Carlin Tripp is an American songwriter drawing from a life spent roaming this great country, seeking out rare experiences and making new friends along the way. His songs reflect on love lost and love found and the trials and joys that we face in our day to day existence. All of us are searching for an answer and Tripp's song writing provides us with a brief insight to the inner workings of our human spirit.
Tripp is a solo musician who has been playing for 13 years. He's been songwriting and learning covers since he first started with the goal of being able to write and perform music similar to what he listened to and loved growing up.
After he got his first acoustic guitar, he traveled by bus, car, and plane all over the west, and southwest, and never went a day without playing. About four years ago he started venturing out to open mics, starting in New Bedford, and moving out towards Plymouth and Boston. After that, he started approaching bar and restaurant owners about gig opportunities.
In 2013, Limelight Magazine nominated Tripp for breakthrough artist of the year and also had him perform at the award ceremony. He is currently working on his first full length studio album which will be released this fall.
Examiner spoke with Carlin about his song writing and upcoming events and his journey thus far.
Examiner: What has been one of your greatest music experiences to date?
Tripp: "One of my best musical experiences was being asked to collaborate with a slew of talented South Shore area musicians on a version of "Dirty Water" after the Boston Marathon bombings. I got introduced to some great artists such as Joe Merrick, Jay Psaros, Hayley Sabella, Kristen Merlin, Rob Pagnano, and other really talented individuals."
Examiner: What do you have in the works now as far as recordings?
Tripp: "I am releasing my first full length studio album which will be released this fall. I have eight tracks that I've been working on going back and forth to Mojo Studio in Franconia, New Hampshire and PB&J Studio in Rockland, Massachusetts. Jay Psaros worked on production and Tony Cimino on engineering. It also features Hayley Sabella and Olivia Brownlee on vocals."
Examiner: How did you wind up in the music business?
Tripp: "I wound up in the music business by accident. I starting playing guitar when I was 18 and approached it from the point of view that, I wanted to write songs and I wanted to learn how to play the songs that I love. Growing up I was such an avid music fan, all I ever wanted to do was listen to music, and when I got a guitar I guess I wanted to be just like my heroes. So for the next seven years, as I moved around the country, I played the guitar every day. I brought it with me everywhere I went, on buses, planes, road trips and from one spot to the next. I think for me the guitar was the most interesting way to make friends and creating music was the thing I liked to do most with other people. So, after nine years of just playing and traveling I had amassed a repertoire of cover songs and originals. This is when the doors started opening. My first real gigs were feature spots at open mics in the area. I think Gary Fish gave me my first feature at his open mic in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and then Art Tebbetts gave me a spot here in New Bedford where I live. These experiences gave me the confidence to start approaching venues about paying gigs. I also was fortunate enough to hook up with the Limelight Folks and the Almost Famous folks up by the South Shore and they have invited me to some amazing events where I've gotten to meet and interact with a music community that is very supportive and fun to work with. I think, over time, I turned my favorite hobby into something I can finally share with a lot of people and for me, every gig and every show is a new adventure."
Examiner: What advice would you give young musicians?
Tripp: "I think young musicians need to realize that there is no straight shot to the top in this industry. Every musicians career is filled with peaks and valleys, times when everyone is paying attention to you, and times when no one is paying attention to you. Staying current, staying relevant, staying motivated and inspired are the best (and only) ways to keep it up. And like anything you have to be playing music because it is something you absolutely LOVE doing. You really can't be concerned about the success, that may or may not come, but if you are sincere and passionate, that is what your friends, family and potential fans will like about you the most. You also have to test life. You have to go look for that inspiration, it will not just fall in your lap, it's out there and it wants to be chased. And don't take yourself too seriously, the music industry is comprised of interpersonal relationships and if you are a jerk, no matter how talented you are, people will get turned off and not want to work with you. Last I would say, be well aware that you have to start small in this business. Play for your friends, play for your family, put on concerts at Christmas in the living room, get to as many open mics as you can, keep practicing and DON'T GIVE UP!"
Examiner: Can you tell us about your music?
Tripp: "In my own songwriting, I'm searching for a common thread, an idea or concept that other people will be able to relate to. While of course, not compromising creativity or artistic integrity. I always write music first on my acoustic guitar, and then work on lyrics and vocal melody afterwards, I wait and see where the song will take me. And when I'm writing lyrics I'm usually trying to figure something out. It could be love, it could be dropping out of college, it could be a fictional story, or trying to ponder the deeper questions like why we are here, and where are we going. I still hold on to that romantic notion that music can really help shape the world we live in, and I would like to see a world with more love, more acceptance, more understanding and more good music! I just hope to add my own little piece to the bigger puzzle."
Examiner: What are some of your favorite recording artists and why?
Tripp: "I am a huge fan of classic rock, and I could go on for days about Neil Young, The Band, The Beatles, Grateful Dead, I mean the list goes on and on. To focus on the here and now I will say two of my favorite major recording artists are Brett Dennen and Josh Ritter. These guys are keeping great acoustic songwriting alive and they approach everything they do with a sincerity and artistic passion that I really admire and aspire towards. They have stuck with it and built up fan bases to a point that has allowed them to sustain a creative career. And of course I have a few super talented friends like Jay Psaros, Hayley Sabella, and Jake Hill who are my local heroes. All original songwriters who stick to their guns and play countless shows and record great, new and original music!"
Upcoming show's are June 26, 2014 at the Alley Bar and Grill in Boston and on June 27, 2014 at the Nosh Tavern in Plymouth. For more up coming dates visit:www.carlintripp.com/shows
Tripp's first two song release is called The Belfry EP and can be found on iTunes.