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Logan Brill’s busy carving her own path

Logan Brill | CassandrLeete Photo

Logan Brill | Cassandra Leete Photo

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Carbon Leaf, Logan Brill, 8 p.m. Oct. 4, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. $18-$22. (312) 733-9463;

Based purely on appearance, 22-year-old Logan Brill looks like today’s typical female country music singer. With flowing blonde hair, fringed-out cowboy boots and flirty stare that can get all the boys aflutter, one would swear they are witnessing a young Taylor, Carrie or even Miranda in the making.

But then she sings her songs and talks of the career she is hoping to create, and before long it becomes evident that this blonde is different.

“I’m not just trying to write a hit song that hits the radio and gets a lot of buzz and all of a sudden, you become famous,” says Brill during a recent interview. “I want to play music I love to play and get recognized for recording great songs that people can relate to. I want to gain slow momentum rather than spiking up really quickly. It’s all about longevity and maintaining a level of great music and great songs and getting respected because of that.”

Claiming artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Patti Griffin as her current musical heroes, Brill is just one of a growing list of female country singers attempting to break down a bit of a block within the industry. “It can be tough being a female country music singer out there right now, because it is such a male-driven business,” she explains. “The vast majority of people that I work with on a day-to-day basis are male. You have to work a little harder to gain more respect. Trying to be admired for being good at your craft is more difficult for a female singer. It’s just the way it is at the moment.”

Luckily for Brill, she already has succeeded in turning some very important heads in Nashville, most notably music executive/producer Frank Liddell, known best for putting in motion the careers of artists including Lee Ann Womack, Kellie Pickler and yes, Miranda Lambert.

“I started working with (publishing company and record label) Carnival Music two years ago, meeting over coffee and dinners and such,” she says of the company owned by Liddell. “Over time, I signed a publishing deal with them and started putting together the record with their team. It’s a great place to make music.”

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn., Brill says country music wasn’t always a definite part of the career path she saw for herself. Growing up listening to bands such as the Grateful Dead and Jackson Browne around family campfires, Brill actually got her start playing in her brother’s blues band as a teen, a genre she seems to effortlessly mix with Americana and contemporary country in her music today.

“I’ve been slowly gravitating to this country/Americana sound,” she says. “In terms of songwriting, the country genre seemed a perfect place for me. It’s a very relatable genre where we sing about everyday things by nature. There is just a raw emotion that comes out of country that I just love.”

Looking forward to her upcoming date at City Winery on Oct. 4 and hoping to carve out a bit of time while she is here to “experience the music scene,” Brill and her debut LP “Walking Wires” offer an eye-opening peek at just what country music can become when put in the right hands. From the agonizing lyrics of “Seven Year Rain” to the relatable energy of “Month of Bad Habits” to the upcoming single “Scars,” Brill looks and sounds like she is up for the challenge of becoming one of country music’s brightest new stars. “I’m ready to pass this record off to the world and see what they think,” she says chuckling.

Tricia Despres is a Sun-Times freelance writer.

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