Carrie and the Cut Snakes
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Carrie and the Cut Snakes

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"Carrie and the Cut Snakes"

By chance, I recently met a young singer by the name of Carrie Henschell – she gave me a copy of a new album.

So it was that on a brisk night, I headed to the Dowse Bar in a small affluent suburb called Paddington to see Carrie and The Cut Snakes. As I entered the Dowse Bar the joint was already pumping with folks enjoying a few drinks. The bar is small, yet cosy and inviting with comfy sofas mingled in with bar tables and stools.

Carrie Henschell is a young woman who is savvy, sexy and knows when it’s time to giddyup and get the show started with the first single from the album, “Can’t Call You“ which is such a delicious tongue in cheek song. It is infectious, upbeat with great lyrics and super melodies including the sweet sound of a slide guitar.

This album is jam-packed full of amazingly wise, insightful lyrics written with brilliant eloquence, sage wisdom and a wistful retrospective look at life experiences. Other songs from the album also contain some smart, but not preacher style, social commentary.

Carrie has a great vocal range. She can take the song from soft sweet high notes and as the song hits full barrel so too does Carrie step up in its delivery – as in the song “Recklessness”. She is able to swing from high notes into deep and bluesy when needed. Carrie’s voice has this wonderful strine twang to it. So, no matter where she goes, they will surely know she is an Australian. The music is chock-full of awesome guitar riffs, ripper drums beats, keys that give it a sassy edge and again every now and then, the bluesy sound of the slide guitar.

The small size of the dive is a challenge – and the sound techo had to pump up the bass guitar – but all in all it’s a great intimate venue.

Finally, and I don’t say this often, I am yet to find a track on Carrie’s debut album that I ‘like the best’. Each and every track is a worthy contender.

Watch out folks – remember her name. I have no doubt that Carrie Henschell is going to keep rising like a fun helium balloon. - Get Shot Magazine


"Carrie and the Cut Snakes"

By chance, I recently met a young singer by the name of Carrie Henschell – she gave me a copy of a new album.

So it was that on a brisk night, I headed to the Dowse Bar in a small affluent suburb called Paddington to see Carrie and The Cut Snakes. As I entered the Dowse Bar the joint was already pumping with folks enjoying a few drinks. The bar is small, yet cosy and inviting with comfy sofas mingled in with bar tables and stools.

Carrie Henschell is a young woman who is savvy, sexy and knows when it’s time to giddyup and get the show started with the first single from the album, “Can’t Call You“ which is such a delicious tongue in cheek song. It is infectious, upbeat with great lyrics and super melodies including the sweet sound of a slide guitar.

This album is jam-packed full of amazingly wise, insightful lyrics written with brilliant eloquence, sage wisdom and a wistful retrospective look at life experiences. Other songs from the album also contain some smart, but not preacher style, social commentary.

Carrie has a great vocal range. She can take the song from soft sweet high notes and as the song hits full barrel so too does Carrie step up in its delivery – as in the song “Recklessness”. She is able to swing from high notes into deep and bluesy when needed. Carrie’s voice has this wonderful strine twang to it. So, no matter where she goes, they will surely know she is an Australian. The music is chock-full of awesome guitar riffs, ripper drums beats, keys that give it a sassy edge and again every now and then, the bluesy sound of the slide guitar.

The small size of the dive is a challenge – and the sound techo had to pump up the bass guitar – but all in all it’s a great intimate venue.

Finally, and I don’t say this often, I am yet to find a track on Carrie’s debut album that I ‘like the best’. Each and every track is a worthy contender.

Watch out folks – remember her name. I have no doubt that Carrie Henschell is going to keep rising like a fun helium balloon. - Get Shot Magazine


"Record Review - Carrie and the Cut Snakes"


3.5/5

The most important thing about the debut release from Brisbane country-billy blues band Carrie & The Cut Snakes, is frontwoman Carrie Henschell’s voice. It’s been a while since I’ve heard such a straight forward, honest, Australian vocal – think The Waifs, that accent is unmistakable and here, it lends a solid strain of authenticity to what Henschell is singing about – you really believe her stories, there’s no doubt involved.

And it’s the stories which are the second most important aspect to this album. Drawing on her love of Cash, Parton and Presley, Henschell also brings in some Guthrie in that her songs are so simple, which makes them all the more powerful. Add to this the subtle-yet-strong country/blues instrumentation the Cut Snakes bring, and you’ve got a cracker of a debut record from a real up and comer. Destined for bigger things indeed.

Samuel J. Fell

- The Sydney Morning Herald


"Carrie gives country a kick in the pants"

Back in 1990, when Uncle Tupelo released No Depression, the idea of alt-country probably seemed necessary. Garth Brooks' self-titled album had been released the year before, and country music as a genre seemed to be losing touch with its roots: as the stars of the Grand Ole Opry drifted towards the excesses of arena rock, the signifiers (10-gallon hats, tassels and so on) were getting in the way of the substance.

