Contemporary folk singer/songwriter Caroline Herring was raised in a musical family in Canton, MS. Her father played guitar and her mother played piano. Naturally, her parents had her take piano lessons, but she eventually became more interested in guitar and the chance to sing her own songs. She didn't begin writing her own songs until she was a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she took her inspiration easily enough from a city full of great songwriters. In college at Ole Miss, in Oxford, MS, where she eventually earned her Master's Degree in Southern Studies, she began performing every week with the Sincere Ramblers for Thacker Mountain Radio, a local radio program.
She was encouraged by Peter Rowan, one of many guests on the radio program, to take her talent to the next level, which eventually prompted her to move to Austin, TX. She soon attracted attention while performing out at places like Austin's Cactus Café and a weekly happy hour show at Stubb's BBQ while working on her PhD in American Studies at UT- Austin. Encouraged by a bevy of good singer/songwriters in Austin, Herring soon began to attract growing crowds to her live performances and secured an Austin-based booking agent.
She recorded Twilight, her debut album, with some of Austin's -- and the country's -- finest studio musicians, including Rowan on guitar, Lloyd Maines on dobro, Billy Bright on mandolin, and Richard Bowden on fiddle. It was released in 2001 on the small Blue Corn label out of Houston, also home to another good Texas-based blues and folk singer-songwriter, Ruthie Foster. 2003 saw the release of Wellspring, and the critically praised Lantana was released in 2008. Golden Apples of the Sun was released in late 2009 on the Massachusetts-based Signature Sounds.
Herring can't hide her deep Mississippi accent on any of her recordings, yet, like any good musician who believes in challenging herself, she recorded Golden Apples of the Sun at the Signature Sounds studio in Pomfret, CT. Her voice and guitar feature front and center, and she's only accompanied by some light piano playing from producer David Goodrich. About half the songs on Golden Apples are Herring's takes on works by other singer/songwriters, from Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" to the blues traditional "See See Rider" to Joni Mitchell's "Cactus Tree." She even covers poet W.B. Yeats' "Song of the Wandering Aengus." Aside from being an accomplished academic, Herring is also an insight-filled songwriter, and her classic education only enhances her abilities to turn a phrase. ~ Richard J. Skelly