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Utah Carol
Utah Carol, a Chicago-based band formed in 1997 on the West Side, consists of Grant Birkenbeuel and JinJa Davis. JinJa and Grant have been writing songs together since 1995. They each write the music and the lyrics, as well as produce, arrange, perform and publish their songs at their studio and independent publishing company, Stomping Ground, in Chicago, Illinois. Utah Carol's music is an eclectic mix of dream/alt. pop, folk, indie rock and Americana mixed with happy/sad, boy/girl harmony vocals. Utah Carol's sound has a variety of vintage organ sounds, synthesizers, loops, slide, electric and acoustic guitars, lush instrumentation and catchy melodies. The band's name comes from a traditional cowboy song about a cowboy who dies trying to save his friend from a stampede.

Utah Carol has independently released two full length Utah Carol albums in the U.S.: Comfort for the Traveler and Wonderwheel and is currently working on their third. "My Fear," a song from their debut, appears on The Rough Guide to Americana, a compilation released in 2001.

WXRT's Richard Milne calls their debut album, Wonderwheel, "the creme of the crop... Interesting instrumental stuff, some of it countryish, all of it very top-notch. U.K.-based Mojo Magazine's Sylvie Simmons says: Wonderwheel was one of my favorite albums of the summer of '99, its addictive blend of bittersweet Americana and art-pop sounding like a hillbilly fairground taken over by a couple of kids on mushrooms. More than two years on (it takes time with no budget, a home studio and the determination to enhance the CD with a short, dreamy animation film), second album Comfort... retains their distinctive sound on even stronger songs. There's a sense in their often floaty melodies of going around and around, like eddies in a stream (When We're Apart, The Way of the Buffalo). And the cantering Promised Land and easy-riding Misfits evoke cowboys on a carousel horse.

For more information, visit their website:

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