Teens committed to their music
By ANN CARRANZA / Healdsburg Correspondent
Boomerang has been rocking Healdsburg with original music and cover songs, most recently on Friday nights in September at Oakville Grocery, 124 Matheson St. The group delivers live music there from 5 to 7 p.m.
Lucy Carroll and Olivia Grande, both 14, met through their performances in “Snoopy” with H-Town Youth Theater when they were about 10. Last year, they asked Lucy’s dad, Rob Carroll, 54, to join them on mandolin, guitars and other strings, and introduced Boomerang to the public at Oakville Grocery.
Ron Charlesworth, owner of Speed of Sound Music plays drums with the group when he’s available. He gives both girls music lessons and said they both excel.
Lucy has been playing the keyboard since she was 4. Olivia plays bass and is a self-taught pianist. All three perform vocals and the three-part harmonies that are a trademark of the group.
“As we have gotten more into music, Dad has been our mentor,” Lucy said. He and the girls write music, using the one-time woodshed at Rob Carroll’s house as their studio.
When they had the opportunity last year to play at Oakville Grocery, they put their group together in a hurry. They had often played for family but didn’t have much public experience. Boomerang extended that booking into a winter gig, playing on the patio so they can pack a crowd into the walled area.
Each has a different but connected reason for enjoying their work as musicians.
“I love the rapport we develop with the audience,” Olivia said. “Sometimes people will interact with you,” including people from as far away as Ireland.
For Lucy, performing is about energy. “It’s energy you’re sharing with the audience and you play off that,” she says. “It’s a collective feeling. They send back a consistent wave of energy. It’s cool, and it makes me know I must be doing something right.”
Rob Carroll interjected, “Except when we screw up.” They all laughed and nodded.
“The audience is so forgiving,” Lucy said.
The subject of friendship comes into the conversation.
“The girls are like nice sisters,” said Rob, and Lucy concurred.
“We’re the kind of friends that are always together and connects,” she said.
Olivia chimed in, “It’s an amazing friendship.”
Both girls entered Healdsburg High School last month as freshmen. They said they aren’t going to let school get in the way of their music or music get in the way of school. Both also are involved in sports, particularly volleyball.
“I don’t want people to think these are 14-year-old girls,” Charlesworth said. “These are serious musicians, and they take their music seriously. Their harmonies put this band in another category, and they play serious music. They aren’t a novelty show.”
The band gets paid for its gigs, though they decline to reveal how much. “We’re content with our compensation,” Lucy said. “We’re pleased to be professionals.”
They raised $1,000 for the Healdsburg Education Foundation and also played at a street fair in Albany.
Olivia has musical aspirations, though she is “content to continue with Boomerang for as long as we can go.”
Lucy plans to promote herself as an indie musician, saying, “I want to be known as a musician in a broader world than Healdsburg.” To that end, she is already considering UCLA and recognizes that timing and luck also play a part in the making of any musician.
Rob records live music in his studio, including enough Boomerang songs to fill half an album.
Charlesworth encourages the girls to think about music and nothing else. “I want them to take themselves seriously as musicians and then kick us (gesturing to himself and Rob) out of the band,” he said.
“But I’m also happy to see them grow as musicians. It’s not about pleasing someone else, it’s about pleasing yourself.”
Find Boomerang at facebook.com/boomerangtrio.