Karla Davis / Carl Anderson
September 24, 2017 @ 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
Karla Davis is a soulful singer/songwriter from Monroe, North Carolina. Driven by the church, it was the choir that invoked her musical spirit. Music found Karla just as quickly as her fingers found their home on the fret board of her first guitar just over six years ago.
Karla took a leap of faith in the fall of 2009 when she decided to move to Nashville, TN. In January 2010 Karla was named the national winner of the Colgate Country Showdown and was given the title Best New Act in Country Music. After starting her own independent record label and recording her first two albums, Karla found herself on Season 2 of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012 where she made it to the top 16 on Team Adam. Following her success on The Voice, Karla began working with industry veterans Gordon Kennedy and Jeff Balding with whom she released her single “I Can’t Sleep Tonight” in February of 2015. Karla is currently writing and in the studio working on her upcoming EP with Mapletop Entertainment set to be released in the spring/summer of 2016.
Carl Anderson’s story reads like the stuff of legend. It’s almost too perfect– like a page torn from the annals of the American Songbook, or the unread script of a made-for-TV special on what we want our artists to look like. Carl was born in rural Wolftown, Virginia to a father who was a part time folk singer and full-time wanderer. Known simply as “Virginia Slim” to his fellow travelers in the “hobo circuit”, Carl’s father had been riding trains across the country singing and working dead end jobs since leaving home at 10 years old. Though Carl was raised on the fidelity of a single mother that gave everything to her family, he still carries with him vague memories of his father as a charming man with a beautiful melancholic tenor that Carl’s mother would come to recognize in her own son.
When Carl hit his teenage years and found himself unequivocally drawn back to the same vocation of a father he barely knew, it must have been both enchanting as well as terrifying. As Carl sings on Different Darkness: “We’re not that different / same wanderlust, met with a different darkness / I can see his face in mine.” While the story itself might seem a like a vignette of songwriting folklore, for those who have to live with it, the pain is all too real.
The fact that Carl Anderson inherited a rare gift is clear, but what every artist can never know is the reality of whether that gift is going to save him or destroy him. The whole vocation is an act of faith that it’s worth the risk.
It’s this tension at the heart of Risk of Loss, not simply the story, that gives this particular collection of songs an unmistakable authenticity that hits you as a listener long before the depth of meaning sinks in. The substance and source of the melancholy and yearning that runs throughout the record remains deceptively elusive. It’s sometimes unclear precisely who the singer is addressing– a former lover, a father he barely knew, or even God– but this is precisely what makes Risk of Loss as purely compelling and universal as some of the best in a long tradition of American songwriting. It’s the sort of authenticity that can’t be cheaply bought like the archaic instruments and anachronistic outfits that plague the genre. Carl is finally doing what every great writer does– he is writing to discover who he is. A young man who was born to sing.