Fans of female singers are drawn to Brandi Carlile not only because she has a set of lungs and a knack for storytelling. A big part of what makes her a perennial favorite is her honest, emotional delivery, as well as her genre-bending music. Country music fans, Americana lovers, those who only have rock albums in their collections, and those who prefer a pop tune can all find a flavor that fits in Carlile's sound.
For years, the Washington-born performer has shared stages with others of her ilk, musicians who have a broad appeal: Ray LaMontagne, Jewel, Sheryl Crow and more. Carlile's newest release, Live At Benaroya Hall With The Seattle Symphony (May 2011, Columbia), does nothing to dispel her designation as a musical chameleon. It's a rich, heartbreaking collection of songs. Listen to "Before it Breaks"--the added depth of the symphony accompaniment could move even a zombie to tears.