Poignant and poetic, Charlotte Kendrick creates an irresistibly intimate world with her songs. Her music is tenderly-performed Americana folk rock reminiscent of Lucy Kaplansky, Norah Jones, and Patty Griffin. With a refreshingly understated voice, she sings in the tradition of folk singers to whom the song matters most.
Charlotte’s last album, North of New York, is an album of songs about love, hope and home. From the light and propulsive bluegrass feel of “Off The Tracks,” telling of a heartbroken reckless spree, to “Let Go,” a loving, restful plea to her loved one to drop the demands of the world outside, North of New York tells an honest, simple story, evoking the same emotive immediacy of early Mary Chapin Carpenter material. The arrangements, courtesy of producer/collaborator Dan Rowe, are as disarmingly pure as the storytelling.
Though she had played music all her life, Charlotte didn’t try her hand at song writing until her early twenties, when she spent two years in West Africa with the Peace Corps. With no electricity at her disposal, her main source of entertainment became playing guitar and writing songs.
The experience inspired her to pursue music as a career. Upon returning to New York, Charlotte started from scratch; hitting open mic nights and playing every venue possible. During that period, she met producer and fellow-musician, Dan Rowe. The original plan was to simply record an EP together, but that soon turned into her full-length debut album, I Get Stupid. Just a few weeks before the release of I Get Stupid, Dan accompanied Charlotte on bass at the Village Underground, and they have been on stage together ever since.
In 2004, Charlotte and Dan followed up the release of their live album, Live at the Roger Smith, with a 40-date, cross-country tour that they booked themselves. The tour found them playing folk songs in biker bars, running out of gas in the middle of Nevada, and generally having what Charlotte reflects upon as “an invaluable experience.”
After hooking up with the New York independent label Sonablast and re-releasing I Get Stupid in the spring of 2006, the acclaim started to come in for Charlotte. Along with receiving accolades from multiple songwriting competitions such as the Billboard Song Contest, VH1 Song of the Year, We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards, the Telluride Troubadour Contest and the Plowshares Songwriting Competition, Charlotte was chosen as a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2006 (and then again in 2008), joining the ranks of past finalists Shawn Colvin, Martin Sexton, and Lyle Lovett to name a few.
Charlotte Kendrick delivers music with a message. With North of New York she reminds us to give thanks, love the life we live now, and take the night off every once in a while. When asked about her goals, she says, “To look back and say I did what I was meant to do - sing songs that mean something to someone.” Consider it done, Charlotte.
NOTABLE VENUES: (by state)
Moonlight Music Café (Birmingham, AL)
Plush (Tucson, AZ)
Genghis Cohen (Los Angeles, CA)
Hotel Café (Los Angeles, CA)
Room 5 Lounge (Los Angeles, CA)
The Last Day Saloon (San Francisco, CA)
Acoustic Café (Bridgeport, CT)
Fairfield Theater (Fairfield, CT)
Bluebird Theater (Denver, CO)
Uncommon Ground (Chicago, IL)
Grand Emporium (Kansas City, KS)
Canoe Club (Hanover, NH)
Del Rossi’s (Dublin, NH)
The Living Room (New York, NY)
Makor (New York, NY)
Postcrypt Coffeehouse (New York, NY)
The Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
The Knitting Factory (New York, NY)
The Cutting Room (New York, NY)
The Parkside Lounge (New York, NY)
The Towne Crier (Pawling, NY)
Caffe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Pete's Candy Store (Williamsburg, NY)
Club Passim (Cambridge, MA)
Johnny D's (Somerville, MA)
World Café Live (Philadelphia, PA)
Stone Soup Coffeehouse (Pawtucket, RI)
The Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN)
Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse (Dallas, TX)
The Continental (Houston, TX)
The Gravity Lounge (Charlottesville, VA)
Jammin' Java (Vienna, VA)
The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA)
The Purple Fidddle (Thomas, WV)
Pleasantville Music Festival (Pleasantville, NY)
Yoga Rocks Festival (Denver, CO)
Kerrville Wine and Music Festival (Kerrville, TX)
Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, TX)
Vermont Festival of the Arts (Warren, VT)
