Today marks the official launch of the solo career for Carley Arrowood. The talented young fiddler, vocalist, and songwriter, who worked the past five and a half years with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, is now on her own, with a new album on the way from Mountain Home Music.
Twenty-something Arrowood has been a sensation in bluegrass circles around her native western North Carolina since she was even younger. With her sister, Autumn, she performed with a group while still in school called Carolina Jasmine, who were the first all-female group to take the Fiddlers Grove Junior Band Championship at Union Grove, NC. She was also awarded the Momentum Instrumentalist Award from the IBMA in 2017, and began doing fill-in work with Darin & Brookeas soon as she finished high school, joining them formally as soon as she turned 18.
A debut single is available now, one of the first songs Carley ever wrote, called Dear Juliana. It has become a very special song for her, inspired by finding out that the luthier who made her fiddle, Bob Kogut, had given that name to her instrument when he was building it, moved to do based on the granddaughter of close friends.
Carley says that the story clicked with her immediately.
“When he told me about this little red-headed, blue-eyed girl, and her special relationship with her dad, I immediately related because I’m a daddy’s girl, and I had a vision for the song. I wanted to write it in the perspective of a dad, as he’s watching his little girl grow up through the years. He recognizes the small but priceless details of his daughter’s childhood, and is jotting them down in a journal or baby book as they come to mind.”
But as she learned more about Juliana, the drama in the little girl’s life gave the song even greater meaning.
“When she was a baby, Juliana was kidnapped by her own mother, and for almost six years her family searched for her. It was on the news, and people around the country were praying for her to be found. God answered in His timing, and she was found safe. When I read this, there were certain lines of the song that suddenly came to have deeper meanings than originally intended, and it made the song come to life more. I couldn’t believe how God orchestrated this. The story goes on, and Juliana’s dad now has full custody of her. She has a very happy life with him and her sweet grandparents, stepmom, and even a new baby sister! She just celebrated her 9th birthday. Some of her favorite things are swimming, going to the beach, holding her baby sister, singing, and dancing. You’ll find a fun section in the song with this imagery!”
Arrowood is accompanied by Daniel Thrailkill on guitar, Kristin Scott Benson on banjo, Wayne Benson on mandolin, and Paul Watson on bass. Carley sings lead and plays fiddle, with harmony vocals from Thrailkill and Autumn Arrowood.