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Caroline Herring

A Conversation with Caroline Herring (continued)

PM: Because we've done so many records of theirs, I'm interested in how you got together with Signature Sounds. They're a great outfit. I like that Jim Olsen.

CH: Oh, I do, too. Well, it was on one of my European trips. I traveled with Dar Williams and Jeffrey Foucault on the same tour. And both of them encouraged me to send something to Jim. Then both of them contacted him on my behalf.

PM: Wow.

CH: And I made this record on my own and sent it to Jim when I was nine months pregnant. And he called me a couple weeks after I had my son and said, "Let's talk." And we did, and here we are.

PM: And did it come together very easily, the deal?

CH: Jim is remarkably easy to work with, and so well respected. And this music business can be kind of tough. And Jim, for me, is an answer to a prayer. I'm really thrilled. I know how hard it is in this business to get a break like that. It has been remarkably easy with him. I mean, I have obviously been working hard and invested a lot in that record, but I'm so grateful he recognized it.

PM: How is it touring Europe with the Signature folks, with Dar and with Jeffrey Foucault? What kind of characters are they?

CH: Both incredibly generous, warm, nice, fun people. Both of them.

PM: Real smart, too, both of those people, right?

CH: Oh, yeah. And I've traveled with Alana Levandoski. It's a guy named Burt Pipers in the Netherlands who puts these tours together. Who knows who I'll be with the next time. But I have had a great experience on these European tours with different artists, and we spend a week or two talking about what we do and listening to each other.

PM: Wow.

CH: It's just inspiring to me.

PM: And when you did Scandinavia was it just Denmark, or did you do Norway or Sweden?

CH: I have not played Norway or Sweden. Just so far this festival in Tonder.

PM: Ah, yeah. God, there's so much going on over there, it's really incredible--not only music itself, but so much of the technology of music is now coming from Sweden, from Denmark, recording software, drum software, all kinds of stuff. They're just so prolific over there.

CH: Well, that world is a bit foreign to me. But it's not often that I get to share the stage with Arlo Guthrie, but I did at that festival, and then he backed me up--

PM: Isn't that something?

CH: Oh! Really, the highlight of my life.

PM: And is he a real nice fella?

CH: So nice, incredibly nice, really approachable, humble.

PM: That's good for him to live that life and end up right-sized, that's a testament.

CH: Yes.

PM: Yours is an uncommon physical beauty, and you carry very well. I hope you don't find it impertinent if I ask what your relationship to that beauty is?

CH: Well, thank you. But it's also getting the right angle on a photograph, you know. They're always going for your best look.

PM: [laughs]

CH: I'm glad you can't see me right now. Well, as a woman in a society that really hammers physical beauty, I'm on and off with not caring about it and really caring about it. And now, as a mother of two who is seeing wrinkles in the mirror, again, it's trying not to worry, and accepting the wisdom that comes with a little age and change, and watching my youth slip away. I hope, on my better days, that I don't care, and I'm grateful to be alive. I don't know. I have a love/hate relationship with physical beauty.

PM: Yeah, I think it's a very charged issue for anybody, as you say, in our world. But you seem to have a good relationship to it. I think we've got to allow our youth to slip away, because there's no stopping it, and I think the more we allow the better--the more at peace we are with that.     continue

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