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Caroline Aiken

UNSHAKEN • Caroline Aiken

When I got to camp at the Kerrville Folk Festival this summer, people were talking about a Bonnie Raitt show they'd seen a few days previous in San Antonio. They said the highlight was when Bonnie called up her old bassist Freebo to play and her old friend Caroline Aiken to sing on John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery."

The simple fact that Bonnie Raitt played on Caroline's debut record in '88 is a clear testament to how long and how well she's been doing it. She's an extremely well respected guitarist and singer songwriter, in and well beyond her home base of Atlanta. But at home she is a favored daughter, and in 2001 Atlanta magazine called her the Best Folk Act. That's a big city and a real hotbed of musical activity, so that's no small feat.

Unshaken is the sixth release of the artist. Strong is really the kind of artist she is; a very strong guitarist and a soulful, seasoned singer. She's the kind of person that's very involved with conservation, with kids, benefits of many kinds. Caroline is the entertainment coordinator for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, which is a huge undertaking (www.dogwood.org). Last year's festival had 350,00 people over three days. She's also well known for workshops that she does, like Zen and the Art of Performance.

Listen to "This Must Be Love" on our Listen page and you will get the essence of this fine artist in a hurry. Producer Crit Harmon does a sparse but tasteful job with Caroline's music by letting the mighty chick rule. Folk records that aren't super traditional usually lean toward one or more other styles, and this artist leans toward rock and blues, but in an acoustic way. In fact, it begins with a very credible cover of the Traffic classic "40,000 Headmen."

See Caroline Aiken when she comes through your area, because she can really slay you in person. She's a great person, and a superior artist. Check it out.  • FG

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