Rorey Carroll: The Hard Way

rc Photo by Jen Silver If singer-songwriter Rorey Carroll ever finds herself hungry for material, all she’d have to do is turn to her own life: from her self-inflicted homelessness, to her six months on the Appalachian trail at 20 years old, to getting convicted for transporting marijuana — 27 pounds of it, to be exact. But her second album, Love Is An Outlaw, isn’t some kind of badge of honor touting her storied, sometimes slightly sordid past. Instead, it’s a diverse palate of life, love and hard-learned lessons; full of empty rooms and emptier hearts, with Carroll’s voice filling each and every void with its perfectly ragged nuance and dead-honest lyricism. She’s got a story, all right, but she’s more interested in the stories we all share together. “I guess I have always learned the hard way,” Carroll says about her rather unconventional life — right now, she calls an RV home, parked in an alleyway in East Nashville, and this is probably about as “settled” as one can expect her to get. “I knew when I was a kid that I was different. Going out and moving around the way I did taught me a lot about myself, and where I need to be.” Much of how Carroll has fulfilled that need has been by choice — raised by a middle class family in suburban Chicago, she knew that she had to push herself to exist — somehow, some way — outside the norm, even if that meant essentially becoming homeless. It was her dad who dropped her off at the base of the Appalachian trail: it took her more than half a year to complete it, with Carroll sleeping in a hammock and writing poetry in her journal along the way. She also toted along a backpacker guitar, using it to learn chords — at the end of the journey, only the instrument,... Sign In to Keep Reading

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