Black Potatoe Music Festival (Clinton, NJ)
Montevallo Arts Festival (Birmingham, AL)
Down on the Farm Festival (Quincy, FL)
Herndon Festival (Herndon, VA)
Cutting Edge of the Campfire Festival (Cambridge, MA)
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
2007 Telluride Troubadour Contest: Honorable Mention and Alternate
Plowshares Songriting Competition 2007: Top 10 Finalist
Kerrville Folk Festival: New Folk Finalist 2006 and 2008
VHI Song of the Year Contest, March 2006: Folk Winner
We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards (04/07): Honorable Mention
Billboard Song Contest 2005: Honorable Mention
The Academy (Berkeley, CA)
The Thacher School (Ojai, CA)
Kent School (Kent, CT)
Westminster School (Simsbury, CT)
Brooks School (North Andover, MA)
Phillips Academy (Andover, MA)
Proctor Academy (Andover, NH)
Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
Brown University (Providence, RI)
Spokane Community College (Spokane, WA)
U. Wisconsin - Green Bay (Green Bay, WI)
Charlotte Kendrick: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Dan Rowe: Vocals, bass (upright and/or electric), piano (when available)
Also perform in full band configuration (with drums and mandolin/dobro) or as a solo artist depending on availability and situation.
"North of New York"
Full-length sophomore studio release, 2007
"I Get Stupid"
Full-length debut studio release, 2003
(Re-Released on Sonablast Records, 2006)
"Live at the Roger Smith"
Full-length live album, 2004
I Get Stupid
Off the Tracks
Best of Me
First of June
FAME Review of "North of New York" (Wondermore 2007)
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No doubt most people who read reviews think writing them is a dream job and outside of the no or lit...No doubt most people who read reviews think writing them is a dream job and outside of the no or little pay part, I suppose it can be. One bad album, though, can ruin your week, or at least a meal or two (unless you are one who jumps at the prospect of cutting out someone's heart and stomping on it publicly). Then again, one hitting the right chord can keep you high for days or even weeks. I'm a week into Charlotte Kendricks' North of New York" and thus far I'm plenty high with little chance of coming down soon.
I suppose you could label Kendrick an Americana-laced singer/songwriter, if labels be necessary, but let's toss that aside for just a moment. Truth be told, Charlotte Kendrick is Charlotte Kendrick, no more and no less. With very slightly textured mid-range voice, a very good one I might add, she lays her soul on the table. The theme is love and living, much as it was in the early seventies and the back-to-the-earth movement, handled here as well as I've heard it.
Kendricks' music snuggles up to my country rock heart in a way only a few have, most from the early country rock era. Recently, only Chris Berardo and the Desberardos have come close until now. Kendricks has an ease about her which is most welcome on a warm Spring day, doors and windows open to the world, but also welcome in the dead of winter, a warmth which could make a cold room comfortable. First track to last, she sits and sings her story, the world as seen through her eyes, yet universal.
If she were more over the top, Kendrick would fit Nashville to a 'T', but something about this album tells you that is not where she wants to be. She prefers White River Junction, Vermont and dollars to donuts, so would you. I know I do, so much that after hearing this I pulled out the atlas just to see if Charlotte Kendrick is, indeed, north of New York. She is. Feels Right tells me why. She wants to sleep at night. You have to hear it to understand.
Maybe if you heard this one track at a time, it wouldn't be all that impressive. I don't know. There is a flow here, a repeating theme which tends to build upon itself, track upon track. It is inner self, peace, nature, love. It is a light, country rocking whole you could throw between Pure Prairie League, Cowboy and Chris Berardo without, as they say in the disco business, killing the floor.
If Kendrick is the music, Dan Rowe is the rhythm. His production is understated, almost organic, as is his bass guitar and harmony vocal. In fact, the best tracks here are made better by Rowe's totally in the background vocals, just strong enough to make a difference but always in deference to Kendrick's lead. If they are not a team, they should be. They are obviously of the same fabric.
