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Carolyn Striho – Short Bio

Nominated for over sixty Detroit Music Awards in recent years, Carolyn Striho won Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter of the Year two years in a row, 2015 and 2016. Other notable awards include Outstanding Americana Album of the Year 2014 for Word Attack and Outstanding Rock/Pop Album of the Year 2010 for Honesty. In 2009, her song “Enchante” received an honorable mention from Billboard Magazine for Song of the Year. In addition to her famously charismatic live shows at many festivals, clubs, and art galleries in the Midwest and Canada, she has six tours of Europe under her belt, as well as a two-month stretch in Japan, has opened for Steve Earle in England, and has performed in Detroit, Toronto and London with Patti Smith.

Carolyn is best known for her impassioned live shows and songwriting. From fronting the legendary Detroit Energy Asylum to performing with Patti Smith, from her early punk/art rock years with the Cubes and touring Japan with Rough Cut, to occasionally performing with Don Was and the Was (Not Was) Band, Iggy Pop, the Ramones and the Slits, Carolyn’s musical résumé is as impressive as it is extensive.

Carolyn’s latest projects include a brand new album and a book, both to be released later in 2019.

Press Clips

Detroit (Maiden Energy): Street Princess Poems & Lyrics, published in October by Detroit-based Aquarius Press, is a collection of singer-guitarist-pianist-songwriter Striho’s original lyrics and haunting personal introspections, amassed over decades of challenging and captivating audiences here and overseas. Striho remains an aggressive, melodic, wildly sensual force of nature in concert.  

Jim McFarlin

Metro Times, Hour Detroit

Carolyn’s torchy arrangements, beguiling voice, and shapeshifting skills on guitar and keys defy easy description, being colored by punk, folk, rock and roll, jazz, and blues.  She’s a legend, but she’s not resting any time soon.

Earthwork Harvest Gathering, September 2019

She blew me away at her recent Hamtramck show with her classically trained piano skills, which I knew nothing about . . . I truly adore this book, and not just because I’m the publisher . . . It contains the heart and soul of a songwriter, a Detroiter through and through, who experienced the ebb and flow of life in this great city. Carolyn has seen a lot and been through a lot, but her spirit soars  . . . Detroit (Maiden Energy) is a poetic memoir set to music. It’s rock, it’s soul, it’s gypsy, Irish, Middle Eastern, French Canadian. It represents just about every cultural flourish imprinted upon this city. Every verse, whether it’s a song lyric or not, is musical.

Heather Buchanan

Publisher, Aquarius Press/Aux Media, November 2019

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!

Northstar Media, Detroit/Los Angeles

Afterthought moves through a host of musical moods, from the moodier, darker vibe of the opening title track to exotic gypsy-rock feel of “Russian Inn” to the lively, driving sound of “Love Won’t Stay Close,” which you can hear exclusively for now in this Freep First Spin debut.

Brian McCollum

Detroit Free Press

“Striho writes gorgeous psychedelic pop songs that come from the silver edge of midnight. Check her poetic “Necklace” where keyboards and guitars twine the lyric and its impressionist portrait that is as drenched in musical metaphor as it is lyrical. Her track “Breathing Space” is an aching anthem of poetry and longing.”

Thom Jurek

All Music Guide

Winning Detroit Music Awards sends a clear message to Carolyn Striho that the music industry recognizes her creative genius & was not the first time that she has been in the spotlight. She caught the ears of music fans in a big way fronting her band Detroit Energy Asylum & most of those musicians eventually became the core of the band Was Not Was, led by Don Was. We are that much richer for having a truly creative inspiration like Carolyn Striho. The recipient of several Detroit Music Awards including her 2010 win for Best Rock Album of the Year acknowledging her musical excellence for the album Honesty, the title song provides an accurate snapshot of Striho’s eclectic career with a languid slide guitar, turns very Punk like and at a couple of junctures slows down to a pretty pop vocal. “Sing It To Me,” has Latin overtones and features beautiful guitar playing by Scott Dailey, while Rayse Biggs blows a good trumpet and percussionist Ron Wolf is solid! 

Joe Montague

Riveting Riffs, Toronto, Canada

Warm and intoxicating, here’s a singer who means it! Carolyn needn’t have bothered naming her new album Honesty. should be apparent to anyone who listens to the lovingly constructed record there’s barely a note played or sung that Striho doesn’t mean! The best is “Sing It to Me” — poetic & ambient.

La Luna in la Minore from Donne In Musica, Roma Press

(Translated from Italian)

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 (Kid Rock). She’s a truly exciting artist!

Madalyn Sklar

Go Girls Music

Warm and intoxicating, here’s a singer who means it! Carolyn needn’t have bothered naming her new album Honesty. should be apparent to anyone who listens to the lovingly constructed record there’s barely a note played or sung that Striho doesn’t mean! The best is “Sing It to Me” — poetic & ambient.

Brett Callwood

Detroit Metro Times

The eclectic, alternative sound contains elements of Carolyn’s long history in the Detroit Punk, Alternative, Folk and Avant-Garde scene. Carolyn, a multiple Detroit Music Award recipient (among other notable awards) has toured with Patti Smith and performed with many great acts like Iggy Pop, The Ramones, and Was (Not Was) and has performed at many famous venues worldwide. Carolyn’s performance seduces the audience and engages them with her genuine emotion bringing all of us along for a wild ride.

Gary McFarland

National Rock Review

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 a tourist, she’s worth tracking down!

Neil Rubin

The Detroit News

Carolyn is the epitome of a Detroit-centric artist. Her work is flavored with both the hope and grit that makes up a Detroiter. She also has an interesting story to tell and her music is part of the soundtrack that gives the quality of both beautiful and haunting in its melody, much like her hometown.

Mary Sommers

Tough Luck - Stories of Detroit - New Film (February 2017)

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