Songwriter toasts to things that are gained

By Christina Killion Valdez

Best known in Rochester as the keyboard player in Loft, Jim Carey came into his own by chance.

After getting information about a good deal on studio time, Carey was offered financial assistance to do a solo CD, he said. Although things were going well for Loft, solo projects have dotted Carey's songwriting career.

"A lot of songs build up over the years," Carey said. "I'm always writing."


Sometimes his songs fit the lively rock of Loft. Other times he wrote songs that just fit his own style, he said.

"Loft is more hard rock, this is more roots rock," Carey said. "Think John Mellencamp or Sheryl Crow."

Still, he had to ponder the proposal.

"I don't like to owe people money," he said.

About the same time he got some take-out Chinese food and rented the movie, "The Cradle will Rock."

After the movie, he found himself asking aloud if he had the confidence to do a CD on his own.

"I'm not sure," was his answer.

Then Carey cracked open his fortune cookie. It read "Go ahead with confidence," he said.


It was enough to make up his mind.

"I called and accepted the financial help," he said. "It all happened at the same time. It was serendipitous. That's the word of the week."

In March 2001, he started recording.

The serendipitous start turned into a long process.

Problems at the studio put his album on hold, he said.

"In the meantime, my car was broken into," Carey said.

To comfort him, Carey's friends gave him a bottle of wine and a card that read, "Drink to the things that are lost," he said.

He did, and turned his misfortune into a song, "Things That are Gone."


The song struck a chord with his brother Joe Carey, who plays acoustic and electric guitars and provides back-up vocals on the CD. Around Sept. 11, Joe said it was perfect for what was going on then.

Not long afterwards, Carey and the musicians, who include Rick Stack and Adam Wiskow from Rochester, switched to Oarfin Records. There he added the new song to his list of music that reaches back 11 years.

The feeling of the CD reaches back to Juliet Avenue. It was growing up on that street in St. Paul that Carey came into his own, he said.

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