Tia Carroll
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Tia Carroll

El Sobrante, California, United States | SELF

El Sobrante, California, United States | SELF
Band Blues Soul


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"Say It Loud"

Say It Loud
By Rachel Swan
Tia CarrollUnless you count singing along to soft drink commercials or Schoolhouse Rock, Richmond-born blues vocalist Tia Carroll never received formal training. Her career really took off around 1992, when she hooked up with a guitar player from the IT department at Granny Goose foods, where Carroll worked as an accountant. He recruited her to sing for the six-piece old-time rock band Yakety Yak, which developed a modest following gigging at weddings, New Year’s Eve parties on military bases, and a tiny Martinez club called LeBeau’s. Clad in bobbysox and pompadour wigs, the group played old, bubbly hits meant to summon visions of a Mustang or chopped ´54 Ford tooling down the boulevard, driven by a guy in a Brookfield Deluxe suit who ends all his sentences with “daddio.” Carroll says she used to step outside Lebeau’s with her cordless mic and get down with the passerby.
Though Carroll has always loved performing and says she doesn’t care if there’s one person in the audience or a thousand, she spent years singing in an unnaturally high, whispery falsetto – essentially the voice of someone afraid to take up too much space. Actually “a born hollerer and screamer” who spent years jousting with her three brothers, Carroll says she wasn’t shy in real life – just onstage. The singer didn’t find her voice, so to speak, until 1994, after she’d already spent a couple years singing backup for local blues diva E.C. Scott. Carroll’s great turning point came when she and Scott were singing “I Can’t Stand the Rain” during a soundcheck. “I let it all out,” the singer recalls. “I thought, ‘Gosh, that sounds really cool.’ After that I wasn’t afraid to sing loud. Bring it on.”

This year Carroll staked her place in the pantheon of Bay Area blues legends, having been voted Female Blues Vocalist of the Year by the Bay Area Blues Society West Coast Hall of Fame. She’ll celebrate with a special concert this Saturday at Kimball’s Carnival in Oakland. The show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $30-$35. HighSierraTickets.com or TiaCarroll.com

Date/Time: Sat., March 10, 7pm
Price: $30-$35

Event Location
Kimball's Carnival [Map]
522 2nd St.
Oakland, CA 94607
- east bay express

"West Coast Blues"

West Coast Blues Hall of Fame focuses on family values

Jim Harrington, STAFF WRITER
OAKLAND — The 2007 West Coast Blues Hall of Fame and Award Show in Oakland next month will have a strong family flavor — one that will be certainly evident in the latest crop of inductees. Groups such as Little Stanley and the Five Brooks, the Fuller Brothers, the Whispers, the Green Brothers, the Stovall Sisters and Ike and Tina Turner are groups that contained at least half family members, says Ronnie Stewart, executive director of the Oakland-based Bay Area Blues Society, which presents the annual event.

Other local artists to be inducted include Tower of Power vet Lenny Williams, Teddy Blues Master Watson, Terrible Tom Bowden and Big John Evans. R&B legends Ike and Tina Turner also will be enshrined during the ceremony on March 10 at Kimballs Carnival in Oakland.

Besides honoring the legends of the genre, the event — first held in 1989 — pays tribute to the current crop of players working to keep blues alive in the 21st century.

One player who qualifies in both realms is Oaklands Julien Vaught. Hes best known as the former saxophonist for the 50s vocal act Flamingos, a group that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 2001, but hes currently playing clubs and festivals as part of the Bay Areas own J.C. Smith Blues Band.

The Bay Area Blues Society has selected Vaught as Blues Saxophonist of the Year and — further cementing the family theme of this years award show — his wife, Ella Pennewell, gets the prize for R&B Vocalist of the Year.

Thats a first, Stewart said. Weve never had a husband and wife win (in the same year) before.

