A gifted singer/songwriter, Brandi Carlile was born in the small town of Ravensdale, WA, an isolated community 50 miles from Seattle. With few neighbors or friends nearby, Brandi made her own entertainment, camping and hiking in the nearby woods and teaching herself to sing. Her musical preferences were heavily influenced by her parents' choices, which consisted of classic country music such as Patsy Cline, who remains one of Brandi's favorite singers.
At the age of 17, Brandi began to develop her own style, and thanks to Elton John's classic albums from the '70s, it was rock and roll influenced. She taught herself how to play guitar and she began playing anywhere she could get a gig. Through her bar gigs she met twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, who were in a local rock and roll band. When the band broke up, Brandi asked them to form a group with her. Brandi's emotionally powerful songwriting and acoustic guitar work quickly became a dominant component of the group's sound, and they began touring regularly, headlining small venues and opening shows for successful artists including Dave Matthews and India.Arie.
Columbia Records signed Brandi in late 2004 on the strength of songs periodically recorded at her home. Her self-titled debut album, released in 2005, quickly heralded Brandi as an important new singer/songwriter and earned her the title of one of Rolling Stone magazines "10 Artists to Watch in 2005."
Shortly after the release of her debut album, Brandi left her home of Seattle and set out for a life on the road. She spent the better part of the next two years playing all across the country. By the end of 2006, she had embarked on several headlining tours and supported a variety of artists including Ray LaMontagne, Indigo Girls, The Fray, Chris Isaak, Tori Amos and Shawn Colvin. Brandi found an even wider audience when the hit ABC drama Grey's Anatomy showcased three of Brandi's songs in 2007.
Her second album, The Story, was released in April 2007. It was produced by T Bone Burnett and includes a collaboration with the Indigo Girls on "Cannonball." The album was recorded in an 11-day-long session with Brandi, the twins (Tim and Phil Hanseroth) and drummer Matt Chamberlain to capture the raw intensity of Brandi's live performances.
Brandi has been given the coveted title of a VH1 "You Oughta Know Artist" and she will headline the 2007 tour of the same name.