Carey West
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Carey West

Band Folk World

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Music

Press


"Wow, does Carey West have an ear for production (well, someone in her
organization does) that supports her songwriting beautifully. What a
wonderful sound, and that string break is soaring."

"Fantastic! Unique sound and a great pedal drone with terrific vocals over
it. Absolutely love it!"

"I can tell I'm going to be addicted to this song for a while. I'm already
humming it in my head." - thesixtyone.com


Discography

"Travel Light" -2008
"Lay It Down" -2006 EP

Photos

Bio

Carey West Travels Light

Since completing her five-song debut, Carey West has been busy recording her first full-length album, Travel Light. A collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Wilson, the album reveals Carey's diverse musical influences, drawing on bhangra, reggae, jazz, R&B, and folk to tell tales that hit close to the heart.

The result is a sound that reflects Carey's roots in Toronto.

"Growing up here means being exposed to all kinds of vibes, and you can't help but gather all these tools when it comes time to create something of your own."

Carey was hit by hard times as a teenager and with her father in prison there wasn't much money for formal music lessons. She overcame adversity and channeled her energy into learning from the school of life by attending open mic nights and fronting bands with her high-school friends.

After sitting in with Micheal Johnson's Dime Store Orchestra one evening, Carey was invited to form a jazz standards group with pianist Marcel Aucoin. The newly minted "Carey West and The Millionaires" held weekly residencies at The Rex and The Cameron house for over two years. During the same period Carey was asked to add her voice to The Liquidaires, an instrumental ska band wanting to broaden their sound as well as their line-up.

"Walking into the first rehearsal session the room was full of all these professional jazz-school grads and heavy reggae dudes who had up to ten years experience on me. I remember thinking that I was way out of my league, but it turned out to be a great learning experience."

The Liquidiares' new direction was well received by fans and critics alike and the band went on to release two successful CD's. They also added several high profile performances to their credits including broadcast performances on CBC Radio One, and live appearances at Dundas Square and Nathan Phillips Square.

Always one to lend her vocals to a good musical cause, Carey added yet another gig to her already packed schedule and joined in collaboration with The Jeremiahs, an alt-country band focused on an old school, four-part harmony sound. With two albums under their belt, The Jeremiahs have performed as part of Harbourfront's TO Twang Fest and held a three year residency at The Old York tavern in downtown Toronto.

"Collaborating with Jeff has allowed me to explore genres and grooves that I wouldn't have introduced on my own. He has such a wealth of knowledge about world music and how to direct the feel of a tune."

As a result of their many collaborations, Carey and Jeff realized they had the makings of several tunes that didn't quite fit the musical visions of either band. Now making up the greater portion of her latest effort, these pieces have a distinct character that reflects Carey's deep love of jazz and blues music as well her affection for folk music from around the world.

"The stories of struggle and rejuvenation resonate for me, because I really think that making music saved my life. Who knows what would've happened to me if I didn't channel my anger and my gratitude through singing. We all go through dark times when we're convinced that we're truly alone in the world and that there is no hope. Then you hear Billy sing 'God Bless the Child' or Jimmy Cliff sing 'Many River's to Cross' and you have company, you get context, and you grasp hope."

The track "Travel Light" pays tribute to the pioneers in the fight against racism and sexism. When thinking of these mold-breakers, more then any other person, Carey thinks of her stepfather Dean Arthur.

"He came all the way from Tobago and he brought a lot of hope and happiness to our family. He also taught me how courageous it is to immigrate to Canada. We celebrate our multiculturalism as our national identity so readily, but people like Dean are out there dealing with it and making it work every day, and that's why Toronto's one of the greatest places to learn and make music."

Carey West's new album, Travel Light, has been awarded funding by the Ontario Arts Council, and is now available.