Other top award winners, which are selected by a voting committee that includes concert promoters, blues players and club owners, include Bobby Rush (Blues Songwriter of the Year), Ernie Johnson (R&B Male Vocalist of the Year), Vesti Jackson (Blues Guitarist of the Year) and Magic Slim and the Tear Drops (Blues Band of the Year).

Renel Lewis, an influential DJ from KMEL-FM, and Oaklands Mary Campbell, who worked as an executive in the blues and jazz record industry, will receive the Blues Societys Bob Geddins Lifetime Achievment awards.

Other winners include: Matthew Martinez (Blues trumpeter), Ron Joseph (Blues band leader), Billy Branch (Blues harmonica player), Tia Carroll (Blues female vocalist), Kenny Winters (Blues comeback artist), Kevin Lockett (Blues comeback artist), The Bistro in Hayward (Blues nightclub).

For more information on the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame and Award Show, call (707) 647-3962 or visit http://www.bayareabluessociety.net.

(c) 2007 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

- Oakland Tribune

"Black Diamond Blues Festival"

Tia Carroll and her band, Hard Work, opened up the festival on Saturday with a satisfying mix of blues and R&B tunes. Carroll is one of the in-demand vocalists and has recently toured with Jimmy McCracklin and Zakiya Hooker. Her rich vocals and powerful delivery on this day were just what the doctor ordered to get things rolling.
Dorthy L. Hill
Blues Writer - Bluessource.com

"This Just In"

The Bay Area Blues Society West Coast Blues Hall Of Fame Committee has selected Tia Carroll as the "Female Blues Vocalist Of The Year 2007"
- Bay Area Blues Society

"The resurrection"

The Resurrection
Bay Area Blues Society launches its “blue Monday” showcase at Kimball’s.
By Rachel Swan

Tia Carroll
Legend has it that Texas blues fiddler L.C. Good Rockin’ Robinson got his first break some time in the early 1930s, probably on the day he least expected it. As the story goes, Robinson was plodding along a dirt road when a car pulled up beside him. He glanced through the window and saw an attractive, if sinister-looking, white couple – a man with nice Sunday slacks and a woman with dishwater-blond hair. They were brandishing machine guns. “Play something, boy,” they insisted. Supposedly, Robinson played his heart out for the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, who must have been pleased, because at the end the couple handed him a crisp hundred-dollar bill (probably the spoils of a recent bank robbery) and told him to go enjoy himself. None of the country stores would take that kind of money from a black man, local blues archivist Ronnie Stewart explains, so Robinson had to go all the way to a department store in Houston to break the bill.
After serving in World War II, Robinson moved West to the Bay Area, where he worked in a laundry and occasionally gigged in local blues joints. He recorded his first album in the 1970s, and died a few years later, penniless and virtually unknown. That seemed like a damn shame to longtime Oakland blues players Stewart and Cool Poppa Saddler, who couldn’t bear to watch their childhood heroes quietly fade to black with no one to celebrate their legacy. “We saw a lot of musicians weren’t getting their just dues,” Stewart says. “If you weren’t a household word like B.B. and Etta James, you would pass on and no one would care.” Thus, in 1985 Saddler and Stewart founded the Blues Society. What began as a historical enterprise has become a serious preservation effort, given the recent demise of local live institutions like Sweet Jimmie’s, the Fifth Amendment, and now the Ivy Room. Indeed, blues is starting to seem like an endangered species in Oakland.

But not for long. The Bay Area Blues Society recently launched Blues Legends Night, a weekly showcase at Kimball’s Carnival; the event is now the crème de la crème of so-called “Blue Mondays” (which seem to be all the rage in Oakland and Berkeley). This week’s featured artist is Richmond-raised singer Tia Carroll, who says she cut her teeth singing along with Schoolhouse Rock and Pepsi jingles. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. and costs $5. BayAreaBluesSociety.net
Date/Time: Mondays, 8 p.m.
Price: $5

Kimball's Carnival
522 2nd St.
Oakland, CA

» Oakland: Downtown

- East Bay Express

"Tia's Web Tia Carroll CD Review"

The cover for Tia Carroll’s self-titled CD is its own Da Vinci Code: intentional or not, it gives the first-time listener a clue regarding the music about to be heard. The cover is a double-exposed photograph of Ms. Carroll in the same pose, right hand holding a cordless microphone, in either mid-breath or in the midst of singing, with the right-side image slightly faded in relation to its twin. Two in one. It’s a code shot.

