A bit of insight as Carrie explains, “I am a big fan of Adel and Norah Jones; they are brilliant at what they do but I just don't believe most of those other girls on the radio today are great singers but rather fabricated pop stars, and that's just not my thing. For as long as I can remember I have been very selective of singers and songwriters I think are great and, I wanted to make a record that would resonate with people who feel the same way – and sing songs with great melodies and meaningful lyrics. I think we have successfully accomplished this.”
By engaging the services of one brilliant arranger who created a vibrant canvas for Carrie to sing upon by incorporating orchestra, big band and rhythm section, the ambitious project began to take shape. In an effort to catch lightning in a bottle, several multiple Grammy Award winning musicians were brought in on the project and countless guys having recorded and toured with some of the most iconic big bands comprised the studio orchestra which was assembled. The sessions were recorded 'live' in the studio with Carrie tracking vocals in an adjacent iso booth. The end result being a record made in essentially the way records were made back in the day – everyone delivering a performance of the highest caliber, together in one big room.
As a bit of background on Carrie McDowell evolving into a world-class vocalist, the journey first began at the age of 8, winning a local talent show on television and then competing and winning on the big stage at the State Fair. The next musical experience for this young lady was fronting Love Train, a 7 piece band comprised of kids age 10-17 which toured throughout the county playing supper clubs and night clubs. From there Carrie was whisked onto the national stage opening for Rowan & Martin who subsequently introduced her to, what would be three Tonight Show appearances. The industry buzz about the little girl with the big voice was parleyed into an opening act for Liberace and Danny Thomas in Vegas, performing on The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and The Merv Griffin Show. Carrie McDowell had appeared at the famed Copacabana, the Rainbow Room as well as the Fontainebleau, remarkably; all while being on the road, fronting her band, living out of a suitcase, playing over 300 nightclubs and supper club dates a year; all by the age of 14.
Relocating to New York, Carrie pursued acting and modeling and, as one of the top jingle singers in the city, was featured in the first national Jordache television commercial. Television exposure continued with interviews on Late Night with Tom Snyder, The Mike Douglas Show and a special on 20/20. Next Carrie teamed up with seven exceptional jazz musicians and created Uptown Funktion performing jazz tinged Pop, R&B and original material. The group provided a means of expression for Carrie to expand her musical vocabulary performing arrangement of Al Jarreau, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Steely Dan tunes to standing room only audiences. Once again, Carrie McDowell was doing what Carrie is deftly adept at – entertaining an audience. Then a move to LA where her talent was so undeniable a demo made its way onto the desk of the Chairman of Motown Records, the legendary Berry Gordy. Carrie auditioned for Mr. Gordy at Hitsville in LA and was immediately signed to Motown Records, the second white girl in the history of this prestigious record label to ever do so (the other being Teena Marie), thus,becoming a part of the esteemed Motown family. As a result, Carrie McDowell performed with the Four Tops, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and El DeBarge; the Motown Merry Christmas Special on television as well as the formidable Don Cornelius' Soul Train and American Bandstand.
Needless to say, with all the travel, celebrity, managers and money there were numerous bumps in the road; however, Carrie's spirituality and faith were drawn upon as she re-focused her life and music in the Contemporary Christian market. Her duo recording, Two Hearts, was nominated for a Dove Award as Best New Artist, awarded Favorite Pop Album in Contemporary Christian Music magazine's Reader's Awards, garnered two #1 singles on the Billboard Contemporary Christian Charts and a Billboard Music Award for Best New Contemporary Christian Artist Video.
Carrie's latest EP, Talk About the Girl, offers proof of the gift this young lady possesses in connecting words to music.