If you’re a gambler and you want to lay some money down on which Greater Cincinnati musical act is the next to go on to wider national recognition, there aren’t many safer bets than Country/Americana singer/songwriter Maria Carrelli.
A Ludlow, Kentucky native, Carrelli has built a big local following with her endearing sound, which combines Bluegrass, Folk and vintage Country influences with engaging songwriting. And that fanbase — also enlarged through shows with artists like Del McCoury, The Tillers and Billy Strings, among others — is destined to grow with the release of Strings on My Guitar, Carrelli’s debut solo album, which drops next Friday (April 12) on most major digital platforms.
Carrelli’s sound hits similar sweets spots to classic Country revivalists like Margo Price, Joshua Hedley and Nikki Lane. She cites as inspiration trailblazers like Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson, as well as modern artists like Kacey Musgraves, and says she strives to be able to give her listeners some semblance of the kind of uplift those artists have given her.
“I believe music is one of the most powerful ways to inspire and create,” Carrelli says. “It's incredible to me the small connections it encourages in the brain alongside the more grandiose ones it can conjure between humans. Watching an artist bear their vulnerabilities and strength through songwriting is one of the greater pleasures in life. The inspiration from watching or even being a part of an on-stage performance can be life-changing.
“If I'm able to stir a single ounce of that in someone through my performance, whether it inspires them to do the same or to make a positive change for the better, it makes all the effort worthwhile.”
CityBeat is thrilled to premiere the music video for Strings on My Guitar’s title track, a jaunty, honky-tonkin’ rave-up on which Carrelli tells her suitors they’re no match for her true love — music. Watch the fun, joyous clip and try not to crack a smile. The video was made by Jeffrey Lyon and Jordin Goff.
A testament to Carrelli’s loyal local support: her two album release shows on April 13 at Ludlow’s Folk School Coffee Parlor sold out well in advance. She recently added a third show on April 14 at the Ludlow Vets Hall, where the “Strings” video was partially filmed. Showtime is 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and you can get them in advance (quickly, if you’re smart) here. Carrelli says “a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be going to the vets to show my support and thanks for their kindness and of course their fearless service to this country.”
Visit mariacarrellimusic.com for more album info.