Bottom line here is that North of New York is deceptive. It is a classic country rock album in Americana clothing just waiting to be discovered. If you are a fan of those early country rockers mentioned, or have a hunger for some music along that line, introduce yourself. Have an atlas handy, though, because if Kendrick hits you like she did me, you too will have to know exactly where music this good is made. That would be White River Junction, my friend, in Vermont.
A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, by Frank Gutch Jr.
Kynd Music Review of "I Get Stupid" (Sonablast 2006)
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Years before I met my wife, she spent several years living in New York. Wandering amongst the coffee...Years before I met my wife, she spent several years living in New York. Wandering amongst the coffee houses, living in very odd and often extremely cramped studio apartments, she both immersed herself in and strived to escape from the hectic chaos of that beautifully eclectic city. She found herself, fell in love for the first time, wrote a copious number of journals, struggled, lived and thrived. While I can’t complain about the direction her or my life has taken since then (we’re married after all), I often have found myself wishing that I knew her then too. The New York version of my wife is always here, but also sometimes seems very far off, mysterious and attractive.
With the release of singer-songwriter Charlotte Kendrick’s debut studio album (I Get Stupid, 2006) I feel as if I have taken a step closer to my wife. After all, Kendrick recorded this album after moving to NYC in her early twenties and like my wife, comes across as introspective and elegantly simple as she traverses through the coffee houses and eclectic walk ups while both celebrating and hiding from the pulse of the city. Consider songs like “First of June” and its romantic story of a first kiss pausing time or “Play With Fire” and the essential living of lines like, “Stormy weather would become preferential and sunny days would be incomplete.”
Then there’s, “A Little Piece of Me.” Like all the songs on this album, it is a tenderly performed piece of Americana folk rock in the vein of Kaplansky, Williams or MacLachlan. Her voice is refreshingly un-cynical and the arrangements have just enough flourish within the starkness to make them both calming and intriguingly entertaining. Lyrically it is haunting, triumphant and sobering at the same time.
Perhaps it is because my wife just left on a three day business trip and I miss her but this song is a standout amongst eight other standouts:
“I leave a little piece of me, darling when I go. Another shirt in the laundry…another singer-songwriter CD, another sock under the pillow…my apartment feels unloved. I’d gotten used to living lonely. Now it’s you I can’t get enough of.”
Like the wife I love, Charlotte Kendrick’s music is breathtaking in its unadorned beauty and unvarnished honesty. If you enjoy the tender ministrations of “chick folk” (and I know a 6’4” biker who does, so really who doesn’t?) then you will enjoy Charlotte Kendrick.
Get home soon and safely Sara. “You always find a way to make it better.”
Buhdge Music Review of "I Get Stupid" (Sonablast 2006)
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Song craft hits a new high watermark on Charlotte Kendrick's transcendent I Get Stupid, an alluring ...Song craft hits a new high watermark on Charlotte Kendrick's transcendent I Get Stupid, an alluring album teeming with simply beautiful songs and that gorgeous voice.
Thanks to buhdge fave Mitch Linker for passing on this positively glowing collection of songs from New Yorker Charlotte Kendrick. A perfect soundtrack for an intimate Sunday brunch, and a lovely record to celebrate a night lit by stars, I Get Stupid is a superior achievement.
Kendrick's understated voice, unfettered by slick shadings, is in the tradition of folk singers to whom the song matters most, real and true and harmonious as it marries Kendrick's heartfelt lyrics to sweetly realized melodies. The audio verite recording, chiefly engineered by producer and arranger Dan Rowe, gives each instrument space to breathe, emphasizing specific tones so that wherever a person listens, the sound surrounds them as if Kendrick and her musicians are in the same, small room with them.
This is no more evident than on "Marlboro Reds," a sweetly-sad story of a person who takes the easy way out when faced with meeting head-on the complexities of life. "Another day of work/Another night with no sleep/Another promise to myself I can't keep/Tomorrow I'll try harder and do what needs to be done," Kendrick sings, before the narrator decides instead to settle for a drag on a Marlboro Red cigarette. The ghostly piano, played with a light touch by Rowe, stands front and center in the mix, punctuated by Marina Warsaw-Fan's chilling cello. The effect, when combined with Kendrick's emotive delivery, is stirring; the pretty melody, carrying the weight of the singer's uncertainty, is most effective.
