Caroline Blubaugh Brings the Band to MOTM Fest

Caroline Blubaugh with bassist John Gorman (left) and drummer Curtis Leonard (right)
(Luke Steinle/KJHK)

Last weekend, Middle of the Map Fest featured plenty of great artists including Clairo and Snail Mail. However, one of the shining gems of the festival was on the smaller stage. KU student and local musician Caroline Blubaugh shook The Brick on Saturday at Middle of the Map Fest along with the rest of her band. Caroline and the band gave a marvelous performance with a wide range of original songs.

Caroline’s solo EP, Green, has been out for almost a year, and its featured single, San Francisco immediately got a lot of attention on Spotify and is currently rising above 150,000 listens. Green mostly features very soft rock, the title track being a heartwarming acoustic love song. She’s performed songs from Green at several bars, coffee shops and open mics over the last year.

Since the release of Green, Blubaugh has picked up band members John Gorman on bass and Curtis Leonard on drums. Middle of the Map Fest was their second performance as a three piece. Working with a full band has changed Caroline’s music style quite a bit. With a pop punk drummer, and a metal/punk bassist, her sound as well as her performance has gotten significantly more energetic. On her recent changes to her music style, Blubaugh said, “My more recent music is more heavy than Green. Really, anything is. It’s more indie rock with a little bit of punk.” The new sound comes from a perfect mix of the musicians’ respective backgrounds with a spectacular vocal performance by Blubaugh.

“My more recent music is more heavy than Green. Really, anything is. It’s more indie rock with a little bit of punk.”

Blubaugh is playing Porchfest in Kansas City on Saturday, October 12th at 3pm. She explained how the stylistic changes will flow in her upcoming show, saying, “I’ll be playing a bit of music from Green and new songs that still have a Green feel, but when played with the band, pack a new punch.” She also has a show this month at The Bull on October 22nd which will feature the full band as well.

Caroline Blubaugh and the band play new and old songs at The Brick in Kansas City
(Luke Steinle/KJHK)

Caroline Blubaugh makes music for everyone. From your best friend to your dad to the barista at your local coffee shop who got your name wrong on your chai latte, anyone can get down to the range of sweet sounds she’s brought to life in her songs. Blubaugh’s rising presence in the Lawrence and Kansas City music scene reminds us all that you don’t have to smoke cigs and write songs about smoking cigs to be relevant on the local scene. All you’ve gotta do is bring some good vibes.