The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol in Residency at Berkeley’s ‘Back Room’

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Vocalist Faye Carol will start a four-week residency Sunday, January 8 at Berkeley’s new music venue, the Back Room. Accompanied by Joe Warner on piano, the award-winning Carol will bring her signature repertoire of jazz, blues and R&B to the sets and perhaps some special guests. A residency is rare, she says. “It’s nice to have a place to work your art on a weekly basis as opposed to a nightly one,” she said, referring to standard engagements of one or two nights. “It gives your following a way to keep up with you without them having to work real hard to get to you.”

 

Last year’s recipient of the Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, Carol credits the city and Back Room owner Sam Rudin for providing such opportunities for musicians. “It does the city good to have a place for high-caliber music in a nice setting that’s family-friendly.”

 

Since she migrated to Pittsburg, Calif., from Mississippi when she was 10, Carol has sung jazz and R&B for decades now, but owes her career to the stuff the blues are made of.

 

After she completed training as a typist in the ’60s, Carol went to a scheduled job interview in the height of summer in Pittsburg. Her feet hurt and she was hot.

Upon seeing that Carol was black, the white receptionist lied and said the job had been filled. The act of prejudice led Carol to sing the blues instead of having them.

 

“You know my feet is bad,” she used to say, laughing, and also referring to her ritual of removing her high heels on stage. “Let’s just say that she was rude and I didn’t go for it.”

 

See Miss Carol on Sundays at 5 p.m. from Jan. 8. – 29, 2017. The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. $20.

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