''I would someday love to write a great love ballad,'' says jazz singer-songwriter Felicia Carter, appearing this weekend at Twins Jazz on U Street. ''Somehow all of my ballads end up being sort of bittersweet.''
The D.C.-reared, Baltimore-based singer may not have obvious love songs in store on this love-soaked weekend. But you just may fall in love anyway.
An emerging songwriter, Carter is set to attract increasing attention courtesy of her new traditional jazz- and blues-steeped double-disc set Feather/Step Lightly. The 38-year-old singer has a small yet expressive, brassy voice likened to Judy Garland, even Billie Holiday. And she composes tightly arranged emotive music with very visual, sophisticated lyrics.
''The album grew out of a hard time for me, a growing time,'' says Carter, explaining that she hopes her music helps others. ''I really want it to be the case where, if someone's in a really bad place and they hear my music, despite themselves they might cheer up just a little bit.''