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In a tiny row home on the edge of South Baltimore, Carrie became heavily influenced by the music emanating from the old stereo, she sang along to Paul Simon, The Band, Joni Mitchell and the entirety of The Last Waltz soundtrack. Soon, her parents would sit on the stairs and listen to the voice they didn’t know their daughter had. They then facilitated her audition for the prestigious high school Baltimore School for the Arts (Christian Siriano, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Tupac Shakur), where she began her rigorous vocal and musical training.
There, Carrie learned 18th Century counterpoint, studied opera and chamber music as a Lyric Mezzo-Soprano. She graduated in 1999 and then went on to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, receiving her Bachelor Degree in Music in 2003. She continued to live in Philadelphia, performing and working as a background vocalist. Carrie began writing songs purely for therapeutic release, and convinced a suburban studio to allow her to record her work tapes. This first batch of songs planted the seeds for her journey to Tennessee.
There she met and began to mentor under famed, award- winning producer, guitarist and songwriter, Kent Wells. Out of this simmering musical chemistry, her very first commercial effort, Woman On a Mission was born. Her single, the title track from this EP, spent 24 weeks on tertiary Country radio, amassing over 900 spins per week. She supported this release with live appearances, including CMA Fest, and with a regional radio tour to Alabama and across Tennessee.
If you were to view a film of Carrie Zaruba’s life, the opening scene would begin in inner city South Baltimore, her singing to herself in the basement of her family row house.
Carrie’s EP opens with the soaring title track, where her vocals are slightly reminiscent to those of fellow country star Jo Dee Messina…another gorgeous vocal is “Belly of the Beast,” similar to the vocals of Reba McEntire. Carrie is indeed on a mission: to deliver the best music possible to her country fans and she succeeds in this goal. She sings with a lot of soul and passion.. It garners 5 out of 5 stars.” – Examiner.com
In 2013, DigitalJournal.com selected Woman On a Mission as one of the Top 10 Best Female Country Albums. She was also selected by the Country Music Association as one of the Artists to Watch in 2013, which described her as rising into the Country Music sky bright, fast, and impossible to ignore.”
In 2015, Carrie began work on her latest studio effort, Hearts Beat. Once again, she teamed up with producer Kent Wells, and laid bare some of her most honest, and free- form music to date. Hearts Beat began as a writing exercise, absent of big commercial aspirations and a cookie-cutter approach. Upon discovering she was pregnant with her first child, Carrie began to simply create, without trying to fit into any specific genre or musical feel. What emerged is something more honest, vocally and lyrically. This fresh take on the themes of love, redemption and unapologetic authenticity shine brightly in a sea of sameness.
She immediately began writing songs with Kent, forming what would eventually be her first full- length work, Natural Disaster, released in 2021. This album completely and utterly reflected her journey as a mother and songwriter, living in the modern- day turbulence of the global pandemic. Read her interview with Digital Journal here.
She followed that up with two single releases, never letting up on the pace of her songwriting and crafting new stories. The first, released in fall of 2021, Queen of Maybelline, tells the story of a girl from the city, much like the one Carrie herself emerged. The second, released at the start of 2022, is Sugar Pines, a love story tucked away in a secluded cabin deep in the mountains of the West Coast.
Always striving to continue to refine her artistry, Carrie continues to perform regularly, and often times can be heard humming the chorus to her next unwritten song.
Carrie wrote this song after a visit from a hawk in her backyard. It tells the story of a widower, and how love never dies.
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