CEDAR CITY — As a child she remembers singing for Mrs. Reynolds at South Elementary, taking violin lessons from Sara Penny and driving through the desert listening to Sinead O’Connor jams with her parents.
Carly Burns recently released a music video of her own. And she returned to her childhood backyard in Southern Utah to film the feat at Zion National Park.
Born in Cedar City, Burns moved to Washington, D.C., at age 10 when her father Scott Burns was appointed as deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House.
Her parents raised their only child in the nation’s capital until she graduated high school. She then spent time in the United Kingdom and New York City working in the music industry.
She’s been recording music in Ireland under the name Carlsbad. The Irish Music Rights Organisation called 2022 her “breakout year.”
“Her debut extended play ‘Future Yeehaw’ is exactly as it sounds, a post-modern blend of electronic, pop, folk and country,” the organization said of her first release. “Having played Other Voices festival for the first time, as well as joining Philip King onstage as part of his all-star band of Sorcha Richardson, Luke Reilly (Otherkin) and violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain — not to mention an appearance in David Letterman’s special Bono & The Edge: A Homecoming documentary, the world is Carlsbad’s oyster.”
Carlsbad plays at the Other Voices festival with violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain and artists Blood Donor, Sorcha Richardson, Dunx and Philip King in Dublin, Ireland, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Carly Burns, St. George News
For her first music video, “Still Life,” also her debut single release, Burns wanted to show the rest of the world where she comes from.
“I don’t know if everyone had a chance to grow up surrounded by music,” she said of her memories of Groovefest, Utah Shakespeare Festival Green Show performances, Suzuki Strings ensembles and voice teachers. “It is so prevalent in Southern Utah and that is something that I always loved.”
Burns would need some talent to film while recording the music video in April 2022.
She wanted to shoot authentic western scenes in and around Zion National Park, but she didn’t know any cowgirls. Katie Dannelly received a phone call from Burns and volunteered her daughters as two of the locals featured in the music video.
Traylyn Dannelly, 15, was a Dixie Roundup Rodeo Princess when the call came looking for skilled horse riders. She said working with the video production crew was “interesting” with cameramen constantly challenging her.
“It wasn’t scary but it was interesting,” she said giggling. “When the guy stood on the barrel to film, I was tempted to knock him off the barrel a couple of times.”
Denni Dannelly, 9, was the Enterprise Junior Rodeo Princess during filming and is currently an Iron County Junior Rodeo Princess.
Also filming with the Dannelly sisters, Great American Stampede Rodeo Princess Alora Cahoon and 2023 Dixie Roundup Rodeo Princess Halle Frey.
The next time Katie Dannelly received a call from Carlsbad it was an invitation overseas. But her daughters chose their chores, caring for their horses and an upcoming competition instead.
“She invited us to Dublin for the video release party, but the girls chose rodeo over fun,” Dannelly said. “It was an amazing experience for both me and the girls — all them.”
Scott Burns, a former Iron County Attorney before his White House appointment by President George W. Bush, noted the Toyota Land Cruiser used by his daughter in the video is one he bought when she was a baby.
The vehicle seen in the Carlsbad music video ‘Still Life’ is the one Carly Burns father drove when she was growing up in Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Carly Burns, St. George News
“And it wound up in the video,” he said. “She is just out there doing her thing, New York City one minute, Dublin the next, back to Las Vegas. She’s doing great.”
As for her homecoming, Carly said her new favorite place to eat is Centro Pizza, which wasn’t around when she was 10 years old. And she can’t come home without buying some new jeans.
“People in Ireland ask me about my jeans all the time,” she said. “They are just Wranglers, but because they ask me where I get them, everyone calls them my C-A-L Ranch jeans.”
She also felt welcomed by many residents in Iron and Washington counties at various sites, such as Zion National Park, Cedar Bowling Center and Diamond Z Arena.
“Special thanks to Nick and Kelsey Burns, Katie Dannelly, James Tebbitt, Jonathan Green and the legendary Horse Wrangler Con,” Carly Burns said. “And the staff at every location we went to, they made me feel like I was home.”
To watch the full video of ‘Still Life’ by Carlsbad on YouTube, click the video link below. Carlsbad tunes can also be found on many streaming sites, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
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