Carl plays guitar with Incognito, LP and the 45s, and I Can’t Let Go – A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt. He teaches guitar, bass, music theory and songwriting at Schmitt Music. He holds a degree in classical guitar performance from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
What makes you stand
out as a musician?
I really put my heart into it, and people connect with that. A musician can be a genius on an instrument, but if the heart isn’t there, it won’t matter. When the heart is involved, people can feel the difference.
Favorite local band or artist?
The Shift. They play all original music. I call it Power Pop. It is music that is influenced by pop music, but it is still intense and still rocks. The Shift has excellent vocals and excellent songwriting.
Top three artists at the moment?
Glenn Campbell. Music is an emotional experience for me, and some of it is nostalgia. Cake. There’s always a main melody and a counter melody in their music that I like a lot. Steely Dan. I like the sound of what they do. They have these great chords, these great harmonies. It is just an example of stellar musicianship.
One book you think
everyone should read?
Alain de Botton’s “The Course of Love.” He is a modern philosopher, and I minored in philosophy in college, so I have an interest in philosophical ideas.
Strangest thing you’ve ever seen
an audience member do?
I played in this band sixteen years ago in the Twin Cities and someone in the audience had a heart attack. When the ambulance showed up, we thought we should stop, but then we realized we should continue playing as a way to keep the people calm. Otherwise, the whole situation would have turned into a circus. Then, one time Incognito was playing at a campground for a wedding. Three ambulances came – one for a fight, and a couple of people had medical problems. We just kept playing through the whole thing.
Kindest words from an
I was walking through Apache Mall, and a guy who was working there had seen me at a show a few years before. I had played “Sweet Child of Mine,” and he called out to me saying how perfect it was.
Show rituals or superstitions?
I need to practice regularly, to be in touch with the whole feel and sound. It changes how I feel about myself and my day if I get to practice. Sometimes musicians can take their talents for granted and can forget how much work goes into what they do. As a teacher, I realize the value of practice.
Best show you’ve ever seen?
The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. I’ve never been so impressed with a show in my life. The whole thing was all performed to Beatles songs, and the acrobatics became a part of the music. It made me wonder if we could bring that sort of experience to Rochester.
If you had to outlaw one song from ever being played again, which would it be and why?
I like everything. I will play any song over and over if people are having a good time.
What motivates you to keep
When I really think about it, I realize that music is a part of who I am. I have tried to find ways to think of what else could I do. I have taken all those aptitude tests, and those tests tell me I should be an artist. This is just the way I am wired. Music just lights me up.