Muddy Bottom Blues
Program #223 (October 23 at 8:00pm and October 24 at 3:00pm)
A husband-and-wife Americana duo, Carolina Story create powerfully atmospheric songs with the combination of their heartfelt stories of love and struggle and the honesty and passion of their vocals. Focusing on the realities of small-town life, their music reflects joy and sorrow in nearly equal measure while stubbornly maintaining that love can overcome it all.
While the band began releasing not long after they formed, they first hit their stride in the studio with 2018's Lay Your Head Down, following that creative breakthrough with 2020's Dandelion.
Featuring Ben Roberts and Emily Roberts, Carolina Story was formed in 2009, two years after they first met. Ben hailed from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and formed his first band when he was in junior high, playing guitar and writing songs. He spent a year playing football while studying at a college in Boston, but he left Beantown to relocate to North Carolina before enrolling at Visible Music College in Memphis, Tennessee.
Ben met fellow student Emily on campus; originally from Lennox, South Dakota, she came to Memphis both to study and pursue her career as a performer and songwriter. As the two got to know one another, they discovered they were compatible both as a couple and as musical collaborators, and while Emily was jokingly proposing baby names, she coined Carolina Story, which Ben felt would be an even better name for their group.
Carolina Story made their debut in 2009, and that same year they issued a self-titled and self-released album. The duo were willing to play practically anywhere, and logged countless hours on the road while slowly building an audience. They released a handful of CD-R titles over the next few years, including 2010's When the River Met the Sea, 2011's Home, 2013's Chapter One, and 2014's Chapter Two.
Perseverance paid off when they struck a deal with Black River Entertainment, which signed them to recording and publishing contracts. Their first proper album, Lay Your Head Down, arrived in May 2018, and earned them recognition as the title track gained traction at streaming services (where it received over 750,000 plays) and radio.
Ben and Emily followed their breakthrough success with a second album for Black River, Dandelion, issued in September 2020.
(provided by Allmusic)