Many moons before Carey dreamed of making albums, her Dad used to play Tin Pan Alley tunes on the piano pretty much every day of her childhood...which was probably the impetus for her crafting her first songs on piano. Wafting through the home were also the sounds of Elisabeth Schwartzkopf (the opera singer), London Symphony ballet music, musicals, and 1930’s college sing-alongs. Under Carey's pillow was a transistor radio where she would listen late into the night to far-away rock and roll stations. Just like so many other kids, she experienced epiphanies upon seeing on Peter, Paul and Mary sing Bob Dylan's political "Blowin' in the Wind" and the Beatles' exuberant American debut. As a young adult, Carey composed and performed her own songs at anti-war protests and downtown D.C. coffeehouses.
Over the years she has performed solo, but also with a jug band, big band, jazz duo—plus rock, Black gospel and Celtic groups. Genre-jumping has led to collaborations with many other artists; Carey has been a guest performer on more than 20 album projects. Other highlights have included appearing as a soloist for three Joni Mitchell Tributes: at Strathmore Music Center’s mammoth production by Bandhouse Gigs; at the Institute of Musical Traditions Concert Series, and at the Takoma Park Folk Festival.
Photo by Peg Kay, Vertech Inc.
Some long-lasting group commitments in which Carey has been a soloist include Greentree (pictured here at Potomac Overlook Regional Park), Connemara, Mosaic Harmony, Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra (pictured in black and white photo above), St. Augustine Black Gospel Choir, and Finnegan’s Jig.
Small Braveries, Carey's brand-new CD on Azalea City Recordings, is already receiving praise from deejays who received advance copies. Lee Michael Demsey, folk music and bluegrass host at public radio WAMU, Washington, D.C., says "Carey has a golden voice and sings of the human spirit, the 'never give up and never give in' attitude…some of the best material comes from the pen of Ms. Creed herself…Small Braveries plaintively asks you to reflect on life, and it makes you smile. This is a quiet gem of a project."
Mary Sue Twohy, Program Director, SiriusXM Satellite Radio adds: "I can always count on Carey's beautiful voice, laced with sunlit hope seasoned with a good dose of reality, to not only open my mind, but more importantly, open my heart. Listen in to Small Braveries for an easy mix of acoustic grooves, hand-clapping blues, early Joni sensibilities, a shot of humor and straight up folk, all exquisitely produced. Recommended for folks comfortable living beyond their own skin. In a word, divine."
Carey's previous CD, Peace of Wild Things, was released by Azalea City Recordings to a SRO crowd of 240 at a CD party/benefit concert for city- and county-wide interfaith charities. Mike Joyce of The Washington Post reviewed the CD, praising the music's "whimsical...tender...acoustic charms." The award-winning album has gone on to be played on many community and public radio stations here and abroad.
I'll Know You, Carey's 2003 release on Azalea City Recordings, includes folk radio magnets, Home-coming (a Leonie Adams poem she set to music), Chloe by Jack Bond, Now I Know and the title cut by Carey. These songs have also been part of Focus and Azalea City compilation CDs.
Looking way back to 1992, Carey made her first CD, Plum Branch. This recording of all-original music came about as a result of major changes in her life: music and poetry became lifelines as she dealt with the death of her husband, Jim Creed-Detorie, and also with her own struggles with potentially life-threatening illness.
Jim had been an ESL teacher who became friends with his students (who were mostly refugees). He had given Carey a home-made card he created which quoted an ancient Vietnamese poem by Man Giac entitled Rebirth. After Jim died, she set the poem to music.
The album title evolved from Man Giac's description of a plum branch blossoming even after Spring was gone; the poem came from a book edited and translated by Nguyen Ngoc Bich: One Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry—a special gift to Jim from one of his students.
Grace Griffith's version of Rebirth (on Blix Streets Records) has been broadcast on NPR's syndicated show, "Midnight Special". My Life, another of Grace's CDs on the Blix Street label, features Carey's setting of a poem by photographer/poet Fred Sisson: "Passing Thoughts."
For information about all the people who have helped to bring Carey’s recordings into being, plus music clips, please visit the Recordings page.
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