Carol Montag

Carol Montag

 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

"Singer/songwriter Carol has the type of voice that fills one with wonder and awe...you could hear a pin drop." "Whether playing guitar, piano or acappella ...a golden voice and overtones of serious musical accomplishments. Timeless, transporting, lovely, evocative. Lyrically wise and uplifting."

Biography

Carol Montag first began singing and performing music at an early age in church. It was at this small church in Ames, Iowa that she grew to love the old traditional hymns. She studied piano and flute while in school and learned to play the guitar by ear while listening to such folk music masters as Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Carole King. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelors degree in graphic design, but never left behind her love of music.

After college, Carol worked for several years as a graphic designer for Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA. She eventually left this position to devote time to music. Carol soon began performing at coffeehouses, colleges, churches, and music festivals throughout the Midwest and Canada. Carol accompanies herself on guitar and piano and has recorded five albums; four solo albums (one commissioned by Ballet Iowa) and two Christmas albums with the trio known as Tribute.
Concerts include gospel, original compositions, traditional and contemporary folk, and classic songs from the American Songbook.

ARLO GUTHRIE
When Arlo Guthrie asks you to open for him for two additional shows, you find the time. This is exactly what happened to Carol Montag upon opening for Arlo at the Maintenance Shop at Iowa State University. He was taken by her crystal clear voice, stage presence, and ability to engage the audience while making each performance unique. So taken that he invited her to open for his remaining shows. She didn't think twice. The next day's Tribune review raved about Arlo's and Carol's performances: "...It would be a sin not to mention Carol Montag, who opened the show. She is an Iowa folksinger who has a voice that rivals Joan Baez and leaves one wondering: 'What is she doing here?'"

What is she doing here? Read on...

TOM PAXTON
Upon seeing Carol perform at the Grant Wood Festival in Stone City, Tom Paxton declared, "Carol Montag is a genuine discovery! The best to come out of Iowa since Bonnie Koloc!" Upon hearing her latest release he wrote: "Montag's 'Marigolds' is comparable to Beth Nielsen Chapman's 'Sand and Water' in songwriting style, performance, and production. Excellent!"

BALLET IOWA
Kennet Oberly, former artistic director of Ballet Iowa, recognized Carol’s songwriting talent and commissioned her to compose music for his ballet titled ‘Swallows Return in the Spring”. The commissioned work, which depicts the human tragedy of the farm crisis, was well received by critics. Montag performed live with the company on Iowa Public Television and while on a Midwestern tour.

WORLD FOOD PRIZE
Carol recently appeared in the Washington, DC area to perform at a gathering of former Iowans who now call Washington home. At this event, known as Iowa Day, Carol was approached by the president of The World Food Prize (and former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia), Ken Quinn, who invited her to perform at the 2010 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol. The ceremony was broadcast live by Iowa Public Television. Past performers at The World Food Prize Award Ceremony include such notables as
Ray Charles, John Denver, and Simon Estes.

QUOTES
“Upon hearing her music I was stunned and couldn’t wait to write about her. Once I even rented a bus and took a bunch of Register reporters and editors on a trip across Iowa to hear Carol sing at Stone City. Carol has a true gift and is a true Iowa treasure. Her music is powerful, beautiful, harmonic, soulful, and real.” Julie Gammack - The Des Moines Register
“Carol has the voice of an angel. Timeless, transporting, lovely, and evocative. Lyrically wise and uplfting.” Rob Nassif - Theatrical composer
“Carol sings from the heart about places in all our hearts with a golden voice and overtones of servious musical accomplishments. She charmed us, humbled us, and we all made a friend.” -The Earfood Entertainer
“A singer of new songs written by her for her. Carol is not folk or blues or modern, she cannot be categorized, she must be heard.” - Burlington Area Arts Council
“Carol has a touch of homespun about her, but she takes the stage like a pro.” - Chuck Mitchell
“Carol has the type of voice that fills one with wonder and awe...you could hear a pin drop!” - The Ogle County Life

Lyrics

Marigold in Winter

Written By: Carol Montag

Winter's comin' on
Outside smells like cold
Time to rake the lifeless leaves
Time to dry the marigolds

Soon my linden tree
Will be thin and bones and bare
I'll just turn my back to the window
What do I care, what do I care?

There were sweet kisses
In the summer's soft moonlight
I will never forget you
I'll always regret you
You'll be my marigold in winter
All my life

I got married young
Just turned 21
The years keep turnin' out
One by one
And you cannot go back home
You cannot return
Of all the lessons in life
This one I've learned
This one I've learned

There were sweet kisses
In the summer's soft moonlight
I will never forget you
I'll always regret you
You'll be my marigold in winter
All my life

Little Boys

Written By: Carol Montag

Little boys who tell lies
Are easy to spot
They wear a silly grin
And their eyes look down a lot

They cover all the bases
They wear a thin disguise
You have to know just where to look
And the truth is in their eyes

Tonight is for lovers
The man in the moon and I
I look at him and I wonder why
God made little boys who lie

