LIFE CIRCLES is a musical treasure trove that festively celebrates the common chord of the human family. Carrie Higgins’ beautifully expressive and versatile voice combined with superb and varied instrumentation delivers songs that are lyrically well-crafted, layered with meaning and richly spiced with cultural influences. From Celtic to Cajun, African to Mexican, Caribbean to American blues as well as jazz and that Bo Diddly beat, LIFE CIRCLES takes the listener on a spirited musical journey!
Carrie called upon an assortment of stellar musicians for her recording and she also wanted young singers of all ages to be included on it since it was, after all, an album for children and families. She reached out to the International Peace Choir (IPC) ages 5-18, who’s various members sang on four songs, and of course included on the project her guitarist son Graham Haack and her dear friend’s teen daughter, singer Lily Abrams. Carrie turned to recording engineer and GRAMMY®Award winning songwriter Randy Sharp to mix and master this project.
The grand and melodic Celtic influenced first track, “Circle of Life”, celebrates the circles of: giving and receiving; the seasons; the human family as well as our interconnectedness with nature. Carrie’s strong yet lilting vocals are supported by GRAMMY® nominated singer/songwriter/violinist Lisa Haley, award winning bagpiper/composer Eric Rigler of movie soundtracks Brave Heart and Titanic, the late cellist/composer Brian Asher along with Carrie herself on pennywhistle and guitar. The youngest members of the IPC add their innocent sweetness, tugging at the heart in the final chorus. Louisiana born, Lisa brought her authentic Cajun Zest to the song “Momma’s Robe”, in which a child sets out to play, wrapped in her mother’s love and fragrance, and listeners will be tickled by Lisa’s whimsical flare in Carrie’s gypsy jazz style original rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” - an amusing song about determination and tenacity. Graham’s slide guitar and late friend Chris Burke’s Dobro capture the honeysuckle essence of the southern blues in “Sweet Potato Pie”, which celebrates the joys of family bonding through seasonal ritual.
A unique pairing of electric guitar and cello, swing “Rock-a-Bye” - a comforting earthquake preparedness song. In “Boomerang”, the Bo Diddly beat of drums, the blazing electric slide guitar and the rock gospel style singing express the concept of instant Karma. Latin percussion and the IPC chorus back Carrie and Lily who sing a duet on “Birthright” that speaks of intrinsic motivation being born out of unconditional love and validation. The Mariachi San Martin magically captures the playful spirit of the song “Mi Sombrita”, sung in Spanish, and the heart-warming African influenced story-song “The River” is an excursion of sights and sounds which ends happily when a young girl is empowered by her ability to help her hard working father. Another African influenced song, the powerfully soul stirring “My Voice”, is driven by strong rhythmic percussion played by Marti Walker, and the dynamic voices of Carrie, Cheryl McFadden and the IPC chorus, asserting that every voice matters yet there is even greater power in the collective voice. This collection comes full circle in a tender yet cheerful reprise of “Circle of Life”, sung by Graham, age five at the time.
Though this is Carrie’s debut CD, she is no newcomer to the music industry and has been writing songs and performing for decades. Residing in Long Beach CA, she has delighted audiences of all ages at dozens of libraries and many schools and venues throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She’s an engaging and charismatic performer and for her it’s all about connection - she with the children and audience, the children with their parents and the audience connecting as community in a shared, meaningful musical experience. She knows how to finesse phrases and craft choruses in songs that are captivating, memorable and easy to sing along to. Her songs are skillfully arranged and excellently produced.
As often happens in life, something unexpected occurred. Once production and manufacturing were complete, the recording was submitted to the Parents’ Choice Award Foundation, for which it won a Silver Honor Award. Promptly following that, life took a serious turn that halted Carrie’s plan to promote her album. So although the CD carries a previous copyright date, it has never before been promoted.
Now Carrie Higgins is back and ready to share this delightful collection of songs with the world! Artfully executed from disc to jacket, this musical kaleidoscope of songs is sure to endear itself to all who listen.
Available on CD Baby:
A Circle of Celebration with Carrie Higgins
A dash of rock, a sprinkle of blues, seasoned generously with multicultural spice!
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