It’s rare you find a married music duo that adheres to none of the married-duo-cliches. Carolina Story writes and performs songs, knowing that there are enough love songs on earth. They evoke the blue collar man and woman, because that’s exactly who they are. From their genesis, they have crafted their sound to be a perfect mix of the lyrical grit and wit of Hank Williams Sr. and the tender... more
It’s rare you find a married music duo that adheres to none of the married-duo-cliches. Carolina Story writes and performs songs, knowing that there are enough love songs on earth. They evoke the blue collar man and woman, because that’s exactly who they are. From their genesis, they have crafted their sound to be a perfect mix of the lyrical grit and wit of Hank Williams Sr. and the tender atmosphere of Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams. Carolina Story (Ben and Emily Roberts) are from Arkansas and South Dakota respectively, Ben being raised alongside the songs of Neil Young, George Jones, The Band and Bob Dylan; Emily on the sounds of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Hank Sr. and Johnny Cash, giving their songs a seamless, organic blending influence of gritty, folky Americana and nostalgic, traditional Country.
It was music that drew them together at Visible Music College, a progressive arts college – on a fateful, summer day in late-August of 2007, they met outside of the dorms under the hot Memphis sun as Ben helped Emily move a couch into her room. While drawn to each other’s talent, they came to realize the overlapping nature of their hearts. It was in Western North Carolina, on a week-long, Fall camping trip, where the band's story really begins. They were both preoccupied by separate projects at the time with Emily focusing on her budding career as a solo singer/songwriter and Ben being in another band. It was on that trip camping along the Davidson and French Broad Rivers that the light bulb went off. They decided to ditch their current endeavors upon returning to Memphis and focus on writing and performing together. Carolina Story was born beside the afterglow of a campfire along the banks of those rivers with the name embodying the inception of their journey together.
They were married in June of 2009 and embarked on their first tour right after their honeymoon with Ben finishing his last semester of school online from the road. Since then, they have been hard at work playing nearly 700 shows in 43 states, writing and putting out music they believe in; each release astonishingly better than the last. Starting as starry-eyed newly-weds ready for the road ahead with their debut album evolving into wise road-worn troubadours on their second album, Home, with the ability to turn an insightful phrase at a moment’s notice.
You can hear the euphoria in the way their voices rise and merge. Ben, dusky, dusty and earthy; Emily, sunny, velvety, lush. Traveling America in a Prius named Minnie Pearl, with one guitar, harmonicas, tambourines, an American Tourister suitcase for a drum and dreams that outfuel their hybrid ride, Carolina Story is the rapture of being young, gifted and willing.
Chapter One marks the emergence of a sound that is acoustic, but bold. Produced by Grammy-winner Blake Chancey (Dixie Chicks, David Allen Coe, Waylon Jennings, Mary Chapin Carpenter), these six lyrically minimalist songs demonstrate the sustaining power of love, the depths of yearning and the legacy our lives beget -- delivered with the kind of swirling, seamless harmonies that make two seem as one.
As Chapter One climbs both the Americana and Singer/Songwriter charts on iTunes, Ben and Emily look forward to the upcoming release titled Chapter Two, as well as their Grand Ole Opry debut on June 28th.
The future for Carolina Story is limitless. They’re a small fish in a big sea of similar Americana duos but the sincerity and humanity of their music makes them stand out among even the best.less