Place That I Call Home" and the other reflective writing contained on "Perfect Blue" wash over you.
You will be happy you did.
John Emms is a local musician, songwriter and performer.
Article ID# 931212
Sons of maxwell making the most of a good gene pool
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If Maxwell Carroll hadn’t often kept his two boys up before going to sleep, serenading them with nig...If Maxwell Carroll hadn’t often kept his two boys up before going to sleep, serenading them with nightmare-inducing folk lullabies like John Henry, then we probably wouldn’t have the gift of the group known as Sons of Maxwell today.
Thousands of fans here in the Maritimes, throughout Canada and abroad thus owe this man a debt of gratitude — for musically guiding his sons with his own gifted talents, while being selfless enough to not seek the spotlight as a performer, subsequently inspiring them to carry out the musical dream that he always had.
This is the story of Dave and Don Carroll, two men at the centre of a Halifax-based group that has been shaking up audiences all over for the past 15 years.
Now with seven recordings, a handful of ECMA nominations, a 2002 roots/traditional group ECMA and a number of other awards under their belt, Sons of Maxwell has certainly been making a great living outta’ making papa proud.
This past Sunday, the boys made the road trip back to P.E.I., their first time here since the Shellfish Festival in the fall and their first time in Summerside since Contact East in 2005.
They played the Jubilee Theatre, and I was lucky enough to be one of 250 wildly appreciative crowd members — a Sons of Maxwell first-timer when I walked in and a raving fan when I walked out.
“So happy to be here tonight!” Don said, dashing up to the mike to greet the crowd.
“We’re pretty glad that the storm they were calling for held off. It was a great day for a drive. We’re gonna’ kick it off with a song called Games People Play.”
On a chugging, chiming acoustic guitar, Dave Carroll proceeded into the opening chords, coming in singing at the mike neighbouring his brother, who sang away as well, tambourine flapping about.
An upbeat song, with a folk/pop vibe from 2004’s Sunday Morning CD, it got the crowd’s toes tapping and heads bobbing right away as it also became instantly notable what one of the shining characteristics of Sons of Maxwell really is: harmony, harmony, harmony.
In every song that followed, in fact, it became further apparent that there really is something to be said for the seamless blend of two great and accomplished voices from the same immediate gene pool.
Backed by a tight drummer and a solid bassist, Sons of Maxwell were both rollicking and driving and soft and contemplative when they needed to be.
But it was the performances of these soft and sweet ballads that really won my reviewer’s heart over that night.
As soon as I heard Don say, “This is one song that many people have used at weddings,” I thought, “Uh oh, we could have some tear flowage here.” (For those who are unaware, which would be most of you, I presume, three weeks ago at a sushi restaurant in Toronto, I proposed to my now fiancée Savannah.)
And one can imagine that as Dave sang, with such sincerity, the chorus line, “And if I died tomorrow, years before my time, I’d be happy knowin’ she’d been mine,” it was pretty hard to keep the ol’ tears from pouring out.
Another song that really shook my soul that night was a song called Now from Dave Carroll’s brand new solo record, Perfect Blue.
As soon as he said, “This next song was inspired by a book I read recently by a man named Eckhart Tolle,” I thought, “Yep. The Power of Now.”
The bestselling book has inspired millions, and now the author’s new book, A New Earth (along the same spiritual lines) is the focus of an Oprah Book Club online workshop.
So, along with feeling a sense of complete blissful enlightenment while listening to Carroll play this song (which I feel is an absolutely pure and perfect musical representation of Tolle’s message), I thought, of course, “Oh, man, this guy’s gotta’ get this in the hands of someone at Oprah.”
It could be instant millions for Carroll if it were possible.
And in talking to him after the show, he did mention that he sent the song to Tolle himself, who finds it to be “enthralling.”
I have a feeling Carroll’s tribute to the present could indeed end up being quite a gift to many, many people.
The band brought it all home with some real barn-burners to top off the night like Mary Mac, Oceanside Again and Rocky Road to Dublin, getting people up outta’ their seats, clapping away and bringing on two standing ovations before it was all said and done.
Check out www.sonsofmaxwell.com for all the info on the band and Dave Carroll’s new CD, which you need to get — now.
Each week, Todd MacLean brings his readers into the experience of a new musical event, from Island ceilidhs and festivals, to the city’s bar scene and rock concerts. He loves to hear feedback and suggestions for future musical endeavours. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 626-1242.
Going it alone is going good for Carroll
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NEW GLASGOW – Dave Carroll's album Perfect Blue is turning into a perfect success. After years pl...NEW GLASGOW – Dave Carroll's album Perfect Blue is turning into a perfect success.
