Carrie Cooley is a traveler. On the road and through the heart. Born in Wichita, Kansas, she’s no stranger to the prairie winds. At 11 years old those winds blew her south to Ponca City, Oklahoma, where she found her first guitar, and her immediate interest in writing and singing her own music.
Music was where Carrie’s heart was. Music led her to play the trumpet which took her back to Wichita to study trumpet and voice at Wichita State University. It was at WSU where Carrie developed a love of opera, performing several leading and supporting roles throughout her tenure there. Her studies in opera took her to Florence, Italy for six weeks to continue studying voice, the Italian language, and the history of opera with a program called “Canta in Italia” in 2004.
Carrie’s time in Italy sparked her love for travel, and in 2007, a year after completing two undergraduate degrees in music education, Carrie would find herself back in Italy (Pistoia), and later to Paros, Greece as a part of The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts where she studied voice and creative writing. In 2009 Carrie returned to the Aegean Center to study photography, creative writing, and Greek literature. With the help of some locals, she took her guitar to the cafes and streets of Paros, and enjoyed her short time spent as the singer in a cover band with some of her friends she was fortunate enough to meet there.
When Carrie returned from Greece she moved to Tallahassee where she would earn a Masters of Music in vocal performance at the famed Florida State University school of music. Her love of travel, and the desire to know herself further, would lead her to walk the legendary spiritual pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, 500 miles culminating in Santiago de Compostela with only a backpack, a pair of shoes, and the incredible kindness and camaraderie of the pilgrims she met along “The Way.”
A regular on the folk/indie/singer songwriter scene, Tallahassee has become her home. She has performed in the Southern Music Rising festival in Monticello, FL, and plays local pubs, coffee shops and house concerts, following the trail of folk artists of the past and present, (Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Joan Baez) who continue to be an inspiration for her work today.
Carrie’s guitar travels with her everywhere she goes, from the ancient market streets of Greece, to the crowded pubs in Paris. These exotic musings undoubtedly inform her songwriting throughout her soon to be released debut album, Adequate Choice.
“What I like most about what I’m doing is the possibility of reaching someone with my songs,” she explains. “It’s a wonderful feeling when someone says, ‘that song really resonates with me.’ When I talk, I never know if anyone hears what I am saying, but if I sing I know people will listen.”