Carroll’s music on this CD begins with a cold shot, the “Cold Shot” probably best known from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version, and ends thirty-eight minutes later with her singing one of the staples of 1970s radio, “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right).” The halfway point of the CD is Muddy Waters’ classic “Got My Mojo Workin’,” which has the same effect on her intended target as Muddy’s did on his: “It just don’t work on you.” It worked on me, though.

The other three of the first five songs – “I Wanna Tell You,” “Breakin’ Up Somebody’s Home,” and “Damn Your Eyes” – are variations of the blues format, all upbeat songs featuring the guitar work of George von Giese. He features a clean elegance in his playing, similar to Eric Clapton during his “Layla”-to-”Slowhand” period. Like Clapton, von Giese does not attempt to reinvent the blues wheel in these songs; instead, he plays the right notes at the right time. The story he tells may be familiar, but it is still a good story and he tells it well.

At this point, the listener has probably decided, “OK, a blues CD,” singing along with the “Hey! Hey! I feel alright!” section of “I Wanna Tell You” and is expecting to hear more of the same. Carroll and the band abruptly change gears with the next song, “Open Up The Barn Door.” The music shifts into rockin’ mode (“We gonna have some fun to-NIGHT-uh!”) and follows with more of the same in “Let Go,” “Love Thing,” and “Steamy Windows,” von Giese now playing with more bite, shredding through the chord changes. The band’s sound is now reminiscent of 1970s rock bands like Foreigner, ZZ Top, and Bad Company. “Love Thing” even borrows from Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” for its main guitar riff. “Let Go,” on the other hand, deserves to be part of any self-respecting garage band’s playlist. It burns.

Let us not forget, however, that this CD is Tia Carroll’s session. She BRINGS this music, whether in the emotional subtleties of “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right)” or the scream-before-the-solo energy she brings to “Love Thing.” These songs got more and more interesting with each listen; for me, the voice had a lot to do with it. Her voice is the band’s spider web, like the one on the CD’s back cover: listener, you’re not going anywhere…and this music is reason to stay…and don’t forget to pay attention to the great work by the rhythm section of Michael Harper on bass and Jorge Icabellis on drums…

A good mix is everything in a recording. Andre Rivers, who contributed in a big way to “The New Jazz Swing” by Terence Elliott (recently reviewed in these pages), mixed and mastered this CD. The music sounds better with each listen.

For ordering and additional information, visit www.tiacarroll.com.

- Listen And Be Heard Mag

"Tia Carroll Richmond's own"

Singer Tia Carroll was raised on Bell Way in Richmond’s Parchester Village. While her childhood girlfriends played with dolls and easy-bake ovens, Carroll set her sights on becoming an entertainer, singing from sun up to sun down.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew Carroll was destined to do something special in music or television. After graduating from Pinole High School, she toured locally with many different bands while working in accounting at Granny Goose Foods in Oakland.
Over the last ten years, Carroll has quietly accumulated one of the most impressive entertainment resumes in the Bay Area and has become one of the most sought-after female singers on the West Coast. Carroll has headlined venues and festivals all over the world with her band The Hipnotics and has shared stages with legends Ray Charles, Jimmy McCracklin and Sugar Pie DeSanto. She’s earned a reputation for her sizzling stage show, and always generates a buzz whenever she brings her band to town.
Carroll recently completed the soundtrack and video documentary on the life history of female blues pioneer Ma Rainey with the Bay Area Blues Society’s Ronnie Stewart and Michael “Spiderman” Robinson.
Carroll will headline this year’s West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Awards Show on March 18 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Oakland’s Scottish Right Temple. She’ll perform songs from her new album If I Didn’t Know.
Carroll wrote and produced the CD with the help of Bay Area hit-maker Andre Rivers at Poorman Studios in Richmond. The album fuses soulful blues together with sweet background harmony, creating a fresh, new, universal cross-over sound. Look for it this spring.
Check out Carroll’s music, show dates, band photos and more at www.tiacarroll.com.
For more information about the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Awards Show, visit www.bayareabluessociety.net.

