Wednesday, February 16, 2011


When Cara Jean Wahlers began putting together a collection of her original music in 2006, she soon realized that something was missing. “I knew I didn't want to just do it by myself,” Wahlers says, “but I also didn't want the typical rock band feel.” A year later, the Indiana-based singer/songwriter discovered what she was looking for when she watched veteran cellist Grover Parido perform with Blueprint Music at the Indianapolis Art Center's Riverfront Amphitheatre. “I was just really moved by him,” Wahlers recalls. “He's a very expressive cellist. with wonderful tone and sensibility.” Soon after, Parido joined Wahlers in the studio and the duo began recording Goodnight Charlotte, a hauntingly beautiful debut album that has moved critics and fans alike since its release this past summer.&nb sp; In fact, the album has landed in various 2010 Top 10 lists in Indianapolis and beyond—in the Indy Star, NUVO and Musical Family Tree. Wahlers was also mentioned as a “leader of the pack for 2011” by Dodge from tastemaker site My Old Kentucky Blog.

“(I am) not sure if anyone will make a smarter, lovelier record in 2010,” writes NUVO Newsweekly’s Rob Nichols of Goodnight Charlotte (Nichols just gave it his nod for best album of 2010). “Wahlers and Parido have created an intelligent and gentle record, heartfelt and soulful in its quiet beauty.” Indeed, the collaboration between the two musicians worked out better than either could have hoped, with Parido’s work on the cello, piano and bass seamlessly weaving its way throughout Wahlers’ delicate vocals and acoustic backdrop. “I think we've got a really interesting combination,” Parido says. “Cara's lyrics are very theatrical and visual. That lends itself to the style of cello I play. I'm able to underscore a lot of these images she's presenting.”

For Wahlers, who began playing music and writing songs at an early age, Goodnight Charlotte represents the next step in her promising career. A fourth-generation musician who’s played everything from the accordion and banjo to the auto harp and washboard, Wahlers has drawn comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. Together with Parido, Wahlers also provided the score and three songs for the independent feature-length film, “Paradise Recovered,” which was recently released.

All in all, it’s been a memorable year for Wahlers and Parido, highlighted by the success of Goodnight Charlotte. “I wrote these songs almost in a woodshedding kind of situation, where I sort of shut out all the noises that aren't coming from inside of me,” Wahlers says. “It's very personal and I think that intimacy is reflected in the album.”

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