An intimate evening with Vanessa Carlton


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  • Photo credit Matthew Wilson Vanessa Carlton.



If you go...

WHO: Vanessa Carlton.
WHAT: Musician from Milford, Pa.
WHEN: 8 p.m., Friday, June 13.
WHERE: The historic Newton Theatre, 234 Spring Street, Newton, N.J.
HOW MUCH: 39 premium seating, $34 orchestra and $29 balcony.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.thenewtontheatre.com or 973-383-3700.

The Newton Theatre presents an Intimate Evening with Vanessa Carlton, whose first single "A Thousand Miles" was one of the biggest songs of 2002, on Friday, June 13 at 8 p.m.

Raised in Milford, Pa., Carlton took piano lessons and composed her first song as an eight-year-old. Later she was accepted into the School of American Ballet in New York.

Despite being one of the best dancers in her class, she began to look elsewhere for inspiration, eventually winding up at the piano located inside her Manhattan dorm. Carlton began writing songs. When it came time to graduate, she gave up her dancing career and enrolled at Columbia University, where she worked on her songwriting.

She waited tables in Lower Manhattan and played open-mike events before signing with A&M Records. She was discovered by legendary record executive Ahmet Ertegun when she was still a teenager, signed by Jimmy Iovine, and exploded onto the pop scene with major-label debut, "Be Not Nobody" in 2002. "A Thousand Miles" was the album's crown jewel, topping the pop charts, dominating radio playlists and earning three Grammy nominations, while "Ordinary Day" also enjoyed success as a Top 40 hit.

Carlton toured heavily in support of the platinum-selling album, sharing stages with bands like Third Eye Blind and Goo Goo Dolls along the way. She continued releasing albums, fine-tuning a sweeping, cinematic pop sound that featured her vocals and piano skills at the forefront.

"I was very lucky to be offered a lovely piece of property to build a career on," says Vanessa Carlton. "I started building a house on it, but it wasn't necessarily a house I would want to live in. So I ripped down that house, and I worked with these great lumberjacks to build a really cool cabin ­— a place I want to drink whiskey in and hang out until the sun rises."

For her fourth album, "Rabbits on the Run," Carlton needed a fresh start. At Peter Gabriel's Real World studios in Box, England, she created something that harks back to a different era of music-making: 10 intimate, evocative songs, recorded direct to tape with a close-knit team of collaborators including producer Steve Osborne who co-produced one of her favorite albums, "Lost Souls," the 2000 debut by post-Britpop band Doves.

She had made it a mission to locate Osborne. While visiting her friend, singer/songwriter KT Tunstall Osborne himself turned up at a bonfire party at Tunstall's house - where, incredibly, he asked Tunstall if she happened to know Vanessa Carlton. Once she got over her shock, Carlton described some of her ideas for a new album, saying that she heard the sound of a "creepy children's choir" on some songs and that she knew she needed to record with analogue equipment. After this auspicious meeting, she began to send Osborne her home demos, which became "Rabbits on the Run."

Tickets for Vanessa Carlton are $39 for premium seating, $34 for orchestra and $29 for balcony. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com or contact the box office at 973-383-3700.

The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, N.J.

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