Lake Norman & Mooresville

Musical life blooms after a reluctant start

Huntersville resident Carrie Marshall is grateful life landed her near Charlotte.

Marshall is the 2010 first-place winner of the N.C. Songwriter's Co-Op competition, with her songs "Queen City" and "Gone."

Marshall claims she was an introvert and reluctantly began performing at age 8. Growing up, her father was a pastor in the Boston area, and Marshall was encouraged to start playing for church services.

Marshall said her love for the performing arts took off when her mother began teaching her piano and she began singing. She started performing in musical theater, and by the time she entered high school she had begun writing songs.

For 10 years, Marshall toured as a lead vocalist and keyboardist with a Boston band. She attended a university in Massachusetts, where she earned degrees in music and education. She married, taught music and was a third-grade teacher until her daughter was born (Marshall is mother to her daughter, 12, and twin 9-year-old boys).

After her husband's job transfer, Marshall's life landed her in Nashville, Tenn. Taking advantage of living in the Music City, Marshall began performing in clubs around town.

"You have to have a thick skin living in Nashville," said Marshall. "There is a lot of competition and rejection; however, I met many songwriters and received a lot of beneficial feedback."

Marshall took advantage of the opportunities life handed her to work with many talented instrumentalists and songwriters in Nashville.

Almost three years ago, Marshall found herself moving to the Charlotte area. She and her family quickly felt at home with the friendly, welcoming environment of the Lake Norman area.

"What I like about Charlotte is that the people are genuine and there is openness here," she said. "There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit. People are proud to be here, and it shows."

Marshall began networking with musicians and songwriters in the area and found them friendly and helpful. She said she found both the musicians and songwriters in Nashville and the people in Charlotte very helpful.

Marshall's passion for Charlotte comes out in her award-winning song "Queen City." She sings, "'Cause I feel like a King in the Queen City, where my hopes and opportunities meet. I may be new in Queen City, but it's already home to me."

She said she was inspired to write "Gone" after experiencing a rainy weekend in Ashville. Marshall has the unique ability to express her experiences, moods and relationships through her lyrics. She said she enjoys outdoor activities such as walking, hiking and just enjoying nature.

Marshall currently teaches private voice lessons out of her home and continues to perform around the area. She has performed in a variety of venues including the Yn Café in Charlotte, the Old Town Blues and Jazz Festival and Theater Charlotte.