Santa Monica, CA, native Carly Ritter sowed the seeds of her career while a teenager in high school. She shared the morning ride with singer-songwriter Juliette Commagere and musician Joachim Cooder, son of famed guitarist Ry Cooder. Both went on to successful music careers, Commagere and Cooder are now married and they’ve all remained friends. And who better than a friend to call on when you’re looking to make connections?
“When [Juliette and Joachim] heard that I was starting to record songs, they reached out to me” recalls Ritter, daughter of the late actor John Rit ter, and granddaughter of the late country music pioneer Tex Ritter. “They
“I’m very aware of how non-traditional my path has been.”
knew this angel at Vanguard named Bill Bentley and they gave them to him. He’s the one that really responded enthusiastically and got me signed.
“I’m very aware of how non-traditional my path has been,” she continues. “I'm aware of how lucky I’ve been. I feel like I’ve hit the Lotto. Because Juliette and Joachim already knew Bill, that helped immensely. As a beginner, I also felt very supported by the Commagere and Cooder families. Those two walked with me every step of the way and they’ve been so encouraging. They changed everything for me.”
Many artists find management prior to securing a record deal. But of course there are as many paths to a deal as there are bands. In Ritter’s case, she was introduced to her manager by Bentley sometime in May. “Bill put me in touch with Frank Gironda at Lookout Management,” Ritter explains. “I loved Frank immediately. The help of these incredible people––they didn’t have to do any of this.”
Carly Ritter dropped on Aug. 27th. Ritter hopes to tour as far as Nashville, TN. Commagere and Cooder will play in her band.
Vanguard is part of the Welk Music Group and is distributed by Universal Music. Ritter’s labelmates include Robert Cray, Merle Haggard and Matt Nathanson. Her single “It Don’t Come Easy” was selected as influential KCRW radio’s “Today’s Top Tune” in February. – Rob Putnam