“Let them live while they can / Let them spin, let them scatter in the wind / I’ve been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends / And the joke’s on them…”
So Brandi Carlile sings in “The Joke”, the first single off her newest album, By The Way, I Forgive You. The song (and the album as a whole) proposes some refreshing alternatives to the cycle of vitriol and judgment that our society currently seems locked into: forgiveness and acceptance. But, as Carlile was quick to clarify in a recent Rolling Stone Interview, “The last thing I want on this record is for it to sound like I’m using forgiveness in the white evangelical use of the term. I worry that people in the world might consider that forgiveness isn’t radical, but it is fucking radical. We just don’t do it very often or as much as we’d like to sing about it and wave our arms.”
And indeed, Carlile’s brand of forgiveness seems to be something more honest and pure than the standard Sunday school variety: devoid of strings, a guilt-trip, or any traces of bitterness. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easily won. Carlile, along with her longtime writing partners and bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth (“The Twins”), writes from a place of well-earned authority, as someone who has loved, lost, and lived her fair share of life. The result is a collection of songs that are complex, intense, and deeply emotional, tackling a variety of subjects from personal identity to relationships to addiction to – yes – politics.
By the Way, I Forgive You, represents a banner achievement for the acclaimed singer, songwriter, and performer. Released on Low Country Sound/Elektra Records and produced by Grammy-Award winning producer Dave Cobb and acclaimed musician Shooter Jennings, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Current Albums Chart, Rock Albums chart, and Americana/Folk Albums chart and No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Additionally, Carlile is nominated for three Americana Music Association Awards & Honors this year: Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (“The Joke”) and Album of the Year. The album has earned high praise from a wide range of critics, including former President Barack Obama, who named “The Joke” as one of his favorite recent songs.
In celebration of the album, Carlile will tour extensively throughout 2018 beginning on June 8th with stops at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Chicago’s Chicago Theatre, Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Los Angeles’ The Greek Theatre and Seattle’s Moore Theatre, among many others. In addition to the headline dates, Carlile will also make several festival appearances, including the Taste of Chicago Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival and Austin City Limits.
For a full list of concert dates, and to purchase tickets, visit brandicarlile.com