Twenty-year-old Carly Jo Jackson apologizes profusely as she sits down. "I'm so sorry, I had a voice lesson that ran a little late," she says smiling.
Not to be confused with Carly Rae Jepson, Carly Jo could actually be taken more easily for Blake Lively, with her tall, slender frame and long, golden locks. But the most attractive thing about her is her down-to-earth attitude. Like when she says she spilled a whole pitcher of water on the sound equipment at one gig because of nerves or how she tries giving away half her tea to avoid a bathroom break onstage. "I always have to pee in the middle of the set, I swear," she explains.
Jackson was first inspired to create her brand of acoustic alt-pop music after seeing Colbie Caillat live in concert. "I saw her, and I wanted to sing. I used to cover her song 'Bubbly.' She's the main reason I picked up a guitar."
It was just Jackson and her guitar onstage at the Funky Buddha Lounge last night, as she crooned away to her original songs, as well as some covers like Rihanna's "Please Don't Stop the Music," the Lumineers' "Ho Hey," and "Crazy" by Cee Lo Green. However, it was her song "Make Your Move" that got the audience clapping and jamming out. "Guys should be able to get up and talk to girls," says Jackson about the song, an ode to guys making the first move. "Why should girls do all the work?"
Jackson explains that her life experiences play a big role in her music, as well as anything that "needs" to be talked about. For instance, her song "Wildflower," cowritten with a member of Dashboard Confessional, is a compilation of what Jackson was experiencing at that time in her life, you know, work and boys. She is also a firm believer in doing things her own way. "[People] try to give you almost like a set of board game rules. My way is a good way. I'm not saying that everyone should follow my way, but you should trust yourself more than anything else around you."
What would her music would look like if it were a location? Jackson says, "There will be flowers and vines for sure, and a lot of water and sand. Very beachy like," she says. And the residents there? "I would want the people who live there to be funny as hell. I don't like boring people." And that makes sense, since Jackson is far from boring.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism