"I have many passions but all stem from my childhood infatuation with nature, music, folklore and watching people.
Songwriting is my therapy and a way of sorting out life!"
"Carly Bak has a powerful gutsy folk/blues voice that will leave you begging for more!" ~ Citrus Chronicle
Carly is currently writing, producing and performing...
Wild Women Revue ~ "She's Got Moxie!" Unearthing the Secret Society of Wild Women with true "Grit, Gravel, and Grandeur" "Fasten your seatbelts...It's going to be a bumpy night!
Cowgirl Logic ~ Based on the song & stories of honky-tonk barroom culture…from a well-seasoned cowgirls perspective. A little naughty but not perverted. We aim to give a bonafide memorable experience!
My Grandpa, Louie Krogman was one of the original cowboys that homesteaded along the Rosebud Reservation near White River SD, long before there were fences and established rodeos. It was he who taught me how to "get back on the horse" when life throws you to the ground. I grew up on the road and lived in many places...but the Rosebud will always be home to me!
I got my first guitar at the age of ten. I remember it well. We lived in a little trailer park at the edge of a one-horse town on the prairie, White River SD...population 500. A Lakota Sioux man by the name of Howard Sharp Butte came by the house and hocked a guitar (that would not stay in tune) for a little cash from my mother. I taught myself a few chords and began writing poetry and putting words to music.
From a one-room country school on the prairie...with no running water, an outhouse and only six students...we moved to Kensington MD. Talk about culture shock! To this day I really hate the city! I am a country girl through and through. Needless to say, I did not fit in. This was around 1965 or so. There was a lot of rioting and demonstrating going on from the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War protestors and much friction inside the school systems. I felt as though I had been thrown to the lions! This was not something familiar to me. While everyone else was so involved in taking sides...I was lost. And so I was a backward country girl to most. But then...there was Rose Washington...my peer and mentor from 5th & 6th grade.
Rose and I could not have been more opposite! From the color of our skin...to our dialect and taste in music...we were opposites! She was an inner city girl familiar with Martin Luther King, street gangs, the Black Power movement and Motown. I was a country girl, familiar with horses and cattle, Loretta Lynn & Patsy Cline. She thought the Indians were still shooting bow and arrows at "white honkeys." For the life of me...I couldn't understand a word she said. I guess Rose just felt sorry for me and she took me under her wing....although never openly. When we were alone... She taught me the street lingo, all about Motown sound....and how to dance like Soul Train! When kids would pick on me... she would privately take me aside and tell me I needed to stick up for myself! Little did Rose know...this cowgirl could hold her own!
One day This big kid, (who continually picked on me....and everyone tried to avoid because he was such a bully) pushed me just one inch to far. He made it a habit of coming up behind me and slapping me on the back of the head and dumping my books... among other things. One day... I had enough! I just started beating on him till he was on the ground and couldn't move. The only thing I remember is Rose Washington whooping it up in the background like my own personal cheerleader...and the teacher pulling me off, covered in the bully's blood, marching me down to the principal's office...I was suspended...but he, nor any other ever bullied me again.
My first public appearance was in the 5th grade. I hooked up with Debbie, a classmate from a little town in South Carolina. She was a southern country girl with a southern drawl to match...and we shared the same distaste for city life and longing to go back home. Many times we would write notes back & forth in class, plotting our great escape. Together, we were a hot duo! With Rose Washington's backing, we decided that we needed to sign up for the school's talent show. We were so excited when it came time to do our songs on stage...we were ready!
Our first song went over well..."God didn't make little green apples, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime"...
Then came our second song...Harper Valley PTA..."Well it happened that the PTA was gonna meet that very afternoon. And they were sure surprised when Mrs Johnson wore her miniskirt into the room. And as she walked up to the blackboard I can still recall the words she had to say. She said I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley PTA."
We got a standing ovation from the kids...and a browbeating from the principle and teachers. The teacher in charge made it clear she had no idea that we were going to sing that song and disqualified us from the contest right then and there!
When I was about 14 or 15 yrs old...I began singing in the church and small coffee houses around the DC area. Listening to everything from Motown, (thanks to Rose) the blues, country, folk, jazz, rock & roll....I loved it all. But my own songs were much closer to my heart, covers were just inspiration to me. I never really had much of a desire to sing them in public.
Then came high school...once a "misfit" ...always a misfit! I learned a lot playing music in the girl's bathroom, everything from my first kiss to smoking cigarettes and pot, strip poker to Janis Joplin tunes and Southern Comfort. Until several of us...including our deck of cards, the guys Play Boy magazines...and our guitars were suspended from school. Shortly there after...at the age of 16, with an airplane ticket to Salem Oregon...and a guitar in hand...I left that city behind, never looking back!
My curiosity and love of adventure have taken me down many a road... some smooth and easy going....some very rough and rugged...learning a lesson or two along the way! All have given me different points of view and plenty of life experiences to write about!
Wherever I go...I love to play the small town local hangouts, because this is where colorful local, people hang-out, where tall tales are told, sad songs are sung and life's drama unfold!....This is the backbone of good original songs.