The album's centerpiece is one of the most affecting love songs I've heard in a long, long time. "With Kisses," a wistful distillation of romantic notions fully realized, is lyrically superlative and endlessly considered and clever. To wit: "It was a long time coming/Like the spring we have yet to see/But they had something that they could not ignore/A lingering melody." What a divine thought!
Singing about the female half of this couple's ability to salve her man's wounds, Kendrick expresses how deep the woman's commitment lies: "When there's nothing left to laugh about/She finds a way to make it better/In a bowl of Cheerios/In a pile of his folded clothes/In the scars she's left exposed with kisses," Kendrick writes, emphasizing the mundane details of a life that is about every little thing. These people are simply fulfilling their destiny by being with each other, and their bond transcends all else. Tasteful electric guitar melds with Kendrick's acoustic to stately effect; the melody is nothing less than radiant.
Kendrick and her musicians make all of this look easy, from the deliciously confessional title song to the push-him-away-even-though... character study of "Too Good For Me," which is the trick to turn for musical magicians. How does Kendrick do it? How do they do it? They invest themselves wholly and they commit themselves fully, and they do it as if they were born to do it, and they probably were, which is as it should be in a world populated with singer-songwriters of the high caliber of Charlotte Kendrick, a truly special find.
Alan Haber ?June 11, 2006
Americana UK Review of "I Get Stupid" (Sonablast 2006)
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Americana-UK.com review 5/9/06 Charlotte Kendrick "I Get Stupid" (Sonablast 2006) ??Refreshing a...Americana-UK.com review 5/9/06
Charlotte Kendrick "I Get Stupid" (Sonablast 2006)
??Refreshing and strangely engaging collection from yet another folky singer-songstress??
Between the blazing stars of such exceptional talents like Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez are myriad constellations dotted with the likes of Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman along with shooting stars like Tanita Tikaram and pin pricks of light like Jenny Lewis and Mary Lou Lord but, wow, what a dizzying galaxy of lesser constellations remain. Precious little distinguishes the legions of folky female songwriters singing their egocentric ramblings from the dim stages of coffee-houses across the world. A few chords and a tear-stained diary just doesn’t cut it anymore. (For the record, the same could be said about the male equivalent: all those narcissistic James Taylor-types with faux Dylan accents. Enough already!)??
On the face of it, Charlotte Kendrick appears to be yet another anonymous voice strumming her pleasant but forgettable poetry to no one in particular. Naggingly, though, her songs actually demand repeated listenings and are, in fact, far superior to what one has come to expect from this vastly over-subscribed genre. Sounding somewhere between Suzanne Vega and Mary Chapin Carpenter, it’s not so much what Kendrick says but how she says it. Her lyrics (and her chord changes) are matter-of-fact and unremarkable but her quality of presentation and something unmistakably intimate and genuine in her delivery make this album a curiously attractive, lovingly polished little jewel. Title track, the spare and skeletal ‘I Get Stupid’, is a sublime reflection on how weak we are as adults, especially in the face of love. ‘Looking Out For You’, an achingly genuine one-way conversation between a yearning heart and a suffering friend, again, brims with truth in an understated, unshowy sort of way. The lonesome piano and cello ballad, ‘Marlboro Reds’, sounds familiar as though we’ve heard it all before but, as with the rest of the album, Kendrick’s delivery is so pure and unaffected that, through sheer sincerity, she might just penetrate the most jaded and cynical heart.
Date review added: Tuesday, May 09, 2006?
Reviewer: Robin Cracknell?
