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Back and Forth and forward

Local rock royalty discusses inspirations behind her new CD

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Carrie Akre is a name associated with rock royalty in the Pacific Northwest. Her former bands, Hammerbox and Goodness, are the subject of local legend. Her name will be written in any credible Northwest rock history book. She’s on a first name basis with people that the average person couldn’t talk to at all unless they were getting an autograph signed. She didn’t just share the stage with the great ones; she performed in bands with them. For example: Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens invited Akre to his house in New Jersey where they collaborated on a music project together. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam chose her to front his band The Rockfords in 2000. Goodness toured extensively all over the world opening for bands like Pearl Jam, Cheap Trick, Oasis, and co-headlined a tour with Candlebox. Akre has been courted by several major record labels and had her moment of signing on the dotted line only to discover later that the record was shelved and the promise of national fame was postponed indefinitely at the whim of a suit behind a desk. It was these school-of-hard-knocks lessons and amazing experiences that taught her self sufficiency and the value of maintaining control of one’s own destiny.

Today Akre has her own record label called My Way Records. Her third solo record, Back and Forth, will be released later this year, and pre-orders are being accepted now. Pre-sales alone for her previous album, Invitation, reached over $5,000 in 2002. The pre-order deal for Back and Forth is $50 for two autographed CDs, a Carrie Akre poster, a private party and free entry into the CD release show in September 2007.

“When I started writing songs for this album, I felt really renewed about the music,” says Akre, “Before that I was feeling a bit burnt out. This time I wanted to make sure I was being true to myself, doing it for the right reason and making sure I enjoyed it.”

Akre had written most of the songs on piano, so she knew the new record would have that acoustic piano feel, but she also added some electronic layering.

“I wanted it to be both live and lush,” she says. “Steve Fisk added loops, keyboards, keyed bass, strings and mellotron.”

“To me it’s more about the art and finding out what other music is in me. You have to start with that and live there. The business is so unsure,” she says.

Akre said she finds herself drawn to the music created by Feist and Imogen Heap lately.

When I asked her to sum up the subject matter of her new songs, she said they are about personal growth, dark night of the soul, and learning to love yourself.

“I hope people take this CD to their hearts and it helps soothe. I hope it’s something they love to play in their car, while taking a great bath, relaxing on the couch, in their headphones, in their ipods, wherever they go,” she says.

Carrie Akre band will perform live this week at Jazzbones. The live band is Carrie Akre on vocals, guitar and piano, Jared Clifton on guitar, Matthew Lee Patrick on drums, Peter Fedofsky on piano and guitar, and Martin Lund, bass player with benefits. Akre and Lund plan to wed in September of this year.

For more information about Carrie Akre visit or befriend her at

[Jazzbones, with Sammy Barrett and Kristen Ward, Saturday, May 19, 8:30 p.m., all ages, $10-$12, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

My name is Angie and I’m just a shot away here.   If you can’t rock me, somebody will.

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