Carrie Rodriguez on Touring with Los Lonely Boys and Alejandro Escovedo

Carrie Rodriguez gained fame in the alt-country world after releasing three great albums with Chip Taylor, a singer/songwriter who cashes fat royalty checks for standards like "Wild Thing," "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" and "Angel of the Morning"--and is also known for being a badass professional gambler and the younger brother of Jon Voight. Taylor-Rodriguez's first collaboration, 2002's

Carrie Rodriguez on Touring with Los Lonely Boys and Alejandro Escovedo
Sarah Wilson

OC Weekly (Wade Tatangelo): What's your relationship like with the Garza brothers of Los Lonely Boys? 

I don't really know them or know if they've even heard my music. But I guess they like it because they approved me to be on their tour. I love that they're from Texas and are carrying on the Stevie Ray Vaughan legacy. They're very talented and I'm proud to be opening for them.

Los Lonely Boys' studio recordings our much pop-oriented than their live performances, which reach heavy blues levels. Can you complement that with your fiddle?

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I'm up for the challenge but I don't really know if they'll ask me to sit in. The closest thing I've had to playing that style of music was with Alejandro Escovedo's rock band, which is really loud! 

You and Alejandro Escovedo have been working together for years. When did your professional relationship with him start?

It goes back to when I was a little girl. Growing up in Austin I saw him play. His daughter played classical piano and we has classical competitions at the same places. So, [Alejandro] and I heard each other. We go way back. We have been playing together since the first tour when he was opening for Dave Matthews Band [in summer of 2008]. Alejandro's just amazing. This tour he's playing acoustic. But he has so much energy on stage regardless if it's acoustic or with his rock band. His intensity is the same every night.

You spent years writing and performing with Chip Taylor. Were you nervous writing and performing yourself in preparation of the your acclaimed 2006 solo debut Seven Angels on a Bicycle?

Well, when I met Chip I had never sung on stage before. I was primarily a fiddle player looking to find work as a sideman. When he hired me to play fiddle he asked me to sing harmonies and that led to duets. And then he suggested I start writing with him. Now, that's when I was nervous! I remember being very intimated when Chip asked me to write. Here's this man with 40 years of experience and hundreds of legendary songs and he wants me to bring my little melodies and lyrics to him. That was probably more scary than anything. So, not only did Chip get me to sing he got me into songwriting. I didn't think I had it in me and I had no desire.

Your 2008 album She Aint Me enjoyed even more praise than your debut. So, have you finally embraced your role as virtuoso violist and singer/songwriter?

I do enjoy it. But sometimes I take a step back and say, "How the hell did I end up here?" 

You're performing on Valentine's Day. What would you be doing if you were at home in Austin on this most, ah, revealing of holidays?

Ool. If I wasn't on road--oh my God--what would I be doing on Valentine's Day in Austin? Um, I don't really want to answer that question.


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