Reviewers Rating: ?7 out of 10
Related web link: artist's website
Review of "I Get Stupid"
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Fans of Patty Griffin, Nancy Griffith, and Kelly Willis will enjoy I Get Stupid, the debut album fro...Fans of Patty Griffin, Nancy Griffith, and Kelly Willis will enjoy I Get Stupid, the debut album from New York singer-songwriter — and Peace Corps veteran! — Charlotte Kendrick. Throughout the disc’s nine slightly country-influenced tracks, Kendrick sings about life and love, accompanied by her acoustic guitar and sparse instrumentation. She effectively squeezes a lot of lyrics into her smart songs without ever appearing to be overly wordy. The best of the batch include First of June and A Little Piece of Me wherein her smooth voice shines without ever being overbearing. The concluding track Stare Love in the Face has an awesome violin accompaniment worth the price of admission. As an added bonus, the album boasts a mere 36-minute running time, meaning that Kendrick never overstays her welcome, and, in fact, she leaves her fans wanting more.
Review of Live at the Roger Smith
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Charlotte Kendrick is a girl-with-guitar-siren whose smart but simple lyrics express humility, int...Charlotte Kendrick is a girl-with-guitar-siren whose smart but simple
lyrics express humility, intelligence, and what it means to be a gal in
this world. In "Drag You Down," my favorite track, she sings "I don't
want to crowd your heart / I won't talk about the future if you find it
hard / It's just that I was mesmerized by you from the start."
Something About a Guitar and a Voice
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If you were a student at UVM between 1995 and 1999, you might have been lucky enough to hear Charlot...If you were a student at UVM between 1995 and 1999, you might have been lucky enough to hear Charlotte Kendrick '99 singing a cappella on Church Street.
I was fortunate to be Charlotte’s roommate for two out of our four years at UVM, and was frequently lulled to sleep by Charlotte’s soothing voice and gentle guitar strumming. Back then she featured Sarah MacLachlan, Joni Mitchell, and Bonnie Raitt. Today, you can find singer/songwriter, Charlotte Kendrick singing in a myriad of coffee shops, clubs, and bars through the country. Although she is based out of New York City, Charlotte frequently hits the road to broaden her fan base. In July she toured the Southern states, and next month she will be playing in Illinois, Minnesota, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
Charlotte led an eclectic life at UVM: she played on the hockey team for one year, participated in a musical, sang with the Cat’s Meow, joined a sorority for a few years, studied abroad in Italy for her junior year, and went on the Alternative Spring Break Program during her senior year when she visited AIDS patients in Washington D.C. Her husband, musician Dan Rowe, explains, “It is these diverse experiences that allow her to be a good songwriter.” Charlotte, characteristically, is more modest about her time at UVM, “I wasn’t hockey captain; I wasn’t a super-duper musician,” she explains with little regret in her voice. Charlotte has nothing to regret; she constantly explored the opportunities UVM had to offer, and came out more open-minded and willing to try anything.
After graduating from UVM in 1999, Charlotte’s benevolence and altruism led her to serve a term of the Peace Corps in West Africa. Alone in a rural village for two years, speaking only a foreign language, it was here that Charlotte was able to find her voice. During this solitary period, Charlotte wrote most of the lyrics for her first album. After this challenging yet rewarding experience, Charlotte had the confidence and perseverance to do what it took to pursue her passion for music. She moved to New York City - the polar opposite culture from her rural African village. In her music we learn about how she dealt with this transition: her discomfort with multiple locks, high heels, cell phones, and crowded rooms. On any given night she was bartending, performing, or recording her first album. If you listen to one of her albums or see her perform live, it becomes clear that she wasn't afraid to work through the difficult post-college decisions and choices, in her own writing. Everyone can relate to the struggle of transitions, heartbreak, and trying to make it in an extremely competitive world.
Recently, Charlotte was able to quit her bartending job, and devote all of her time to music. What began in childhood as a hobby and continued in high school and college as her dream is now her reality and her livelihood. She is currently working on her third album; her first two albums, along with her touring schedule, are available on her web site: charlottekendrick.com. When I asked Charlotte what she hopes to achieve in the next ten years, it is clear that serving her community is just as important as being successful in the music industry.
“I want to be a nationally-recognized artist, respected as a musician, songwriter, and performer, and feel that I have earned whatever level of success I have reached,” she said. “And I want to be in a position to give something positive back to the world, whether it is writing a song that people connect with, or raising money for a worthy cause.”
