Corey Carlson says it was his “lucky day” when he spent every dime from his summer job – money that was supposed to go towards school clothes – on his first guitar. His mother wasn’t happy. In addition to growing up in a family where almost everyone played guitar, Corey’s “most valuable education” came from banging on the tent flaps of northern Wisconsin’s Big Top Chautauqua (a musical and theatrical venue literally in his backyard). Exposed to great music every summer and surrounded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Taj Mahal, and Don McLean, it wasn’t long before Corey started sharing the stage with his idols. Big Top’s intimate space inspired Corey to produce his first CD, Seeds, released in 1999. In 2003, his second CD, Jukebox Prophecies, was released, revealing an edgier “rock’n roll” feel. Despite which CD rings as a favorite, it is his live performance that will leave you breathless, worn out, and begging for more. His passionate display typically mesmerizes audiences.

Backed by some of Minneapolis’ finest musicians, Corey displays an array of genres and a unique style embellished by his versatile voice, powerful lyrics, and awe-inspiring rhythmic and intricate guitar playing. When blended together, this finely-tuned combination of attributes creates a fusion of modern and old school folk, rock, and country.

Hailed as one of the finest songwriters in the Midwest, Corey’s reputation has garnered him fans across the United States and overseas. Legends such as Jackson Browne and Don Mclean have described Corey as having an indefinable gift, much of which is attributed to his prolific lyrics which are reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Lennon, and Townes Van Zandt.

Currently, Corey is planning his next recording. While he has “literally 100’s of songs” that could be recorded, it is certain that his final choices will be meticulously chosen to reveal what has become his signature: a collection of pointed lyrics, unique style, and solid musicianship.