Songstress Eileen Carey returns to Summer Fest on Venice Beach
By Carl Kozlowski
In a place famous for rock bands like The Beach Boys and The Doors, singer-songwriter Eileen Carey is breaking the mold en route to success. For Carey, it’s country music that has propelled her into a music career that has so far brought her four CDs, a number of awards and a slew of concert appearances nationwide, as well as a recent publicity tour of radio stations in the South and Midwest.
But her favorite shows are the ones that keep her close to home, mainly because she and her husband Joe save feral cats and have provided homes to many of the felines over the past few years.
Carey will be performing at noon Sunday at the 6th annual Summer Fest on Venice Beach, bringing country to the coastline as the official spotlight artist in a daylong event that offers food, vendor booths and plenty of other fun in the sun.
“This is my third year doing Summer Fest, and you can’t get any better than being on a beach performing,” says Carey. “The best part is that a lot of the proceeds go to feed the homeless and to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.”
A mother of two who lives northeast of Los Angeles in Altadena, Carey grew up in Willowick, a suburb of Cleveland, and credits her Ohio upbringing with giving her a different perspective on country music than most of her artistic peers. She was surrounded by rock music there before moving to California to work in a Sheraton Hotel as an assistant beverage director, and it was her experience there that inspired her to go pro as a performer.
“I saw lots of performers whom I thought I was just as good as or better, so I decided to go back to performing myself,” says Carey. “I studied theater, acting and vocal classes and recorded my first CD. It went to AC (adult contemporary) radio first until a country music sales rep said to try country.”
Carey calls her style “West Coast Country” because she considers her songs to be a mix of the sounds that were prevalent in every town or city she’s lived in. Carey’s determination to develop her own sound has paid off with her being named by the local television station KCBS as one of the top 10 rising female musicians in Los Angeles.
That’s not the only recognition Carey has received, however. She has won multiple Los Angeles Music Awards, a South Bay Music Award and a nomination for a Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) for the CD “Movin’ On” as well as one for “Let It Go.”
While she is determined to find success as an independent artist outside the major-label system, Carey also has offered her wisdom to other female musicians as a co-founder of FemMuse.com and TheMusicMom.com, which are tied to organizations that provide support and information for women artists and musicians.
“I’ve been building my career and reputation for awhile, and my music is about what’s around me and what people are going through,” says Carey. “I try to give them a little advice musically. Hopefully then take it and use it, but who knows? It’s about showing somebody a different angle in life. I’m a positive person and I always try to see the light in any situation.”
Eileen Carey performs at noon Sunday at the 6th annual Summer Fest on Venice Beach, near Windward Avenue. Festival admission is free. Call (562) 277-7174 or visit fx3events.com.