Someone broke the window
Someone broke into my car
Someone broke my heart tonight
And I know who you are

Someone stole my baseball glove
Someone won't admit
Someone's missing from the game
I guess someone must have quit

Tonight is for lovers
The man in the moon and I
I look at him and I wonder why
God made little boys who lie

Little boys are made of
More than frogs and snails
The ones who wear the silly grins
Are telling tall, tall tales

Little boys who kiss the girls
Also make them cry
Soon little girls can easily spot
The little boys who lie

And tonight is for lovers
The man in the moon and I
I look at him and I wonder why
God made little boys who lie

The Poems Rachel Wrote

Written By: Carol Montag

Rachel was a beauty in her prime
A modest, graceful goddess
Behind the times
Rachel wore her hair
Tucked inside her coat
No one read the poems Rachel wrote

Rachel poured her heart out
On every page
Rachel tour the part out
About the rage
Writing in third person
Poetry and prose
No one read the poems Rachel wrote

Rachel moved to the city
And disappeared
They say she slept in the parks
For several years
For such a quiet beauty
No one took much note
No one read the poems Rachel wrote

Rachel found her place
Out in the rain
Talking to herself certifiably insane
No one understood
A word that Rachel spoke
No one read the poems Rachel wrote

copyright BMI

Figure Eight

Written By: Carol Montag

Figure eight etched in ice
They say perfection has it's price
Silver star shoot across the moon
I swear I had one once
But I let it go too soon
I let it go

If I were a little girl
I'd probably fly apart at the seams
I'd dance myself into the ground
Cause I'd have that star
Just burnin' in my pocket
No matter what anyone said
I would not stop it
I would not

Can I dance for you?
Let me dance for you
I wanna dance for you

When you look up
On a starlight night
Do you wonder why we're here?
Is there a star
Just burnin' in your pocket
Is it fading fast
Like the white tail of a rocket
A white tail

Will you dance for me
Dance for me
Dance for me

Dance with me
Dance with me
Dance with me

The Wind Blows Cold

Written By: Carol Montag

Your mother kept a candy dish
On the dining room buffet
Bright colored candy
Cellophane wrapped
And it's probably there to this day
You lived across the street from me
Raised on the rosary
And I on a protestant prayer
Nothing ever frightened you
The sticks and the stone they threw
You just didn't seem to care

Dandelion chains
Listening to the rain
With a bird's eye view from the tree
You always looked out for me
Now the winds blow cold
The winds blow cold

We got in such trouble
When we picked the flowers
From Mrs McGavrin's yard
Well I'm goin' run away
You'll never see me again
But I never got to far
And when we were autumn's child
You stayed with us a while
Your mother went away
And no one would say just why
Look us right in the eye
And say, "'Cause she cries and cries all day."

Dandelion chains
Listening to the rain
With a bird's eye view from the tree
You always looked out for me
Now the winds blow cold
The winds blow cold

Embrace the branches
Of the willow tree
Swing with her to and fro
'Til your arms hurt
Because of the grip
You fall to the ground when you let go
It was red-light-green-light
On the grass
London bridge fallen down
Duck-duck-goose
And you moved away
The thimble was never found

Dandelion chains
Listening to the rain
With a bird's eye view from the tree
You always looked out for me
Now the winds blow cold
The winds blow cold

Pipedream

Written By: Carol Montag

Pipe dream, pipe dream
Floating out to sea
Slowly sinking
While I'm thinking of you
Maybe, someday
I'll re-surface in a cloud
Just to watch you
From a distance
And gently shower
My love down
Some people dream of glory
Searching for fortune and fame
That's not my scheme
Not my story
I just thought it might be nice
To share your name
Give it up
Surrender
The beauty and the splendor
Of a classic love affair
Your castle in the air

I Still Follow You

Written By: Carol Montag

I Still Follow You

When we were growing up in Ames
I followed you to school
You organized all the games
I followed all the rules

I painted with precision
You spattered on the walls
I always asked permission
You’d do anything at all

Daylight comes
And I’m thinking of
All the things I need to do
Still unsure
I keep my motives pure
And know I will make it through
‘Cause I still follow you

When Lori got the news last year
I cried and called you from the road
Doctors confirming her worst fears
You just said that’s how life goes

When I am passing through your town
I give you a quick call
You laugh and call me Kiddly-Annie
And I know nothing’s changed at all

Discography

Marigolds
White
Swallows Return in the Spring
Song for Carrie
Simple Gifts with Tribute
Silent Night with Tribute

Set List

Set includes originals mixed with a few traditional folk tunes and contemporary covers. Concerts are typically two 45 minute sets.
Originals include but not limited to:
Marigolds
Sweet Lies
Little Boys
Don't Go Back
Like a Dandelion
Figure Eight
Poems Rachel Wrote
Babies and Dishes
Bad Boy Blue
Traditional/Cover tunes include but not limited to:
Dark Eyed Molly
Over the Rainbow
Autumn Leaves
Field of Gold
Wayfaring Stranger
Do You Love An Apple
Sheebeg Agus Sheemore
One Misty Moisty Morning