By Lawrence Powell
You may have seen him as one half of Sons Of Maxwell. When he’s not with brother Don he’s just Dave Carroll, the singing, songwriting, modern-day folk hero who wrote United Breaks Guitars.
On May 12 at 8 p.m. the champion for the underdog will take to the stage at King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal in an intimate 8 p.m. show that’s part story, part song, and all entertainment.
Carroll may not be confortable with the title ‘modern-day folk hero’ but if the shoe fits he pretty much has to wear it. It’s unlikely the Waverly songwriter will ever be able to put the mega 2009 song United Breaks Guitars back in the bottle. It went viral on YouTube in July of that year and to date is just shy of 12 million hits.
To the uninitiated, the song is his account of what happened to his guitar on a flight from Halifax to Nebraska. At O’Hare in Chicago his Taylor guitar was broken and United Airlines wouldn’t go good for the damage (‘You broke it, you should fix it’). Carroll wrote the song and two others in a trilogy that caught the hearts of frustrated consumers around the globe.
Today he has a book out called United Breaks Guitars: The Power Of One Voice In Social Media. That’s to be released on May 15. And he also has a website called Gripevine (www.gripevine.com) where ordinary people can send him their consumer gripes. He sends them on to the proper decision makers at the respective companies involved. And he’s a much-in-demand motivational speaker.
Musically Carroll has been touring with a tight three–piece band (bass and electric with Carroll on acoustic) to much acclaim, hitting small and medium-sized theatres all over Canada.
For two decades, Dave has charmed fans with his approach to music. His ability to extract the essence of a message and craft it into song is a rare gift that is attracting fans of all ages while his sense of humour and disarmingly warm stage presence makes each live experience a memorable one for audiences around the world.
In 2010 Dave’s song and video ‘Everyday Heroes’ was released on 911Song.com. In a world where broken promises are commonplace, when it counts most, there are people willing to help strangers because they gave their word that they would. The essence of ‘Everyday Heroes’ is about these individuals keeping their promise to respond, regardless of who is in need or the unknown risks that may await the First Responders. As a volunteer firefighter himself for five years, Carroll wrote ‘Everyday Heroes’ after being challenged by a friend to honour those who answer the call.
Currently, Carroll is releasing is second solo CD Raincoat in Vegas. It’s all original material and he promises it has nothing to do with customer service. At the King’s Theatre gig he’ll pull out four or five of those songs and give them a try. The CD is coming out near the end of May. He said to expect a song or two from Sons of Maxwell as well
Sets Him Apart
What may set Carroll apart is that he writes songs about real people and where they came from. He said it creates a real connection and real feeling. “If you draw out what resonates to you, it will resonate with the audience,” he said.
For his success, he thanks his father. “We give credit to our dad,” Carroll said. “He used to sing songs to us when we’d go to bed.” In fact, Sons of Maxwell was named after Dave and Don Carroll’s father.
Dave Carroll said his father used to say: “If you don’t know the music sing louder; if you don’t know the words, play louder; but don’t let what you don’t know stop you from doing things.”
Words to live by.
The May 12 show is in partnership with Music Nova Scotia. Tickets: $18 advance, $16 members, $20 at the door, and $5 for youth. They are available by calling or visiting the box office 902-532-7704 or online at www.kingstheatre.ca.
With information provided by King’s Theatre.