"Iolta, an important Cherokee village in its day, was known to early traders and explorers as Ayoree or Joree...Few place names have presented a more confusing array of spellings...Maps printed in the 1920s spell the name "Iola." B. McRae
IOLAs story begins with Carey Sveen-- at first, an eye-patch wearing, competitive square dancer in the mountains of North Carolina. Born in Norway, her parents soon immigrated her to the tiniest, most religious town fathomable. There, she performed her grandmothers, Cherry Sue Jackson's, country tunes (like "The Birds Sing Sweeter at My House" and "I'm a Flag-Waving American") from ages 5 to 18-- always knowing she would one day start her own band and write her own, not-always-sweet-or-patriotic, folk songs. After big-city moves (NYC), family death, heartbreak, and over 20 years of griping and growing, Carey, finally, picked up the guitar and started to write her quirky, soft, and sometimes-mean music, as IOLA, and gather musician friends to help...Did you know that women in small towns are prostituting themselves for meth? Its true. Did you know that the mixture of the sunset and fog can make a crotchety, mountain-man cry? Its true. IOLA's debut album, in ups and downs of topic and tempo, obsesses with wonders such as these (along with her many, many battles with closed-minded folks). Plus, the record couldnt have come together without guitarist Evan Fricks, bassist Robert Hellyer, drummer Craig Howe, and producer Mike Kutchman. This debut, Arnfinn-- named for her late father-- will be released in summer 2015 (at least, thats what Carey's grandmothers ghost said).