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Based on the success of her new album, Carla Bianco was invited to open for Kenny Loggins! Presented by Rich Engler, the beautiful showcase takes over Heinz Hall on November 6. For tickets, visit heinzhall.org.

Q & A How did you get started in music?

Carla Bianco: I guess my first unofficial gig was when I was 4 years old. I would always sing for my next door neighbor in exchange for chocolate brownies. One day, at a graduation party, my neighbor was there and asked me to sing. My go-to song was always “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John. So, thinking I might land another brownie, I belted it out. After singing, the guests passed around a Styrofoam cup and filled it with money. I was elated! My first official regular gig was as a teenager, singing on the Gateway Clipper Fleet.

WHIRL: What do you like best about performing in Pittsburgh?

CB: I think Pittsburghers really appreciate good music. They are down to earth, and can easily approach you after a show and talk about everything under the sun. I like that about our city; we are real like that.

perfect timing Local singer Carla Bianco shares how she went from playing for desserts, to playing before legends Singer-songwriters endure the beautiful burden of constantly having a batch of lyrics in their minds. For Carla Bianco, the time to release these musical memories is now! “This album [All This Time] has been inside of me since I was a kid, and it’s finally out there,” the Center Township native says. The deeply personal record covers everything from achieving goals and chasing dreams, to tributes to Bianco’s mother and son. “If you love real singer-songwriter music with no frills — true, honest, soulful music — you’ll love the record,” Bianco says, proving the record’s anticipation was worth waiting all this time.

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WHIRL: Who are your musical influences?

CB: I have a wide variety of influences, which mainly began with my older sister’s record collections: Carole King, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Nora Jones, Diana Krall, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Karen Carpenter, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Chaka Khan. I also love funk/soul music, like Earth Wind and Fire, and The Gap Band.

WHIRL: What can fans expect from your album, All This Time?

CB: All of the songs are mainly piano-driven, with the arrangements complementing the vocals and lyrics. It’s a great album to put on for dinner or for a drive — when you want to relax and feel a bit inspired. Carla Bianco, carlabianco.com.

By RACHEL JONES •

Photograph from Carla Bianco


WHIRL Magazine: November 2014