Recording artist Eileen Carey took on Hollywood this past week with her band mates Suzanne Morissette, drums; Barbara Leoni, acoustic guitar; Al Bonhomme, electric guitar; Alexis Skjlarevski, bass, Carey has released her new single “Anything That Reminds Me Of You” to radio this week.
Material: Eileen Carey is a country pop-rock Ohio-to-Los Angeles transplant, and that aspect is consistent throughout her musical style. She subtly layers her tracks with hints of beach-y California elements that give off a Pat Benatar-goes-western type of vibe. On her latest single, “That Town,” she delves into a feeling shared by a lot of people who come to LA––that their dreams are just too big for wherever they came from––while incorporating modern and classic (think early Taylor Swift meets Dolly Parton) country elements that give the listener a relatable sound and story.
Musicianship: Focusing on positivity and self-empowerment, Carey keeps an air of seasoned versatility flowing throughout her music. Tracks such as the heavily ‘80s influenced “Let It Go,” the “embrace your flaws” anthem “Good Bad Girl,” and many more showcase her goal as a woman in the music industry in a lighthearted, enjoyable manner that can appeal to all generations. But Carey is not here to be your next run-of-the-mill country songstress with an edge. She’s here to use her music to highlight personal, realistic life experiences and emotions.
Performance: The crowd was hooked from the moment “Hearts of Time” kicked off the night. Carey’s sassy yet humble stage demeanor gave off Gretchen Wilson meets Miranda Lambert vibes, which clearly appealed to the crowd, which engaged in hand clapping, line dancing and singing along. From “Bottle Your Crazy Up” to “Lazy” to here rousing send-off, “Faith,” Carey showed she’s not afraid to voice her thoughts and opinions. And yet, not all of the songs that she included on her setlist were necessarily styled with well-known country elements. A perfect blend of upbeat and lower-tempo tracks showcased her experience and versatility with ease, so much so that it came as a shock when her set was about to end.
Summary: It was refreshing to see a country music artist perform at this well-known rock & roll shrine. Eileen Carey’s seasoned talent, her ability to consistently engage her fans (t-shirts were thrown into the crowd), and a real chemistry with her band members kept me entertained throughout the night. I do wish, however, that she had made better use of the Whisky’s sizable stage, because it would’ve added even more energy to her otherwise enjoyable show.