Brandi Carlile's newest album, “Bear Creek,” has a country flavor and a rootsy feeling. - Photo courtesy of Frank Ockenfel

Brandi Carlile's muse turns 30

Plenty of songwriters have written music that reveals new meaning with the passage of time. Alt-country and folk-rock artist Brandi Carlile experienced an epiphany after writing songs for her newly released album, "Bear Creek," on Columbia.

Carlile took her new songs on the road before the album hit the shelves, and she discovered the music was taking on a whole new persona.

The record was finished in May 2011, when Carlile, along with guitarist Tim Hanseroth and bassist Phil Hanseroth, were excited about it.

"Then I turned 30," Carlile says during a telephone interview. "I totally came undone, freaked out. I guess I thought I was unique and wildly satisfied about my life's situation."

Turning 30 made her feel she had lost part of herself over the past decade as she made her mark on the music scene, Carlile says. People who become too focused on one aspect of life tend to neglect another — such as parents and siblings — and, eventually, the neglected part makes itself known, she says.

Carlile and her band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at the Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville. Folk-pop group The Barr Brothers will open the show, and The Blank Notes will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Table Rock City Stage.

Reserved seating costs $45. Lawn seating is available for $34, $23 for ages 12 and younger. For tickets, call 541-773-6077, see www.brittfest.org or stop by the box office at 216 W. Main St., Medford.

When Carlile found herself standing at the emotional crossroads, she did what she most often does to work through life's issues: She wrote some songs.

"They are really fiery," she says. "We went back into the studio and put them on the album."

The two songs added to the mix, "I'll Still Be There" and "Keep Your Heart Young," were recorded in Nashville, Tenn., with Frank Liddell and Jay Joyce sharing production duties. Most of the album had been recorded at Bear Creek, a studio in Woodinville, Wash. Hence, the album title.

The new songs have a country flavor that contributes to the rootsy feel of "Bear Creek." The music is a bit of a switch from Carlile's previous albums: "Brandi Carlile" (2005), "The Story" (2007) and "Give up the Ghost" (2009).

Carlile's done her share of acoustic ballads, and she's known for the pop side of her sound. "Bear Creek" has a few songs, "100" and "I'll Still Be There," that carry forward that pop-rock sound, but most of the new CD reflects rural surroundings with such songs as "Raise Hell" and "Hard Way Home."

"The songs have a lot of bells and whistles we didn't have before," Carlile says.

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