By Lindsay Emery
Lyrics are important to singer-songwriter Bruce Carroll. For Carroll, it comes from the troubadour tradition of the 1960s, where he was influenced by Bob Dylan and later Bruce Springsteen, the way they were able to convey poetry through songs.
This lyric-based songwriting is Carroll’s passion and has led him to release two records in two years, “Ruckus and Romance,” his first official album, and a six-song EP “Finding You.”
Carroll was born and raised in Yonkers, where he went through the Yonkers public school system before heading off to Binghamton University.
He has considered himself a musician since he was 15 years old, when he learned how to play the guitar and started writing songs. Carroll continued to write through high school and college and eventually moved to New York City to form a band and forging a successful club career.
Fast forward to today, where the current members of Carroll’s band are all Westchester based. That’s one of the reasons they’re excited to play this year’s Pleasantville Music Festival, where they are scheduled to perform on the Chill Tent Stage at 3:50 p.m. He recalled attending one of the early Pleasantville Music Festivals and hopes that he can emulate some of the great shows that he saw that day.
Almost all members of the Bruce T. Carroll Band record with national acts, such as Sting and Suzanne Vega, Carroll said.
“We’re getting some good air play nationwide on several of the songs and I’m currently writing material for a third album to record in the fall with these same people,” Carroll said.
The band will also perform at the River Spirit Music & Arts Festival in Hastings-on-Hudson in September as well as some other potential festival gigs in the upcoming months.
Carroll has described his music as political. He said he finds what is happening around him alarming and that he puts some of those feelings into his songs.
“I’m a bit political, I’ll say that, too,” Carroll said. “I’m very aware and in tune with what’s going on today in the world.”
Carroll said his goal is to challenge the listening public through his music, getting them out of their comfort zone, rather than ignoring the larger picture.
“Political songs can put people off a little bit sometimes, so I try not to put people off,” he said. “I try to put socially conscious lyrics into a good kind of non-offensive format.”