Now Playing: Carla Ulbrich’s ‘THE LOUD ALBUM’

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Image courtesy of Carla Ulbrich



Comedic American singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich is prepping for the release of her eighth new release. It’s titled THE LOUD ALBUM and drops on April 1st. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.

Carla Ulbrich

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Photo by Bob O’Lary

Carla Ulbrich is a comedic singer/songwriter and guitarist. She has a wide variety of tuneful topics. As her website confirms, she writes about anything and everything “from the mundane to insane” including a “waffle house, Klingons, psycho exes, [and] how rich she would be if she had a copyright on the F Word.”

She studied classical guitar at nine. Ulbrich has an AFA in music from Brevard College which was followed up by a BA in Music from UNC-Greensboro. (Luckily for her fans instead of focusing on “real” music in college, she was often writing her own material.)

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Ulbrich at Seattle’s’ Moisture Festival/ Photo by McDaniel

Her rollickin’ resume includes eight previous platters including her 1994 cassette Something Real, the inspiring Sick Humor (2004) and her more recent release 2015’s Totally Average Woman.) She has been performing live since the late 1990s “in venues small and smaller” including the Clothing Optional Folk Festival, Club Med and The Bluebird Cafe. Ulbrich has opened for or split the bill with numerous other entertainers such as The Bobs, David Massengill, and The Austin Lounge Lizards.

She even once opened for none other than Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel. Ulbrich’s television appearances include “Up All Night with Rhonda” (canceled) and “The Revolution” (canceled) and (canceled). Her comedic cuts have been aired on Dr. Demento, the BBC, Pandora, Sirius XM Radio, and only the coolest college radio stations around the world.  Finally, she also appeared in the TV movie Sharknado 2 “as a human.”

Signature sound

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Photo by Bates

Carla Ulbrich’s signature sound is a fluid musical mash-up of multiple genres. It includes (but is not limited to) Broadway, classic rock, country, folk, pop, and swing. Simply put, her signature sound is mirthful. Her biggest initial influences were “‘Sesame Street’, camp songs, and cat food commercials.”

THE LOUD ALBUM

THE LOUD ALBUM officially drops on April Fool’s Day. (That can’t be a mere coincidence, can it?) The plain album cover and banana-endowed disc are a humorous tip of the hat to The Beatles “White Album” and their Apple record label. On this disc, Ulbrich (guitar, lead vocals, and handicaps) is backed by her co-producer Steve Goodie (bass, guitar, piano, voiceovers, drums, and percussion).

Track by Track

Image courtesy of Carla Ulbrich

Here you’ll find a total of ten clever cuts, Four are original works and six are parodies. The CD opens on her original pop-rock piece titled “Things That I Trust More Than You.” While some of her friends may recognize the potential partial inspiration to this distrustful ditty, she wisely wrote it in such a way that it has a universal truth applicable to all who lie.

On her original upbeat “At the Dollar Store” Ulbrich sings of your bargain-basement bard’s fave place outside of some beauty’s bedroom, the dollar store. Here she addresses the often-asked inquiry: “ Is it possible to go into the Dollar Store and come back out with just the two items you went in there for?”

The next number is another of her own audio offerings, “You Are the Salt.” This has a slow doo-wop, 1950s girl group feel to it. Quite frankly, it’s the best dysfunctional ditty about “love” since “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1985 release of “One More Minute.” It comes complete with pop culture reference both current and classic, a shot at Yoko Ono, and, well, she says “boner.” (Insert Butthead laugh here.)

Hardcore fans will recognize “Stupefied By Maladies Defying Diagnosis.” This is a playful parody of the 1964 Sherman Brothers’ song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from the motion picture Mary Poppins. It originally appeared on the all-gal compilation CD named Madam Opus: Funny Songs by Funny Women. (Your rockin’ reviewer first wrote about this tuneful track in his “Something In Music” series.) It poses the not quite so comedic question: “Why does it take so dang long to get a diagnosis when you’re sick?”

“Fat Elvis” follows. Here Ulbrich mashes up sexy with silly in a parody of Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.” The weighty subject here is none other than overweight Elvis and his legendary love for fattening food.

“Take Me Out To the Overpriced Ballgame” is a sadly updated adaptation of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Ulbrich’s lyrics aptly put spending over sport. Here she spins the classic ballpark singalong into an audio offering on corporations making millions off of America’s alleged favorite pastime.

The tasty tune titled “Now and Later” is a pleasing parody of “Now or Never.” This one focuses on the candy created by the Phoenix Candy Company in 1962. (Yes, they are almost as old as your crusty chronicler.)

If you’ve not ever had Now & Later candy, go out and buy some and try them before you listen to this one. Bobby Brescia guests here on bass, piano, guitar, and Jordanaires-style background vocals. It’s (ahem) sweet.

Ulbrich’s eighth offering is “Stuck at 13.” This one is based on Billy Joel’s classic “Always a Woman.” SPOILER ALERT: This is a not-so-serious “self-portrait.” Here Ulbrich amply admonishes herself for being a teen in an adult’s body. To slightly misquote Shakespeare, methinks this lady doth protest too much. After all, many, many men actually enjoy immaturity.

More importantly, self-deprecating humor aside, Ulbrich has at least subconsciously discovered one of life’s precious secrets. You do have to get old; but you do not have to grow up. This one features Bob Malone (piano and strings), Jeff Dean (bass), Jeff Dellisanti (flute), and Bob DeMarco (guitar).

Ulbrich’s final original cut is “You Can’t Sit Down In a Stormtrooper Costume.” This brief bit has a funny folk-country feel to it. Furthermore, it should no doubt be a real hit with Star Wars fans and those into cosplay.

The closing cut, which comes all too soon, is “Gluten-Free Diet.” It serves as one final example of the princess of parody’s powers to twist something old into something funny and new. It’s based on “Zoot Suit Riot” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Musical guests here include Jim Aycock (voiceover), Buddy Burris (trumpet), Bill Huber (trombone), and Bryan Cumming (saxophone and horn arrangement).

Photo by Bates

Overall, this platter contains an ample helping of comical, quick-witted cuts that easily exemplify her individualistic impression of everyday absurdities set to merry music. It might end a tad too early for fans. Still, it’s a show biz tradition to keep them wanting more, right?

Most importantly, Carla Ulbrich has a song in her heart, a sexy smirk on her face, and a shower curtain stuck between her buttcheeks. What more could you want from a gal with a guitar? So check out Carla Ulbrich’s THE LOUD ALBUM because you’ll really want to listen to it “Now and Later.”