Local mom Carolyn Benson leads a double life.
Originally from Dix Hills, Benson, the 45-year-old wife of Jim and mother to Shannon and James, is a homemaker by day but a singer at night. Benson, who has lived in Setauket for the past 15 years, has slowly been inching back into the music scene after a long absence, with gigs at Bliss and Amici restaurants. Although regularly singing and going out for commercials, Benson likes her current setup because it allows her to both be home with her children during the day and do what she enjoys at night.
Patch: How did you start your music career?
CB: I started singing when I was in elementary school. I went to college for music theatre, but left after a couple of years when I realized it was going to be a long road in that career. I stopped singing, but my husband encouraged me, and I took a class in Port Jefferson. ... I went back to community theatre and did a lot of productions. I bugged local restaurants to let me sing [and] about two years ago, I started singing at Bliss on Sundays ... I'm blessed because I keep getting opportunities.
Patch: What style of music do you sing?
CB: If I start at 6:30, I'll start off with some easy listening - fifties, sixties. As the evening goes on [it gets more current]. Recently, I was singing Pink's "Raise Your Glass," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and the clean version of "Forget You." I try and gauge what I sing by people in the room. I do not go in with a setlist ... you don't want to be old.
Patch: Are you planning on making an album?
CB: I have about eight songs recorded currently. I have to go back and record a couple more. It's nothing formal yet, but I'd love to in the future.
Patch: What do you do when you're not singing?
CB: I am a homemaker, I take care of my kids and the house. It's like two different lives. You wouldn't recognize me if you saw me singing at night and then in the grocery store the next day.
Patch: What do you like about living in Three Village?
CB: I love the feel of close knit community and I love the school district.
Check out Carolyn Benson at the Hampton Classic Horse Show on Sept. 4, where she's singing the National Anthem, or on Friday and Sunday nights at Amici restaurant in Mount Sinai.