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Texas Songstress Goes On An Acoustic Trip

of the Oakland Press

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Carrie Rodriguez is usually something of a barn-burner on stage, playing her own brand of roots and blues music with her band -- as evidenced on the new "Live in Louisville" album.

But the Acoustic Cafe Evening With... tour that the Texas-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is currently on requires a different kind of approach.

"When I play solo is very different from what I usually do with a band," explains Rodriguez, 31, who was mentored by fellow songwriter Chip Taylor before going solo in 2006. "I have to be a little more creative, especially when it's a song I sing while playing fiddle. That can be really powerful if it's executed well; if it's not, it's definitely cringe city.

"But it's a great challenge. You do learn which songs of yours are the strongest; if a song is good and it speaks to people, I think it can be presented in a very simple way. If you've written something that needs trick stuff behind it and a certain type of groove, then maybe that song's not up to par."

Rodriguez may also give Acoustic Cafe Evening fans a sample of her upcoming third studio album, "Love and Circumstance," an all-covers set due out in April that she says is a response to fan requests.

"I've got quite a few covers that I throw into my set every night," Rodriguez notes. "It seems like every single time I do that someone will come up to me and say, 'Where can I get the album that song is on?' That was the impetus for making it.

"This record is like taking a step back from what I've been doing and figuring out what kind of songs are important to me," Rodriguez says. "Hopefully for my next record I will have learned something from that and take it with me."

An Acoustic Cafe Evening with Carrie Rodriguez, Ben Sollee and Erin McKeown takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 4) at Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $12 and $15. Call (248) 858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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