By giving the genre the same kick in the pants punk gave to rock, the movement has been remarkably successful. It may not have spared us from Shania Twain or Faith Hill, but throughout the 1990s, artists as varied as Lucinda Williams, (early) Wilco, Gillian Welch and Steve Earle have reminded us of country music's fundamental, deeply earnest mission: small stories of small lives, writ large.

So I'm not sure we especially need alt-country any more, any more than we really need alternative music. Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the debut album by Carrie and the Cut Snakes, which I wouldn't describe as alt-country any more than Carrie Henschell's heroine, Dolly Parton.

This is, in case you're wondering, a good thing. Henschell is a 20-something songwriter from Brisbane, whose parents live on a farm on the Darling Downs. The Cut Snakes aren't yet a stable combination – Henschell's progress has been delayed by shifting personnel – but that hasn't stopped her and bass player/engineer Bradley Wright from assembling this nearly perfect debut album.

Henschell's strengths are apparent from the brisk opener, Can't Call You. First, she's a excellent singer – distinctive and clear, albeit with occasional Australian vowels so flattened they might make Missy Higgins blush. Second, she's smart. Her songs are insightful, witty and above all plain-spoken. There's no bullshit here.

Third, she's a terrific arranger – here are 10 songs, only two of them nudging over the four-minute mark, performed with verve and economy. After listening to this album for the umpteenth time since first hearing a burned version months ago (which Henschell nearly jettisoned), at least half the tunes are still swimming in my head.

The effect of a song as sharp as If Love's Not Growing It's Dying is like having the intelligence of Lisa Miller and the pop suss of Kasey Chambers wrapped in one package – or perhaps the Pretenders on a Dolly trip. “I'm not everything you want/And I'm not everything you need/I'll probably never be/But I'm gonna make you notice me,” she yearns. It's, well, special, if you get my drift.

We Will Be Forgotten is another winner, a heartfelt but never clichéd rumination on life's big questions, with a swelling chorus inspired by the passing of a friend. “I don't know how it started, and I don't know how it will end/I don't like puzzles with missing pieces, or guessing when there's no answers,” Henschell sings, over some nicely understated organ playing.

Love Song risks outright sentimentality, and triumphs with immaculate self-harmonies and the sort of vocal patience that Elvis brought to songs like Love Me Tender – OK, it might not be in that league, but the song still aches with longing. Isolated is preceded by lengthy, almost a Capella intro before blossoming into a genuine boot-scootin', honky-tonk rave-up with multiple time changes.

The clear highlight, though, is Recklessness. It opens unobtrusively, with subdued chords overlaid by a wash of steel guitar, before exploding into the chorus: “I need energy, I need fuel/I want answers, I want release/I need nourishment, I need care/I want overload, I want recklessness!” Henschell pushes her voice as far as it can go here; the sound of it cracking as she repeats the last line puts a lump in the throat.

A surprise is saved for last. Sound of Silence isn't a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, but a protest song by local anarchist/blogger Andy Paine. In a bit over three minutes, it contrasts the stories of a factory girl in India, a child soldier in Africa and a corporate office worker in Sydney to demonstrate how silence makes us complicit in the suffering of others. Paine needed someone to sing it for him and Henschell, a social worker by day, does it with sorrow and empathy.

This is a fine debut by a exceptionally talented new artist. The folks in Tamworth will rightly go ga-ga over this, but there's also no reason why, like Chambers, Henschell and her Cut Snakes shouldn't cross over to a wider audience.

Carrie and the Cut Snakes officially launch their debut album at the Dowse Bar on Friday February 22.

Read the full article here at Friction.

Andrew Stafford is a member of the BT Blog Army and the author of Pig City.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/music/carrie-gives-country-a-kick-in-the-pants-20130213-2ecpp.html#ixzz2dlJRHXXt
- Brisbane Times


"Carrie gives country a kick in the pants"

Back in 1990, when Uncle Tupelo released No Depression, the idea of alt-country probably seemed necessary. Garth Brooks' self-titled album had been released the year before, and country music as a genre seemed to be losing touch with its roots: as the stars of the Grand Ole Opry drifted towards the excesses of arena rock, the signifiers (10-gallon hats, tassels and so on) were getting in the way of the substance.

By giving the genre the same kick in the pants punk gave to rock, the movement has been remarkably successful. It may not have spared us from Shania Twain or Faith Hill, but throughout the 1990s, artists as varied as Lucinda Williams, (early) Wilco, Gillian Welch and Steve Earle have reminded us of country music's fundamental, deeply earnest mission: small stories of small lives, writ large.

So I'm not sure we especially need alt-country any more, any more than we really need alternative music. Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the debut album by Carrie and the Cut Snakes, which I wouldn't describe as alt-country any more than Carrie Henschell's heroine, Dolly Parton.

