She sang the national anthem and "Memphis In May" in front of 30,000 people at the Memphis Showboats football game. A year later, Sandy left for San Francisco to write and record. After three years on the west coast and short stay in the Midwest, she returned home to Memphis. In 1989, Albert King recorded Sandy's, "If You Got It," which appeared on his final studio album, "Red House". She then starting writing songs for her own full-length debut album, "Southern Woman," released in 1993.
Following the album's release, Sandy was invited on a month-long tour of United Kingdom. Back in the states, Sandy continued promoting "Southern Woman," performing at various festivals in the South, including Arts in the Park, Eureka Springs Blues Festival and Southern Heritage Festival. She maintained a heavy schedule on Beale Street playing in clubs such as Rum Boogie, Blues City, Black Diamond, Joyce Cobbs, Kings Palace and Blues Hall. One of Sandy's more unique gigs was writing the Memphis Mad Dog football team theme song. "Mad Dog Boogie" was recorded by Southern-fried soul and blues musician Preston Shannon. In 1997, the great Luther Allison recorded Sandy's "Just As I Am" and "It's A Blues Thing" on his final album, "Reckless," which was nominated for a Grammy. That same year, Sandy recorded and released her "Memphis Rain" CD which was honored by the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Music Commission.
She went on to receive a nomination by NARAS' Memphis chapter for Songwriter of the Year. Sandy wrapped up the 1990's with performances and regular appearances at many venues throughout the South, most notably the Center for Southern Folklore, Elvis Presley's on Beale, and headlined WEVL's "Blues on the Bluff". Sandy also appeared on the Home Shopping Network, playing piano for vocalist Becc Lester who was promoting an album. Beginning the new millennium with concerts, club and festival performances, Sandy appeared at Muscle Shoals Songwriters, Beale St. Caravan National Radio Show at B.B.
Kings, W.C. Handy Festival and the (invitation-only) International Songwriters Festival in Orange Beach, Florida, where she opened for Dan Penn and Spooner Oldhan. In 2001 Sandy's "Just As I Am" was released by Inside Sounds on the compilation CD "Goin' Down South". She also recorded for the McCarty-Hite, "Weekend In Memphis" CD and other Memphis area projects.
Also in 2001, Sandy was filmed by Memphis' PBS station WKNO, along with great songwriters Keith Sykes, Teenie Hodges, Nancy Apple, Duane Jarvis and Delta Joe Sanders, as part of the "In Their Own Voices" concert. Premiered in 2001, the concert has been syndicated nationally on PBS affiliates. In 2002 Inside Sounds released a CD entitled "Memphis Belles: Past, Present & Future" that features Sandy along with Ruby Wilson, Cybill Shepard, Carla Thomas and other Memphis female artists. Two years later Sandy performed with her Memphis Belle pals at a concert at the Cannon Performing Arts Center in Memphis. Sandy also appears on 2005 Inside Sounds CD "In The Mood for Memphis: Vol.
2" with a new rendition of "Memphis Rain". Sandy has also written with or for releases from Ellis Hooks, Don McMinn, Ana Popovich, Reba Russell, Barbara Blue, Nancy Apple, William Lee Ellis, Becc Lester and Rocky Athas. In January 2006, Sandy's "Delta Techno" was released by Ringo Records. Sandy and her husband, the Grammy award winning producer Jim Gaines, wrote and recorded the album which features musicians James Solberg, Rocky Athas and co-writers William Lee Ellis and Jim Dickinson. In 2007, Sandy released an EP "Rhythm of the Rivers"; with 5 previously unreleased songs and a reprise of "Bound for Glory." The localized release features "The Pickwick Song" poularized in Sandy's home community. Rhythm of the Rivers shows another side of Sandy's music the songs reflect her love for home both her Memphis musical heritage by the Mississippi and her childhood and present home by the Tennessee River at Pickwick.
In 2008, Sandy was awarded her own brass note on Memphis' historic Beale Street. In a 2010 ceremony, the note was formally presented and enshrined on Beale Street in front of Hard Rock Cafe. Equally at ease in solo or full band settings, Sandy says "the intimacy of a solo show is a quiet nurturing, and the groove of a band is the rockin' feast. The studio is where the ingredients mix together." ----------------------------------------------------------------- Reviews are pouring In! BLUES & RHYTHM (U.K.) SANDY CARROLL: Just As I Am Catfood Records CFR-011 (39:01) This is singer/songwriter Sandy Carroll's debut for Catfood Records.
Husband Jim Gaines produced and the set was recorded in Stantonville, Tennessee. All the material is original, penned, or co-penned by Carroll. She is a fine singer, capable of handling a gospel tinged number like "Blessed Be," or the slightly tongue-in-cheek humorous piece, "Mother Nature," on the efficacious effects of Botox! "Heartfixin' Man" is a tough blues groove with a rock ting", "Romeo And Juliet" a pretty ballad with accordion giving it a Tex-Mex groove, while "Messin' With Me" is a funky groove that reminds me a little of Leon Russell. "Just As I Am" was co-written with James Solberg and Luther Allison; Luther cut it on his Reckless album (produced by Jim Gaines), so the wheel has come full circle.
Sandy Carroll is a new name to me, and I am seriously impressed with this lady, a fine singer and songwriter (and no slouch on the piano either). If you are familiar with her previous releases this CD will not disappoint. - Phil Wight From Blues Revue magazine Sandy Carroll Just As I Am Catfood Records BluesWax Rating: 9 Just As She Is... Just As I Am is Sandy Carroll's debut album (due out on October 18) on the Catfood Records label. And quite the album it is.
Carroll has been singing the blues and paying dues for a while now. She headlined at the Lafayette's Corner club on Beale Street in Memphis when that famed street re-opened in 1983. She has her own note on Beale Street and has released several other well received albums for other labels. All songs on the album are written or co-written by Carroll.
Powerful and compelling songs they are, too. But then she has written songs for some of the best in the business, including Reba Russell, Albert King, Luther Allison, Ana Popovic, and Ellis Hooks. The title track, "Just As I Am," was co-written and recorded by Allison for his 1997 album Reckless. After listening to Carroll's rendition and picking up on the warmth and tenderness in her voice, it was not a surprise to learn she wrote the lyrics as a love song for her Grammy-winning producer/husband, Jim Gaines.
It is difficult to pick one or even two favorites from the album. "Blessed Be" is a song of hope, full of energy reflecting the gratitude we should feel because there is always something to be thankful for. "Help Mother Nature" is an amusing tune about preserving what Mother Nature gave you. A little nip here, a tuck there, a little wait in line when you get the botox blues.
Yes, the song is a bit contrary to the CD title but not seriously so. "Slow Kisses" provides a bit of advice to fellas who want to treat their women right. "Baby Comin' Home" is a story about searching for something and realizing it is right there in your own backyard. A story of young love is told in "Romeo and Juliet," but it is not the undying love of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers.
It is the story of a love that was never supposed to be, of the promise of forever that was not realized. No doubt the production by Grammy-winning husband Jim Gaines is a big factor in the appeal of the album. Many producer wanna-be's should take note. This CD is classic example of how less is more.
The background vocalists - Reba Russell, "Pie" Hill, Kimberly Helton, and Vicki Atkins - stand out without overpowering or detracting from Carroll's lead vocals. They add power and depth to each song. But the strength of this CD is the songwriting and vocal talent of Sandy Carroll herself. Read more on Last.fm.
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