One thing is for sure, Charlotte will never stop evolving as a person or a songwriter. As she sings in a song on her first album, “Something about a guitar and a voice makes me forget about the struggle and enjoy the ride.” This is one of Charlotte’s best qualities: the ability to live in the moment. To be a singer/songwriter in today’s market is an uphill battle, but Charlotte is enjoying the ride.
(Excerpt from the article “The most versatile genre in popular music: Charlotte Kendrick, Ms. Led, Jennifer Marks, Vanessa Carlton”
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Charlotte Kendricks’ debut album I Get Stupid (Wondermore Records) features smart country blues wes... Charlotte Kendricks’ debut album I Get Stupid (Wondermore Records) features smart country blues westerly charts and crisp acoustic guitar leads. “Looking Out For You” typifies the best of the trim album, a track that puts her fluid, dusky voice front and center. She tells an honest, simple story, and her songs have the same emotive immediacy of early Mary Chapin Carpenter material. Most of the songs are set in coffee houses, and twenty-something haunts that she presents as havens from fast-paced cityscapes: quirky apartments with bad utilities, brownstone neighborhoods, rooms with old furniture and cleverly juxtaposed old art with new. In songs like “Play With Fire,” “With Kisses,” and “First of June,” Kendrick explores romance as a retreat from public life that at the same time draws you out. So the intimacy of her songs comes across as sweetly self-conscious, both in her vocal delivery and in the delicate way the band backs her, usually following a spare chord progression on her acoustic guitar.
What makes Kendrick’s lyrical inclination original is the fact that the world she describes still exists at all. The formality of the arrangement of “Marlboro Reds” may be off-putting to the jaded listener as precious, but Kendricks’ voice is utterly free of irony, and so one feels compelled to take it on its own terms. Marina Warsaw-Fan’s cello lends gravitas to the song, but again what really makes her songs in general find elegance despite sentimentality is the unadorned acoustic guitar and the lush way her voice is isolated in the production. “Too Good For Me” is one of several songs that alludes to the singer’s wanderlust without suggesting any rough edges. If anything, one might ask for a little more angst given the fact that many of songs describe the return from a period that was lonely and road weary. The arrangements and the playing, however, are as disarmingly pure as her storytelling. And the implied concepts of the album – the desire to start a life from something small and reliable, the tension between succeeding in a busy world and avoiding it – lend themselves to the hopeful lilt of her voice at its most self-effacing. “The First of June” features a neat little guitar progression and soft brush work. Kendrick’s lyrics follow a mellow two-step that nicely shimmies through the evocation of a new love. It is not easy to make straightforward feelings sound credible in a genre that thrives on self-referential cynicism, but Kendrick’s lyrics are well-crafted to suit her voice and her band, not surprisingly also most of her technical crew in the production of the album and her future husband (producer Dan Rowe), happily backs her with well-worn and therefore cleanly rendered melodic and rhythmic lines. The title track’s bass line nicely summarizes the album. It is a patient march on a stand-up bass, measuring the confessional that subverts the usual terrible revelations, something like the opposite of Fiona Apple. It serves the same purpose as Warsaw-Fan’s cello: this is a stately kind of innocence.
Quote from 100 Day Tour '04
“One might liken Kendrick to Suzanne Vega, but her voice soars with more sweetness and soul.”
Review of Red Rooster’s album “Dose”
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“But nothing compares to the gorgeous "Dreams", a lithe fragile piano-driven ballad sung by Charlott...“But nothing compares to the gorgeous "Dreams", a lithe fragile piano-driven ballad sung by Charlotte Kendrick.”
Available to play 1, 2, or (occasionally) 3 set shows. Typical set is 45 minutes with 8-9 original songs and one cover.
Icicles- Patty Griffin
Lucky One- Allison Krauss
All My Life- Todd Snider
Oh My Sweet Carolina - Ryan Adams
Long Way Home- Tom Waits
Humble Me- Norah Jones
There are no upcoming dates at this time.