After years playing with award-winning band Sons of Maxwell, Carroll recently released his debut solo album.
Perfect Blue has already earned Carroll a slew of awards, and has even inspired a Halifax film company to develop a feature film based on Carroll's song Now, with Carroll being cast in the lead role.
"I wrote the song Now after reading Ekhart Tolle's book The Power of Now.
"I didn't really have the money to do the record when I started. But little opportunities come from doing what you love."
And earlier this week Carroll found out the song has been nominated for the male vocal performance of the Hollywood Music Awards.
"It's just amazing," says the Timmins-born singer.
Carroll will be in New Glasgow this weekend for Nova Scotia Music Week. He will perform during a songwriters' circle Saturday night at the deCoste Centre.
"Music Week has been getting better and better in the past few years. It's more organized. Before it used to be a dinner and an awards ceremony. Now it's much more like the ECMAs. It's a chance for artists to engage with one another."
"It's a business opportunity."
Carroll says the most nerve racking part of releasing a solo album is the thought that your music will be "pigeon-holed into one genre." Carroll describes his record as a little bit of country, mixed with folk. He says he also draws inspiration from pop music.
"Anytime someone says anything good about you it's nice. But the best part of making music is getting emails from people who heard the song on the radio and had to write you."
"I got a message from the parents of a girl who died in drunk driving accident saying my song helped them get through the first anniversary of her death. That's much more gratifying than any award."
Carroll will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at the DeCoste Centre in Pictou.
City's favourite Sons awesome!
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(December 9, 2008) You know it's Christmas time in Timmins when the Sons of Maxwell are playing ...(December 9, 2008)
You know it's Christmas time in Timmins when the Sons of Maxwell are playing to sold-out audiences.
For the 10th-consecutive year, the popular recording artists -- consisting of Timmins' own talented brothers Dave and Don Carroll -- returned to town to host their annual Christmas concert.
Several hundred music fans, friends and family members packed the auditorium at Timmins High and Vocational School Friday and Saturday night to once again listen to familiar holiday classics, as well as a mix of original tunes penned and sung by the talented brothers.
To say the Carroll brothers are a Timmins treasure would be an understatement. Even though they have called the East Coast home for many years, Dave and Don Carroll never have forgotten their roots growing up here in the City with the Heart of Gold.
The fact they continually draw hundreds of fans each and every time they return to town to perform as Sons of Maxwell -- or individually as solo artists -- is a testament to their musical ability.
It also highlights how the residents of this community love to support local talent and applaud those who have left town to pursue their artistic dreams.
"We'll keep doing this as long as there is a demand for it," Dave Carroll told Daily Press reporter Arron Pickard following Friday night's sold-out performance. "This concert marks the start of Christmas for us because we play about half a dozen concerts through the holidays."
Returning to Timmins to play the annual Christmas concert -- their popularity has determined they can now support two shows instead of one -- is a welcome homecoming as they love performing in front of dozens of family members and close friends.
It's amazing that the Christmas concerts have been going on for a decade, Dave said.
"This is something we love doing and when you do something you love, time goes by quickly," he said. "There are always new faces every year and new songs that we work into the lineup."
Don Carroll said he and his brother are fortunate to have remained full-time musicians in an industry where careers are usually short.
"We play with a lot of quality musicians, they're all top drawer," he said.
The brothers have no intention of splitting up Sons of Maxwell, but are proud to have pursued solo careers.
Friday's performance was the launch of Don's first solo album called "Valentine's Delivered."
A few months ago, Dave returned to Timmins after proudly launching his first solo work called "Perfect Blue," which has garnered him an award for Inspirational Recording of the Year in Nova Scotia.
That recording also inspired a Nova Scotia man to write a script and produce a film, where Dave has agreed to play the lead role.
"At our core, we're still Sons of Maxwell," Dave said. "But, we've matured to the point where we have our own individual strengths in music."
Mayor Tom Laughren presented the Carroll brothers with plaques for the 10th anniversary of their Christmas shows. He called them great performers and true artistic ambassadors for the city.
"When you look at how these guys have been all over the world, they promote Timmins everywhere they go," Laughren said.
Kudos to two extremely talented and proud lads from Timmins, who have done themselves and the city proud for a long long time.
And here's hoping they keep producing quality music and bringing it back home to Timmins for all their fans to listen to for years to come.
Typically Dave will perform 2 x 45 minute sets of all original music drawn from his new solo recording and from previous Sons of Maxwell material.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.