For Chris Carrabba, all roads lead back to Phoenix

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The road to influential tours has been short for indie rock darling Chris Carrabba and his latest project, Twin Forks.

Carrabba, who also serves as singer-songwriter for emo’s Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, has a simple explanation for that.

“I’d like to think it’s my hair,” says Carrabba, calling from his bus where he was struggling with poor cell phone service. “I’m just kidding. That’s [a]running joke there.”

Twin Forks has gone from headlining small clubs, to supporting the Counting Crows in theaters, and back to intimate venues like the Crescent Ballroom, where the band will open for Jukebox the Ghost on Tuesday, February 3.

“I believe it’s kind of the same tenets that made Dashboard connect,” Carrabba says of Twin Forks’ success. “We really appreciate our fans and we’re not afraid to show it from the stage or on stage. It’s a big deal, I think. I don’t know why it’s a big deal. It seems elemental, but it’s still a rarity in some cases.”

He explains that the joy and celebratory nature of Twin Forks—something that was subtle in Dashboard Confessional—attracts fans as well.

Carrabba founded the Americana folk-rock band in 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida. He and his bandmates—vocalist/mandolin player Kelsie Baron, vocalist/tambourine player Sara Bost, Jonathan Clark on bass and drummer Shawn Zorn—now run the band through Nashville. It has released an EP (2013) and an album (2014), both of which are dubbed Twin Forks.

To thank fans for successful tours, Twin Forks regularly releases free music. Listeners just have to email twinforksmusic@gmail.com and put “music” in the subject line.

“We do a free EP, but we constantly change the content of the EP,” he says. “Sometimes it’s four songs; sometimes it’s five songs; sometimes it’s three songs. Sometimes the songs are changed out one at a time. Some of them are on the record. It’s another invitation we get to send out to people who are interested in hearing what we’re about.”

The musicians of the Counting Crows are some who definitely want to hear what Twin Forks has to say. Carrabba was equally as flattered that the pop mainstays invited his band to tour with them. He is hoping that the two acts can hit the road together again.

“It was fantastic,” Carrabba says. “Those guys are musical heroes of ours and just about the best hosts you could imagine on tour.”

He admires Counting Crows’ musical prowess.

“I think the way that they subtly push themselves further and further every night was really inspiring to me,” Carrabba says.

“I’ve been a fan for a long time. They had a period where they would take their songs in radically different directions and they’ve kind of brought them back to the original structure. The songs performed live are certainly within those structures again.”

Carrabba is thrilled to return to the Crescent Ballroom and Phoenix.

“I love that place,” says Carrabba of the Crescent Ballroom. “My experiences in Phoenix have been incredible. I can remember vividly my first experience playing in Phoenix. I was just talking with Chad (Gilbert) from New Found Glory about it. I was opening up for them, back in Dashboard, not knowing what to expect. I think it might have been the first or second date I did with the tour we were on together.

“It was overwhelming. I had people singing at my show from the very get go. We never really opened for a band. I didn’t know what to expect. Every single person there sang every single word of mine. I was king of the world. I said to myself, ‘This is how it’s going to be forever.’ It didn’t happen again on that tour. I’d say I have a long lingering fondness for Phoenix.”

Jukebox the Ghost w/Twin Forks, Secret Someones, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, Tuesday, February 3, 8 p.m. $15-$18

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