Regarded as one of the city’s best singer/songwriters, Carolyn Striho made her name fronting the dynamic Detroit Energy Asylum and her work with Patti Smith. And in the last couple dozen years as a solo performer, Carolyn has gained a strong reputation for charismatic, high-energy stage performances with her songs, vocals, guitar and keyboards. Wildly original, melodic and passionate, Striho’s music has been described as being written “from the silver edge of midnight” (All-Music Guide, USA)
Carolyn’s recent album “Afterthought” was on the Grammy Awards First Ballot for Best Rock Album in 2018. Carolyn’s won 12 Detroit Music Awards, including 2 for Outstanding Pop/Rock Songwriter and 2 for Outstanding Album. and a Billboard Award. Carolyn’s alluring delivery with a powerful rock and roll gypsy sound has hypnotized crowds for years onstage and within her recordings and bands.
Carolyn has a recent book “Detroit (Maiden Energy)” street princess poems & lyrics, which is a volume one of Carolyn’s writing reaching deep into stories of growing up in Detroit and a music lifetime. The book was on the Amazon best new sellers in October 2019 and a best seller at Horizon Books Traverse City 2020.
“Detroit (Maiden Energy)” also received great reviews from NPR Detroit’s Ann Delisi, Billboard Magazine’s Gary Graff, former Detroit Metro Times editor Brian Jabas Smith, Hour Detroit’s Jim McFarlin and more. Carolyn’s poetry is also featured in “Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music” which includes Nikki Giovanni, Aretha Franklin, Jack White and so many great musicians and poets. Carolyn has performed on tour with Patti Smith and with Don Was, Was (Not Was) with Carolyn’s band Detroit Energy Asylum, and in England with Yoko Ono, Steve Earle, Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor, Grace Jones and so many iconic artists. She’s also played with The Slits, The Ramones, Iggy Pop and the list goes on!
Carolyn’s performed several times in London and Isle of Wight U.K., many times in Rome and Fiuggi, Italy, a 2 months’ music residency in Osaka, Japan and shows in Toronto, Chicago, at Lollapalooza, The Detroit Jazz Festival, Concert of Colors, Arts Beats & Eats and more. From her art rock and punk rock days to her melodic, spirited, soulful indie psychedelic music, Carolyn has been featured on new high-profile compilation albums and she and guitarist/husband Scott Dailey and band are working on a new album. Carolyn is also working on a retrospective of her catalogue of music and has been invited back to perform in the U.K.in 2021.
Carolyn was the lead singer/songwriter and keyboardist of the early art/punk/jazz era combos the Cubes and Rough Cut. She then fronted her all-star ensemble Detroit Energy Asylum before embarking on a wide-ranging solo career in which she’s explored rock, pop, folk, jazz, punk rock, cabaret and alternative music.
“The delightful difficulty people have in pigeonholing Striho was underscored in one of Carolyn’s Detroit Music Award trophies in 2010, a startling victory for her techno remix of “Promised Land” from her Outstanding CD of the Year in Rock/Pop “Honesty” (Ben Edmonds, Detroit Free Press/Mojo Magazine).
Carolyn played with Patti Smith & The Patti Smith Group on several tours, including London’s Meltdown in 2005 and Patti’s comeback tour in 1995 in Michigan and Toronto. Carolyn played again with Patti at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan and with Patti at the sold- out Majestic Theatre in Detroit in 2013. Carolyn has opened for artist Steve Earle in London, U.K., performed with Yoko Ono and Sinead O’Connor, and has performed with Iggy Pop and the Ramones. Carolyn also performed at the Detroit International Jazz Festival in 2009.
Carolyn’s videos, including “Promised Land” and “Sing it to Me” have been nominated and screened for several music awards, Germany and international festivals. Carolyn appears in several international films, including a German film called “Motor City Music” with legendary Detroit artists, recently screened in Germany and France and shown at the Montreal Film Festival and in London. Her music is also featured in the recent Emmy awarded PBS films “Those on the Front Lines of Cancer” and “The Embrace of Aging.” Carolyn has battled a severe illness and understands.
Carolyn is a poetic songwriter who plays piano (sometimes with the heel of her boot) and acoustic guitar (with her fingers) while singing in a style that might be jazzy, bluesy, torchy, fiery or any combination of the above…strutting and growling and singing a version of “Downtown” that would have made Petula Clark feel like tourist, she’s worth tracking down! (Neal Rubin, Detroit News)
Carolyn Striho is a singer/songwriter with a vibrant voice, passion and energy. Carolyn’s a very respected Detroit songwiter and amazing live performer. She’s been on tour and in the studio with Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Luis Resto (Eminem) and David McMurray (Johnny Hallyday/Kid Rock). She is a truly exciting arista! (Go Girls Music)
From Carolyn’s early punk/art/free form days as the lead songwriter, vocalist, keyboardist on her Farfisa organ with the Cubes while she was a DJ on NPR WDET-FM on “Radios in Motion” to performing with the Ramones to the New York Dolls, with England’s Ultravox and the Slits, Iggy Pop, The Plasmatics, then to her hard rhythmic Detroit Energy Asylum band with the Was (Not Was) ensemble and to working with Patti Smith and various soul artists, Carolyn continues to walk to her own drum down an amazing path.
Photos 1 and 2 above by Lynn Maslowski, photo 3 by Jaclyn Schanes.
2020 – Top Five Bestselling Books “Detroit (Maiden Energy)” – Horizon Books Traverse City, Michigan (January)
2019 – New Bestsellers Amazon Books – “Detroit (Maiden Energy)” (October)
2018 – Grammy Award First Ballot for Outstanding Rock Album – ” Afterthought”
2017 – Honorary Award for Outstanding Songwriter Rock/Pop – Detroit Music Awards
2016 – Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter – Detroit Music Awards
2015 – Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter – Detroit Music Awards
2014 – Outstanding Folk/Acoustic (Americana) Recording “Word Attack” – Detroit Music Awards
2014 – Outstanding Classical Composer – Detroit Music Awards
2014 – Outstanding Classical Recording – Detroit Music Awards
2012 – Outstanding National Indie Band – Detroit Music Awards
2012 – Outstanding Folk/Acoustic Instrumentalist – Detroit Music Awards
2010 – Outstanding Rock/Pop Recording – “Honesty” – Detroit Music Awards
2010 – Outstanding Electronica/Techno Recording – “Promised Land Redux” – Detroit Music Awards
2010 – Outstanding Folk/Acoustic Instrumentalist – Detroit Music Awards
2008 – Billboard Magazine Honorable Mention “Enchante”
1992 – Outstanding Miscellaneous Instrumentalist – Motor City Music/Metro Times Awards