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Music Review: Carin Mari – Miles Per Hour

By Brian Rill

Buena Vista native Carin Mari has fully arrived with her first solo CD Miles Per Hour. After fourteen-year journey, her career has officially begun. Having won countless awards and performing at the Ryman Auditorium and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Carin pursues critical success with her pedigree. A protégé of songwriter Michael Martin Murphy, Ms. Mari has sailed the Americana airwaves since childhood. She recently graduated with multiple degrees in commercial music, mass communication, English and leadership. While this purebred Colorado cowgirl possesses a bountiful beauty, Carin shows she has intellect and skill while aptly navigating the treacherous business of music.

Consisting of six songs, the EP is packed with tons of twang. The harmonic voicing of Ron Hemby warmly covers Carin’s vocal timber. Shawn Tubbs’ tightly punched chord changes force themselves pleasingly into the ear. Mark Hill’s bass strings vibrate through pulses from Bobby Blazier’s drum kit. Troy Engle slides his digits along banjo frets, plucking with vitality, while Chris Rodriguez totes his baritone mandola along for the shindig.


Opening with a bittersweet tune called Flowing Away, the album starts out sleek. “I was part of a ripple in your eddy line and you held me there for a time. Till you felt the pull of the current it called and circled you out of the flow.” Carin is letting go of anything holding her back and rolling into the fast lane – still following her childhood dreams, while applying the professional tool kit of a newly-christened adept. Hunter Productions from Nashville captures a flawless digital recording. The pop/country album highlights Carin’s cascading vocals with crystal-clear precision. Carin shares the same catchy genre of music as Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert.

On the album cover, with an acoustic guitar flung behind her, clenched for the pilgrim’s long journey, Carin gazes at her shadow extended along the trail, implying the final hours preceding sundown. She surveys the faraway rugged, forlorn peaks of snowy alpine landscapes. A catchy tune with visionary swoon starts with a quick gallop: “I‘m going to glide by natural fountains and feel like I can fly. I want to see the world from a bird’s eye, so I’ve got mountains to climb.”

The composition Through the Fire explains how Carin forged her endurance by overcoming personal obstacles while building skills that wow audiences. In Things You Do, she poses ancient questions to a false idol: “Why’d you lead me on, steer me wrong that way? Why’d you sing your song, if you didn’t mean what you say?” If you’re a heavy consumer of country music or just the casual customer of a catchy tune, Miles Per Hour should combust in your soul. Carin’s voice is just as appealing to the ear as her features are to the eyes. Her profile is concealed under the ten-gallon hat she uses to shield her slate blue irides until she peers up imploringly: “Tell me a story sing me a song, let me wonder and follow along. Hey would you show me how you made your way? Cause I want to know about back in the day.”

Brian Joseph Rill is a detective, teacher and activist poet. He was voted Salida’s Best Musician 2009 and is an award-winning Latin songwriter.