Brace your abs for an emotional gut-punch. Brandi Carlile is here with bandmates and co-writers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Together, they have a new album called By the Way, I Forgive You. It was recorded at Nashville's legendary RCA Studio A, produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. And it's filled with emotionally stirring songs — some that are massive and some that are stripped bare.
In the first category, there's a song called "The Joke," born out of a request by Dave Cobb. He challenged Carlile to write a song that went floor to ceiling the way her epic ballad "The Story" did ten years ago. Carlile responded, along with Phil and Tim, by writing an opus with strings, a really big build and the kind of high note that only Carlile can hit.
Then there's the acoustic guitar-based "The Mother," which doesn't go for the high notes or big swells but instead pulls deep on the ol' heartstrings. The song is about Carlile's daughter Evangeline. In this session, hear Carlile's performance of both of those songs live, and our conversation about the tenth anniversary of her breakout album The Story. She celebrated that anniversary by assembling an A-list roster that includes Dolly Parton and Adele to cover the entire album for the benefit of War Child UK. Oh yeah: Barack Obama participated too.
Carlile, Tim and Phil (along with drummer Chris Powell and a full band with a string section) performed in front of a live audience here at the World Cafe. They started us off with "Every Time I Hear That Song." Hear it all in the player above.