He, along with Ryan Montbleau and Dan Montgomery will be participating in "Songwriters In The Round" at the coffee house.

Carp said he played at the coffee house two months ago, and is looking forward to coming back this Thursday.

"We had a good crowd last time, and we felt it was a successful show," said Carp. "It was during another 'Songwriters In The Round,' but there were eight songwriters that night. Each songwriter had their own crowd, and we certainly had our there."

Born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, Carp said his love of music began at an early age.

"My father, Jerry, was a classical musician, and I started taking piano lessons at 5," he said. "I didn't stick with it all of the time though. When I got older, I started playing drums and guitar as teenager. In high school, I leaned towards playing the guitar.

"After high school graduation, I decided to move to New Orleans to visit friends and look for a purpose of life. While there, I became obsessed with playing guitar, so much that I decided to pursue a career in music."

After a few more "pitstops along the way," Carp moved to Massachusetts six years ago attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied composition and performance and earned a degree in professional music.

Drawing similarities to Dave Matthews, Carp said his sound is often compared to Matthews. "I've been told my voice sounds like several different artists. It's nice to hear because I do like some of his music."

Listing such musical influences as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Beethoven, Felonious Monk and John Coltrane, Carp said all of the artists have affected him differently.

"All of the songwriters, they have very impressionable music," he said. "Sting, Joni and Paul - they could hear those melodies and create images. They are very imaginary. I'm always thinking of images. All of these artists are related in that way, they create very vivid images."

In February 2003, the 31-year-old Carp was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He said he focused his energy into releasing his first CD, "Ivy Growing On Brick" on Dec. 1, 2003. A portion of the sales of the CD go to support research for the crippling disease. Carp said he's been able to keep a handle on the disease.

"Things have been pretty stable so far," said Carp. "I've had episodes, but I'm keeping healthy and it hasn't gotten in the way of my playing. It hasn't prevented me from playing music."

What makes the "Ivy Growing On Brick" CD original and unique is the fact the title song is misspelled on the back of the CD cover. Carp noted, "Somehow there was a miscommunication between myself and the record company. It's now a collector's item because the next 1,000 will have it corrected.

"I named the CD 'Ivy Growing On Brick' because I love the image of it, and I kinda like the abstract contrast. It's your means of expression, and the way ivy climbs up a wall is like the human creative process."

He spoke of the origins of some of the songs on his inaugural release.

"The song, 'In My Dreams,' is based on the feelings involved in a long-distance relationship," said Carp. "If I can't have you now, then I'll have you in my dreams. I would dream about my girl at night.

"About 'Torch' - that is about carrying on traditions that you believe in. The tradition of making music in my case, and how turning our life experiences into music. That's the tradition I'm referring to in the song."

Along with the 11 tracks from "Ivy Growing On Brick," Carp said he enjoys performing certain cover songs.

"I like to do covers, but I change them around, except for the lyrics. Mostly it's the melodies," he said. "I do a version of (Bob) Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin', 'The Homecoming' by U2 and 'King Of Pain' by Sting, which goes well when I play with a band."

When Carp isn't performing on the road, he said he likes to play in the Boston Subway, which connects towards Fenway Park.

"I'm a big Boston Red Sox fan, so it's fun playing for the fans heading to a game," he said. "There is a lot of traffic, and I get to market myself that way, and my music gets heard."

In the near future, Carp said he'll begin working on his second CD release.

"I have my first recording session for my second CD soon," he said. "It'll be more of an acoustic CD. I'll be playing with a mandolin player and upright bass, along with some percussion."

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Tickets for the Jordan Carp/Ryan Montbleau/Dan Montgomery performance at the Steel City Coffee House, 203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, are available for $8 each in advance and at the door. For more information, contact Steel City Coffee House at (610) 933-4043. For more information on Jordan Carp, visit his Web site at www.jordancarp.com. For more information on Ryan Montbleau, visit his Web site at www.ryanmontbleau.com. For more information on Dan Montgomery, visit his Web site at http://hometown.aol.com/fantasticeyes/index.html.

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