This is, in case you're wondering, a good thing. Henschell is a 20-something songwriter from Brisbane, whose parents live on a farm on the Darling Downs. The Cut Snakes aren't yet a stable combination – Henschell's progress has been delayed by shifting personnel – but that hasn't stopped her and bass player/engineer Bradley Wright from assembling this nearly perfect debut album.

Henschell's strengths are apparent from the brisk opener, Can't Call You. First, she's a excellent singer – distinctive and clear, albeit with occasional Australian vowels so flattened they might make Missy Higgins blush. Second, she's smart. Her songs are insightful, witty and above all plain-spoken. There's no bullshit here.

Third, she's a terrific arranger – here are 10 songs, only two of them nudging over the four-minute mark, performed with verve and economy. After listening to this album for the umpteenth time since first hearing a burned version months ago (which Henschell nearly jettisoned), at least half the tunes are still swimming in my head.

The effect of a song as sharp as If Love's Not Growing It's Dying is like having the intelligence of Lisa Miller and the pop suss of Kasey Chambers wrapped in one package – or perhaps the Pretenders on a Dolly trip. “I'm not everything you want/And I'm not everything you need/I'll probably never be/But I'm gonna make you notice me,” she yearns. It's, well, special, if you get my drift.

We Will Be Forgotten is another winner, a heartfelt but never clichéd rumination on life's big questions, with a swelling chorus inspired by the passing of a friend. “I don't know how it started, and I don't know how it will end/I don't like puzzles with missing pieces, or guessing when there's no answers,” Henschell sings, over some nicely understated organ playing.

Love Song risks outright sentimentality, and triumphs with immaculate self-harmonies and the sort of vocal patience that Elvis brought to songs like Love Me Tender – OK, it might not be in that league, but the song still aches with longing. Isolated is preceded by lengthy, almost a Capella intro before blossoming into a genuine boot-scootin', honky-tonk rave-up with multiple time changes.

The clear highlight, though, is Recklessness. It opens unobtrusively, with subdued chords overlaid by a wash of steel guitar, before exploding into the chorus: “I need energy, I need fuel/I want answers, I want release/I need nourishment, I need care/I want overload, I want recklessness!” Henschell pushes her voice as far as it can go here; the sound of it cracking as she repeats the last line puts a lump in the throat.

A surprise is saved for last. Sound of Silence isn't a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, but a protest song by local anarchist/blogger Andy Paine. In a bit over three minutes, it contrasts the stories of a factory girl in India, a child soldier in Africa and a corporate office worker in Sydney to demonstrate how silence makes us complicit in the suffering of others. Paine needed someone to sing it for him and Henschell, a social worker by day, does it with sorrow and empathy.

This is a fine debut by a exceptionally talented new artist. The folks in Tamworth will rightly go ga-ga over this, but there's also no reason why, like Chambers, Henschell and her Cut Snakes shouldn't cross over to a wider audience.

Carrie and the Cut Snakes officially launch their debut album at the Dowse Bar on Friday February 22.

Read the full article here at Friction.

Andrew Stafford is a member of the BT Blog Army and the author of Pig City.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/music/carrie-gives-country-a-kick-in-the-pants-20130213-2ecpp.html#ixzz2dlJRHXXt
- Brisbane Times


Discography

Carrie and the Cut Snakes 2013 (Full Length -Self titled Album)

Photos

Bio

Carrie and the Cut Snakes, an alt country folk- rock band, led by dynamic front woman Carrie Henschell.
And yes, she’s met many a cut snake over the last few years, forming the group in 2010 while living in Brisbane, the name of the band derived from Australian colloquial expression ‘mad as a cut snake’ meaning someone is a more or less crazy. Appropriately, Carrie relocated to Austin Texas where she has found some amazing, weird and wonderful Austin folk to create a new line-up. Currently a four piece Carrie is joined by upright bass player Shaun Dickerson (Blow Fly), Drummer Patrick Herzfeld (Emily Bell, Mother Teresa, Ashley Monical) and guitarist Tim Ziegler (Superno).
Carrie also enjoys playing solo shows and is planning a solo tour of the USA in late 2013 early 2014.
Carrie is influenced by all the great artists she’s listened to over the years – as she puts it in ‘Isolated’, “I just turn on my friends Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash on the stereo.” She has especially been inspired by powerful female artists such as The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Mia Dyson, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, and Bonnie Raitt. Carrie’s stories, however, are those of a woman from a different time and place.
Carrie’s lyrics variously draw on existential musings on the meaning of life and death (‘Recklessness’; ‘We will be forgotten’) and romantic infatuations which have resulted in songs of love and heartbreak (‘Can’t call’; ‘Love song’). These songs and more feature on the debut self-titled album launched in February 2013.

Andrew Stafford author of 'Pig City' wrote of the album "....assembling this nearly perfect debut album...This is a fine album by an exceptionally talented new artist"