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Dee Carstensen

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk


Most recent release, Patch of Blue (2005)

See also:

Dee Carstensen's MySpace page

Wikipedia's Dee Carstensen page


Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Loreena McKennitt, Joni Mitchell

Covers/own material:

Own, cowriting, covers

General comments:

A friend of mine just returned from a folk festival and he was pretty much blown away by this woman's talents. Along with having an amazing voice, she plays harp and piano. I got to hear a few tracks off from a CD he brought back. Must say I was fairly impressed on just that brief exposure. (

She is great!!! I prefer the Regarding the soul album. Very melodic acoustic and great lyrics. A mix between Loreena McKennitt and Joni Mitchell. Beloved one more fusion-pop/jazz-ish and a more traditional production. (

as anyone mentioned that besides being a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice Dee Carstensen also is a talented harpist? Count me as one of her fans! (

I've been raving about her since I first saw her win the New Folks Competition at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest in 1996. Wow! She's always amazing. Also try her live album, Home Away from Home. It really captures her true flavour. And the new album, The Map, is quite nice. I prefer Regarding the Soul to Beloved One. (

Comments about live performance:

she is highly energetic in concert (

The show was quite good. Dee's performance was great, but plauged by technical problems. Her borrowed harp seemed to be feeding back to the house PA, and the sound mix in general just didn't sound right (too much drums, not enough cello and guitar). The new percussionist has big shoes to fill taking Phillip's place, and I didn't feel he was up to the task...
     Still, I enjoyed the show quite a bit (my 3rd time seeing Dee) and I'd love to see her again under better circumstances... (11/97,

Recommended first album:

I took an informal poll of myself and another fan of Dee's, and we'd suggest Home away from home if you like live recordings. It's got her best songs on it, and it features her old guitarist and drummer who were excellent (but have gone onto other projects).
     If you don't like live records, grab Regarding the soul. (11/97,


  • Beloved One (1993)
  • Regarding The Soul (1995)
  • The Map (1997/1998)
  • Home Away From Home (live, 1999)
  • Can You Hear A Lullaby (2001)
  • Patch of Blue (2005)

Beloved One

Release info:




Ecto priority:


Group members:

Dee Carstensen

Guest artists:

Mark Knopfler, Tony Levin

Produced by:

Mike Mainieri, Bob Marlette, Bruce Martin


After hearing so much about Dee on ecto, I picked up this album when I found it used. After checking with a few of her fans, I realized this, her first album, was not the album to buy. Way over-produced and amazingly bland, it reminds me of most of Private Music's vocal productions (in other words, it pretty much sucks, despite the talent of all involved). However, Dee's potential can be seen in the songs with the simplest produced songs, such as the song she sings with just herself on piano accompanying her, "The Wish." On the few songs she plays harp, for which she now seems to be most famous, the harp is almost buried in the arrangement. Having heard such rave reviews, particularly of her live performances, I'd be willing to try another Dee album or try seeing her live, but this album should definitely be avoided. (

Again a disc on sale. The first couple of times through it I wasn't impressed. However, after a couple more listens I like it. It's a little "poppier" than "usual", but overall very nice. She reminds me of so many other singers. Unfortunately, since this is such a "produced" album, it's hard to hear her harp. (Matt.Bittner)

The Map

Release info:

1997—Blue Thumb Records



Ecto priority:


Group members:

Dee Carstensen—vocals, harp, piano, backing vocals, Wurlitzer

Guest artists:

Dawn Andrews—cello, glockenspiel, string arrangements
David Barratt—drum loop
Everett Bradley—percussion, backing vocals
Jonatha Brooke—backing vocals
Vicki Genfan—guitar
Philip Hamilton —congas, percussion, shaker, backing vocals
Zev Katz—bass
Liz Knowles —violin
Lloyd Landesman—Hammond organ
Tanya Leah—acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Tony Levin—bass
Mike Mainieri—vibraphone
Hugh McCracken—harmonica
Jerry O'Sullivan—penny whistle, uillean pipes
Holly Palmer—backing vocals
Shawn Pelton—drums
Todd Reynolds—violin
Dave Richards—acoustic bass
Marc Shulman—bazouki, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tiple
Jeremy Steig—flute
Kenny White—drum loop, keyboards, Wurlitzer
Ben Wisch —keyboards, shaker, tambourine
T-Bone Wolk—accordion, bass

Produced by:

Mike Mainieri


I like the new cd, The Map. It doesn't have the overproduced feel of the previous studio albums—feels more like the live cd. (

It's as good or better than her previous work. Her old band-mates (Tanya and Phillip) are featured prominently, as are guests T-Bone Wolk and Jonatha Brooke. Her husband (Mike Mainieri) even makes an appearance on the vibes. (

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Entry last updated 2013-12-14 20:10:54.
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