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Carrie Akre plays The Triple Door in January
Carrie Akre plays The Triple Door in January
by Tony Engelhart - Special to the SGN

CARRIE AKRE
JANUARY 4, 8 PM
THE TRIPLE DOOR
216 UNION ST.
$15


Some artists wallow in their past accomplishments, while others flourish and continually push their creativity. It's a gamble and the results are always chancy when changing direction from a proven formula. Northwest singer/songwriter Carrie Akre has reinvented her sound on more than one occasion, and the appraisal has been a mixed bag. But she has not wavered in her convictions for the past eight years, and something tells me it's going to pay off.

Best known for fronting the grunge band Hammerbox in the early '90s, Akre established herself as a force. With a voice as powerful as Pat Benatar, she sliced through the northwest scene like a knife through butter. In stark contrast to her punk-metal roots, Akre's solo debut in 2000, Home, was a quiet and gentle recording which fell into the category of adult contemporary with shades of Martha Wainwright and Imogen Heap.

Following the release of her sophomore effort in 2002, Invitation, Akre remained relatively quiet for the next five years. In 2007 she signed with the Seattle-based record label run by Pete Nordstrom and John Richards (KEXP) and began work on her third release, Last the Evening. "I was looking for a local home and I know both John and Pete and asked for a meeting. They are true fans and eager to work hard," explained Akre. The album was released in October and is being pushed hard by the label.

Like her previous solo work, Last the Evening retains her now signature bluesy vibe. "I think I have a lot of blues style in me by nature and, considering the sadness, I think that come out easily" explains Akre. Now 41, she touches on topics that speak to her generation such as mid-life crises. "It was the first time in life I really didn't know where I was going next and felt really lost," she says.

The album was produced by Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden) who brought his meticulous style to the table. "Steve brought great history of pop and electronics as well as great taste when it comes to working on the feel of a song," says Akre. The result of the collaboration is a well thought-out and insightful recording which is accessible and radio-friendly.

Carrie Akre has persistently made an invaluable mark on music by growing up with her audience. "I think I've come to know myself better and have confidence in the music I want to create," she says. "Especially this last year, friends really pushed me to own who I am and my achievements and be proud. It feels good."

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