Review by: Mac M.
Photos by: Brent Baxter Photography
Video courtesy of Artist

You could walk a thousand miles (there, I said it… out of the way) and probably hear the 2001 hit by Vanessa Carlton at least three or four times. Provided the journey takes you near a terrestrial US radio more than once.

Carlton’s recent tour stop at the House of Blues in Dallas gave fans a chance to catch up with her music over the past 15 years in live form.

Early in her set Carlton shares a story of how her 2004 release “White Houses” had tormented her younger brother Edmund for years. The lyrics focus on a young woman venturing out into the world for the first time not to mention losing her virginity. “My first time, hard to explain, Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain, On a cloudy day, it’s more common than you think, He’s my first mistake”. After 12 years of suffering from the thought of this private moment no brother wants to be aware of Carlton explains she recently let him off the hook while hanging out with her brother at “some shitty bar in NY”. The song was a co-writing exercise where she would write a line and co-writer Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) would write the following line. Carlton assured her brother she’s not the person the song is about and she did not write the line that has haunted his dreams since childhood.

Carlton jumped right into newer material from her latest release “Liberman” (named after her Grandfather) including the singles “House of Seven Swords”, “Take It Easy” and “Willows”. This album features a much more electronic and synth track approach than previous however the familiar classical style piano by Carlton is still prevalent throughout each song and her live performance.

Carlton is a pure singer/songwriter amongst so many production over-kill artists today. She has grown both as a lyricist and musician over the past decade and a half not to mention she has the most relaxed, comfortable stage presence and audience interaction I’ve seen in years!

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