Caroline Aiken has been a fixture of the local acoustic scene since she debuted here in the late '70s. Since then, the Atlanta native has roamed the globe as a true independent artist, releasing a string of successful indie CDs. She recently self-released her newest CD, Are We There Yet, Mama. Before heading out for a West Coast and European tour, she plays her final local show of the year Sat., Aug. 27, at the Mambo Room.
"I first came to Atlanta to play in 1974, between Brazil and the West Coast, before Yosemite and before Seattle. I played in the middle of a set by Eric Quincy Tate in 1974. Hotlanta was the name of the club, on Piedmont, I think. A great big place."
She returned the favor and offered spots in her set to then-unknown teenagers Emily Sailers and Amy Ray, long before they were called the Indigo Girls.
"To make a living in this town as a musician, you have to be creative, you have to learn to write a grant, figure out how to do workshops, how to work your craft into a way to market and sell it. In my early days, it wasn't about the business; it was just about getting my chops down."
"I do it all myself, and I'm not looking for anyone else to do it for me. I've signed management, label deals, but you know what? You have to learn to read the fine print, you have to understand futures, and you have to understand what an option means. Young kids come up and say, 'Man, we just signed a five option deal, they must really like us.' But I'm like, 'Five options, at 18 months each option, that's your whole musical life, dude. And you haven't made a record with these people yet and you don't know what they are like in the studio, or if they are gonna support your tour with publicity or radio support.'"
"My cure for the world: We should be bigger than our differences and expand to include those that we don't understand or make us afraid. And music can help that become a reality. Like with a kidney stone. You kill it with sound, till it's in little pieces. I'd like to see the anger dissipated like that. We need to be bigger than our differences."
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