Folk/Americana singer-songwriter Carolee Rainey recently released her new single/music video, “Baby,” a ballad oozing love, longing, and loyalty.
At a young age, ready for adventure, Rainey hopped on a train out West with her guitar and a burgeoning book of songs. Busking by day and jamming on jazz standards by night, she cut her teeth playing both the Santa Cruz and San Francisco scenes, before landing a recording deal and publishing deal.
A true multi-dimensional artist, Rainey also brought her creativity to painting, where she discovered a new depth of expression. Now blasting off with a renewed creative force, she calls this chapter her second wind and hidden rainbow, as she writes songs imbued with her life’s worth of experience and interdisciplinary artistry.
The video, directed by Ryan Sweeney, follows a wistful Rainey wandering through literal and figurative changes occurring around her.
Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Carolee Rainey to find out more about the inspiration for “Baby,” why she makes music, and her upcoming album, Rooted.
What three things can’t you live without?
A) A magnificent sunrise.
B) My children.
C) Making music.
Why do you make music?
I believe it’s a part of my DNA. It’s been snuck into my oxygen. I can’t live without it. If only I could find a relationship as passionate as my love for music and songwriting! If only!
What inspired your new single/music video, “Baby?”
Definitely my children. It’s like an unconditional love letter that acknowledges the need we all have to fly from the nest and start venturing forth into the world while making our own best decisions.
You have a new album, Rooted, due out next year, along with a documentary. What can you share about the album?
The ‘Rooted’ album is a collection of ‘love songs on so many different levels. Love is so vast. There is self-love, love shared with another, love lost, love in the wilderness after a relationship… so many different themes I didn’t want to leave anyone out! Everyone is invited to listen, reflect, and find the songs that speak to you!
How did you get started in music?
I think listening to music around the house, my albums, and being in the chorus in school. The melodies were a constant in my mind, and still are today!
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
My sound has evolved naturally.
Which singers/musicians influenced your sound?
A) Joni Mitchell.
B) Billie Holiday.
C) Nina Simone.
D) Rickie Lee Jones.
E) Marshall Tucker.
G) Brandi Carlile.
H) Led Zeppelin.
I) Elton John and so many more.
What kind of guitar do you play? And why?
I play a few different guitars but my ‘Fender acoustic-electric’ is pretty much my go-to for performances. And I absolutely love playing rich acoustic pianos!
What is your definition of tone and has your tone evolved, or remained pretty much the same?
As a musician and singer, I believe tone is a very important relationship inside of one’s personal relationship to music. It’s so crucial to be in touch with your tone at all times.
What can you share about your writing process?
I can share that many of my lyrics and melodies seem to come to me in the very early morning hours…. And apparently, if I don’t write down or record into my phone immediately then all is lost by morning.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
B) Brandi Carlile.
C) Taylor Swift.
D) Ed Sheeran.
E) Carolee Rainey.
How do you define success?
Success is a personal sense of achievement that you’re living your dream, doing what you love, and sharing it with others!