- The Globe News

"West Coast Blues Hall of fame"

The next category of winners included Tia Carroll for best female vocalist of the year, Julien Vaught for best saxopohone player and his wife Ella Pennewell for best female R&B vocalist, and keyboardist Kenny Winters for best comeback artist of the year. Carroll provided musical respite with an emotionally effective vocal take on “At Last.”
C) 2007, Dorothy L. Hill
- BluesSource.com

"Tia Carroll Hosts"

Tia Carroll who hosts an evening of quality Blues music from the area's best musicians and invites audience Blues musicians to "Jam" on stage. The music is real, the mood collegial and the doors open to the community to enjoy this uniquely American music.
- Redwood City Blues Jam

"Free Blues Turkey Day Eve"

Every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 7 PM to 11 PM, the beautiful historic Little Fox opens its doors to the jam hosted by the elite of Bay Area Blues. If the music were not enough, appearances at the jam provide an unparalleled promotional opportunity for artists with upcoming area gigs. The buzz following the jam in the highly active local blues community often results in sold-out shows for participating artists. If you are a touring blues performer, drop in and you'll not only get a chance to "cut heads" with the best but also get the word out about your upcoming gig.

I found out about the event by an e-mail newsletter from Tia Carroll, a local artist and entertainer.

Her style reminds me of the R&B Divas like Etta James, Ruth Brown, Irma Thomas. The generation who ruled the day before Aretha Franklin and her generation did there thing. Very charismatic and engaging with the audience and expressive interpreter of the music. Over the years since I've been watching her perform around the Bay Area, I've seen her work with a wide variety of musicians and other vocalists. She pretty much represents Bay Area Blues women for me.

- Devans Cosmos


Tia Carroll
Wanna Ride
(4 songs)
Tia Carroll
"Tia Carroll"
(10 songs)
"Tia Carroll Live"
(10 songs)
Backing vocals on cd's by EC Scott & Sugar Pie Desanto
Distributed on iTunes, Amazon.com and Digstation
KPOO San Francisco
KFOG San Francisco

isound radio rotation



Tia's constantly being compared to legendary female singers Tina Turner, Koko Taylor and Aretha. Sure her power and sassy style of story telling may be similar, but TIA CARROLL has her own unique star power that's evident in her new self-titled album. Don't pass on America's hot new sweet heart Tia Carroll. Name drops not required when the sound is this hot. Tia has toured with legendary blues icons Jimmy McCracklin & Sugar Pie DeSanto to Canada, France and Italy where she left a great impression on the audiences there. Tia Carroll was featured during the Jazzkarr featival in Tallinn Estonia. Awarded West Coast Female Blues vocalist of the year 2007 and recipient of the Jus Blues Music Foundation’s Traditional Blues Woman Of The Year 2008 and Band Leader of the Year in 2009.
Her 2009 Italian tours earned great reviews and her performance in Switzerland at the Lucerne Blues Festival is highly anticipated. Tia Carroll is carving a name for herself on the blues wall of fame.

The Band Hard Work is made up of friends and musical acquaintances from over a 7- year period and have all played in one band or another sometime together and sometimes not. At the end of the day we all decided this was the way to go and we have been moving forward ever since.

More Photos and Video Clips can be viewed at

Band Members