“Give Up the Ghost,” the third album by singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, is about dreams coming true. In more ways than one.
For starters, the songs themselves were inspired by “really vivid, poignant dreams,” according to Carlile, which she’d log in a journal when she woke up and subsequently turn into songs. “I’d wake up the next day and try to turn (the dreams) into something,” she explains. “There’s a tendency to write about missing somebody or what happened on the road last week, especially if you’re on the road at the time.
“But I think your subconscious tells you so many more interesting things than what your conscious mind tells you day to day. If you can tap into that, you can really write some far-out stuff.”
The 28-year-old Washington state native realized at least one big dream on the album — working with Elton John, who joined her on the track “Caroline.”
“He’s my greatest influence since I was really young, about 11 years old,” says Carlile, who also used John associate Paul Buckmaster for string arrangements on the album and collaborated with the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer (and Detroit native) Chad Smith. “We went through the channels to get (John); I knew the worst he could do was say no. He didn’t say no. He said yes.
“He responded directly to me, called me on the phone one morning. I was just like, ‘Man, this guy, he is just no bull****. He is so cool ... ’ He was unbelievably funny and warm and stuck around for a long time after he was finished and schooled me on new music that was coming around the band. I’ve never been so inspired.”
Brandi Carlile’s “Give Up the Ghost Traveling Show” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Sept. 28) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20, $25 and $30. Call (734) 668-8463 or visit www.livenation.com.
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