“We’re all these little heartbroken people but it doesn’t keep us from smiling,” says Nashville singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, “I think that there is something endearing about that.” The 24-year-old Virginia native shares a comforting narrative with her audiences; there’s a maturity and depth to her sweet dusky soprano as she relays the universal stories of love and self-discovery through detailed anecdote and careful verse. She is an Americana singer with a spry alt country vibe, a dash of bluegrass and a fine ear for a good hook, very much along the lines of female troubadours that she so admires: Brandi Carlile, Patti Griffin and Sheryl Crow.
However, it is in her songwriting that Caroline shines – In early 2013 she won the Eddie Owens Presents’ Songwriters Open Mic contest in Duluth, Georgia and her song “Mint Condition” just took first place in the American Songwriter July/August 2013 lyric contest. She now prepares her new EP You Know The Feeling, a collection of songs with something for everyone, while never finding themselves navel-gazing or overly maudlin. The EP’s track “Whiskey Watered Down,” earned Caroline a spot in the top ten of the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival 2013 songwriting contest. Audiences also connect with the stories found in “Necklace” or “Shape In Your Bed” as Caroline moves from song to song with lighthearted stage banter.
Her performances have been described as “truly colorful, an emotional sound that needs little in the way of accompaniment. Hearing her sing is like getting a hug from someone you love” (Cville Weekly), and her fanbases have only been growing in the Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and Carolina areas. In Nashville she has graced the stages of the legendary Bluebird Café and The Basement, where club owner Mike Grimes keeps Caroline on deck for any last minute openings after her memorable New Faces Night. This fall she will continue touring the Southeast, including a return to Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, Georgia to compete as a finalist in 39th Bi-Annual Songwriter’s Open Mic Contest.
There’s a lot of influences wrapped up in the cheerful brunette and her deeply emotive songwriting – the house she grew up in in Charlottesville, Virginia had Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris regularly playing in the living room and her mother’s family can be traced back to the Carter and Ralph Stanley bluegrass bloodline. In her family, everyone could play a little of something: her grandfather was a wonderful musician and her singer-songwriter aunt was the one that invited a young Caroline to open an album release show, a show that would be her very first performance of her original music in front of anyone. “I remember being so terrified. I was a sophomore in high school. But I did that and the club owners were there and I kept getting invited back to play and I was really shy about the whole thing,” she reflects, “My parents didn’t even know what I was up to until I played that night!”
Being invited back has been a theme for Caroline as she continues to expand her talents and circle of friends and fans outwards in all directions. Despite her continued successes, Caroline remains as humble and as hopeful as her songs reflect. “I didn’t even know when I moved here if I wanted to perform but it just kind of happened because I got good feedback and I had friends that wanted to play with me and I was like ‘lets just give it a shot.’ I don’t necessarily hope to be the next big thing, but I just hope that my skills or gifts can take care of my life. I’m at a point where I don’t know what direction I want to go in, but there’s a couple different paths that I can take that I might be qualified for,” she laughs, “I’m not sure yet, I’m going to keep doing this though. I’m going to keep writing, I’m going to keep singing, so I might as well keep trying to make a career out of it.”