Carolyn Striho is a Detroit recording artist, musician, singer, performer and writer who mesmerizes audiences with her strong vocals, fiery keyboard and guitar, energetic performances, heartfelt and poetic melodies, spontaneous improvisation, torch songs and dance beats, but also with a gypsy flourish of modern music. Her most recent album, Afterthought, was on the GRAMMY® Awards 2018 First Ballot for Best Rock Album of the Year. Carolyn has won 11 Detroit Music Awards and a Billboard Magazine Award for her songwriting, albums, musicianship and live performances. She has also toured overseas six times in Europe and also had a two-month tour of Japan. She’s played many national and international festivals including Lollapalooza, Rome Italy’s Donne In Musica, London U.K. Meltdown, and many more. Carolyn’s musical resume is quite extensive, with highlights including opening for Steve Earle in England, and performing in Detroit, Toronto, Chicago, Frascati, Fiuggi and Rome, Italy and in London and Isle of Wight, U.K. Additionally, she has performed with Patti Smith on two tours, and with her band, Detroit Energy Asylum, which included many members of Was (Not Was). With a strong catalog of music, she is working on a new album for 2020 and a new U.K. tour. Carolyn is a Wayne State University Graduate (B.A, M.S., Ed.S.) and also a high school English teacher in Special Education in Metro Detroit. She has more memories of her DJ life on the radio (NPR/WDET-FM), and multiple other unique experiences she’ll be sharing in future memoirs.
“Eclectic and avant-garde! Afterthought makes a bold and original statement from Carolyn as an artist, and why she has carved out a strong musical identity and loyal following!”
Carolyn Striho has been creating music in punk, folk, rock and roll, jazz, blues as a singer/songwriter musician and performer for many years. Her dynamic concerts, full of passion and creativity, make Carolyn a regular on the festival circuit. She brings her charismatic performance to clubs and art galleries all over the Midwest and Canada, also touring in the UK, Italy, and Japan. Her high-energy shows often include Striho playing keyboard with the heel of her boot or her forehead; she deftly switches between guitar and keys while belting out vibrant vocals. It’s not merely about the music, it is a full on presentation of her art.
Carolyn has received 11 Detroit Music Awards, a Billboard Music Award and was on the Grammy Awards 2018 Ballot for Best Rock Album for her latest full-length CD Afterthought.
Carolyn has performed/recorded with Patti Smith, Don Was, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Steve Earle, Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor, The Ramones, Dave McMurray, Thornetta Davis, Grace Jones, Sponge and others and has performed in London, Rome, Japan, Toronto, Chicago, Lollapalooza, Detroit Jazz Festival, Arts Beats & Eats and more.
She has been nominated for over sixty Detroit Music Awards since their inception in 1988, winning back to back wins for Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter in 2016 and 2015, Outstanding Acoustic/Americana Album in 2014, Outstanding Rock/Pop Album in 2010 and more.
Carolyn first made a name for herself when she and her first husband, Freddie Brooks, formed Rough Cut and then the well-known Detroit Energy Asylum band with most of the alumnus from Was (Not Was). She also played with Patti Smith on Patti’s comeback tour in Michigan and Toronto, Canada. Carolyn also played overseas with Patti Smith for several nights in London, U.K. and with Steve Earle. But her early days as the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and chief songwriter for The Cubes while working as a DJ at NPR/WDET-FM Radio, provided a springboard. Striho went on to perform with The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Was (Not Was), Iggy Pop, Steve Earle, and Tori Amos, and played the Detroit International Jazz Festival as well as Lollapalooza while she and Brooks put out many well-received albums.
Carolyn performs in Detroit, northern Michigan, Italy and in the U.K with her guitarist/husband Scott Dailey, and her band. A passionate performer, Carolyn continues to share her brilliance, effortlessly moving from bluesy and jazzy to belted-out rock n’ roll.
Her latest release, Afterthought, showcases all of these styles, along with a few more that might surprise people. The musical poetry is undeniably her own, as she manages to pull everything together with the ease of a seasoned pro and the flair of a master illusionist. She makes her own creative path and people love to follow where she leads.
In 2019, Carolyn performed for the third time with Don Was and Don’s All Star Revue at Detroit’s Concert of Colors. She has a new book coming out in Fall 2019 with lyrics and poetry, and will be releasing an EP in 2020. She and her band will also be back on tour in the U.K. in 2020.
“Afterthought” moves through a host of musical moods, from the moodier, darker vibe of the opening title track to the exotic gypsy-rock feel of “Russian Inn” to the lively, driving sound of “Love Won’t Stay Close.”
Awards & Highlights
Nominations are too numerous to list, but here are a few highlights:
Grammy Awards 2018
NOMINATION: First Ballot for Best Rock Album - “Afterthought”
Detroit Music Awards 2018
Nomination - Outstanding Rock Vocalist of the Year
Detroit Music Awards 2017
Nomination - “Afterthought”
Detroit Music Awards - 2016
WINNER: Outstanding Rock Songwriter - Carolyn Striho
Detroit Music Awards - 2015
WINNER: Outstanding Rock Songwriter - Carolyn Striho
Detroit Music Awards 2014
WINNER: Outstanding Acoustic/Folk/Americana Recording - "Word Attack" - Carolyn Striho
WINNER: Outstanding Classical Composer - Carolyn Striho
WINNER: Outstanding Classical Recording - Carolyn Striho "Minuet"
Detroit Music Awards - 2012
WINNER: Outstanding National Indie Label Rock Artist/Group - Carolyn Striho
Detroit Music Awards - 2011
WINNER: Outstanding Folk Artist/Group (now Americana) - piano, guitar - Carolyn Striho
Detroit Music Awards - 2010
WINNER: Outstanding Rock/Pop Recording - Carolyn Striho "Honesty"
WINNER: Outstanding Acoustic/Folk (now Americana) Instrumentalist - Carolyn Striho
WINNER: Outstanding Electronic/Dance Recording - Carolyn Striho "Promised Land" - Techno
Billboard Magazine Music Awards - 2009
Song of the Year Honoree - "Enchante" by Carolyn Striho
Metro Times Music Awards - 1992 (merged with Detroit Music Awards)
Outstanding Miscellaneous Instrumentalist - Carolyn Striho