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Entertainment News

Sunday, 18 November, 2007 12:37 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rasmusen

PHOTO BY RUSS HARRINGTON

Lofton Creek recording artist Carmen Rasmusen

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

Canadian-born Carmen Rasmusen has pulled off what some artists twice her age have yet to achieve. She doesn't just stir memories among those who watched her rise at age 17 to the finals of "American Idol" in 2003 - or, for that matter, those who caught her first stage appearances when she was just 4 years old. More than that, Rasmusen establishes herself as a vocal stylist with a sound so distinctive that it can be recognized almost instantly.

That sound takes full shape on the title track and first single of her debut album, Nothin' Like the Summer. Over a reverie of mandolin, acoustic guitar and low-key drums, Rasmusen offers a honeyed, smile-warmed sound that feels innocent and romantic, young and nostalgic, all at once. These same qualities permeate the images painted by the music and lyric, which she co-wrote with Jason Deere and Victoria Shaw, and flow through the album, like a cool stream through pastoral fields.

Of course, that stream picks up a little momentum now and then, as on the rousing "Shine" and playfully teasing "Spend That Money." It even churns into a stretch of rapids on the hard-hitting, backbeat-driven "You Scare Me to Death," another co-write with Deere - but that only makes the Summer landscape more varied and compelling.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rasmusen lives now in Bountiful, Utah, with her husband Brad Herbert, son of the state's Lieutenant Governor.

IN HER OWN WORDS

Who is your musical hero?
"Carole King."

Who is your dream duet partner?
"Garth Brooks."

What book is on your nightstand?
"Jan Karon's Mitford Series."

What do you sing in the shower?
"The national anthem."

What's your pet peeve?
"People who wipe their hands on their pants."

What song do you wish you had written?
"'From This Moment On,' by Shania Twain and Mutt Lange."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people will say about you?
"She stayed true to who she was."

On the Web: www.carmenrasmusen.com; www.myspace.com/carmenrasmusenonline

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