Carter has family covered
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Carter has family covered

Thursday, February 13, 2014 – Carlene Carter's first album of new recordings this decade, "Carter Girl," will be out April 8 on Rounder Records.

All 12 songs were written, at least in part, by a Carter family member. The album revisits both classic Carter Family songs and originals that relate to Carter's connection with her musical and familial roots. Don Was produced the disc, which was mixed by Bob Clearmountain. This is Carter's first disc since "Stronger" in 2008.

As the daughter of June Carter Cash and country music great Carl Smith, the granddaughter of Mother Maybelle Carter and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, Carter said it was her lifelong goal to make this record. "The songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music," she said.

She shares writing credit with A.P. Carter on "Lonesome Valley 2003," an updating of the Carter Family patriarch's "Lonesome Valley" that reflects the loss of Carlene's mother, sister and stepfather 11 years ago. The album's first track, just out is "Little Black Train," was first recorded by The Carter Family in 1935.

Willie Nelson guests on "Troublesome Waters," and Kris Kristofferson joins on "Black Jack David" while Vince Gill is heard harmonizing on "Lonesome Valley 2003." "Blackie's Gunman" is a duet with Elizabeth Cook. Cook is heard on six songs. Lorrie Carter Bennett, daughter of Anita Carter, and Joe Breen, Carlene's husband, also participated.

Musicians on the "Carter Girl" sessions that took place last year in Los Angeles and Nashville include Jim Keltner, Rami Jaffee, Greg Leisz, Sam Bush, Mickey Rafael, Blake Mills as well as Was on bass. The guitar of the late 'Cowboy' Jack Clement is heard on "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow" and there are vocal contributions from Carter's aunts Helen and Anita Carter, and Johnny and June Cash on the chorus of "I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow."

"From the day I first touched a guitar or piano," she said, "My mom said, 'You have to carry on the legacy of the Carter Family music. It's supposed to be passed on and passed around.'"

Songs are:

1. Little Black Train (A.P. Carter)

2. Give Me The Roses (A.P. Carter)

3. Me and The Wildwood Rose (Carlene Carter)

4. Blackie's Gunman (duet with Elizabeth Cook) (A.P. Carter)

5. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight (A.P. Carter)

6. Poor Old Heartsick Me (Helen Carter)

7. Troublesome Waters (duet with Willie Nelson) (Maybelle Carter/Ezra Carter/Dixie Dean Hall)

8. Lonesome Valley 2003 (with special guest Vince Gill) (Carlene Carter/A.P. Carter/Al Anderson)

9. Tall Lover Man (June Carter Cash)

10. Gold Watch and Chain (A.P. Carter)

11. Blackjack David (duet with Kris Kristofferson) (A.P. Carter)

12. I Ain' Gonna Work Tomorrow (featuring Helen Carter, Anita Carter, June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash) (A.P. Carter)


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CD reviews for Carlene Carter

CD review - Carter Girl It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. With expert production help from Don Was and a bevy of country stars and top notch Americana ...
CD review - Stronger When Carlene Carter recorded "Musical Shapes" in 1980, country music was woven into her DNA and pop/rock burned in her untamed heart. The daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith, Carter exuded the traditional conviction that was the hallmark of her lineage and the contemporary verve that was exemplified by her marriage to new wave icon Nick Lowe. Ten years later, Carter's brand of rock-scorched country was topping the charts, but in 1980, "Musical Shapes" barely made a dent. ...
"...The whole purpose and point of striving to create music," Carlene Carter says in the liner notes to this compilation, "is to remind us all we're alive." Being alive for Carter means rock 'n roll thrill and country candor. In the'80's, traditionalists like Dolly Parton crossed over into rock and landed in disaster, but Carter mixed genres artfully. Her roots are as much in Sun Studios as in Clinch Mountain. She plays with sharp, spunky musicians, and often matches her easy going twang with the ...


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