Across Generations

The Carter Family

Released October 18, 2019 Reviver Legacy Records

"The heartbeat of this project is Carlene Carter, the greatest - and most underrated - country singer of her generation, who's carried the family torch all her career." MICHAEL SIMMONS, MOJO MAGAZINE

  1. Farther On (Traditional)
  2. My Clinch Mountain Home (A.P. Carter)
  3. Gold Watch and Chain (A.P. Carter)
  4. Worried Man Blues (A.P. Carter)
  5. Winding Stream (A.P. Carter)
  6. I Never Will Marry (A.P. Carter)
  7. Amber Tresses (A.P. Carter)
  8. Maybelle (Danny Carter Jones, David Carter Jones)
  9. Diamonds In The Rough (A.P. Carter)
  10. Don't Forget This Song (A.P. Carter)
  11. Foggy Mountain Top (A.P. Carter)
  12. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (A.P. Carter)
  13. Maybelle's New Tune (Maybelle Carter)

Carter Family members heard on Across Generations: First generation: Sara Carter. Second generation: Anita Carter, Helen Carter, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash. Third generation: Lorrie Carter Bennett, Ana Cristina Cash, John Carter Cash, Carlene Carter, Lisa Carter Dickerson, Rita Forrester, Benita Carter Jones, Dale Jett, Danny Carter Jones, David Carter Jones, Kevin Carter Jones, Connie Carter Keller, Flo Wolfe. Fourth generation: Joseph Cash, Tyler Forrester,Tucker Jett, Casey Dickerson Garrett, Tiffany Anastasia Lowe, AnnaBelle Cash, Grace June Cash, Jack Ezra Cash, Dewanna Wolfe Cross, Dania Wolfe Strong. Fifth generation: Adrianna Cross, Lux Darling, Jacob Strong, Shyanna Strong. *related by marriage

Read more… close

Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter

Released April 28, 2017 Republic Records

"Some songs feature either Mellencamp or Carter alone, and the material is a mix of songs penned by Mellencamp and Carter, as well as some covers. But Carter's deep country roots are a constant presence, even on tracks where she doesn't appear." JIM ALLEN, NPR

  1. Mobile Blue, John Mellencamp 3:02
  2. Battle of Angels, John Mellencamp 3:58
  3. Grandview (feat. Martina McBride), John Mellencamp 3:51
  4. Indigo Sunset (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 3:32
  5. What Kind of Man Am I (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 4:09
  6. All Night Talk Radio, John Mellencamp 5:08
  7. Sugar Hill Mountain (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 3:07
  8. You Are Blind, John Mellencamp 3:20
  9. Damascus Road (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 4:15
  10. Early Bird Cafe, John Mellencamp 4:06
  11. Sad Clowns, John Mellencamp 2:41
  12. My Soul's Got Wings (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 2:57
  13. Easy Target, John Mellencamp 2:42

“Mellencamp’s 23rd studio album is a study in mood and texture, as Carlene Carter’s voice melts over that of her self-described ‘singing buddy’ like honey over beef jerky” – Bud Scoppa, Uncut

“Carter's deep country roots are a constant presence, even on tracks where she doesn't appear.” – Jim Allen, NPR

“The daughter of June Carter cash and stepdaughter to Johnny Cash, is clearly key to the rootsy 23rd album from Indiana singer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mellencamp.” – Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Salvation comes with the Carter-penned, redemption-filled ‘Damascus Road’” – Melinda Newman, Los Angeles Times

“’Indigo Sunset,’ the first duet between the headliners – is kicked off by Carter’s soulful country contralto. She frames the lyric’s haunted loneliness while Mellencamp’s grainy rasp – framed by B-3, mandolin, fiddle, and guitars – balances perfectly to bring it home . . . Carter’s soaring lead opening the duet of the rocking blues-gospel of ‘Damascus Road’ is another set highlight . . . Carter’s command of the country church vernacular (after all, she sang with her mom in the Carter Family) lights the fuse for Mellencamp . . . Because Carter’s dynamic presence here, and the pair’s unmistakable chemistry, lift this album above the ordinary.” – Thom Jurek, All Music

“Together, the two have joined their magnificent forces to bring Mellencamp’s twenty-third studio album to life . . . Carter takes the reins for the down home, Folk Country jamboree of ‘Sugar Hill Mountain,’ which segues perfectly into the lovely duet ‘You Are Blind,’ a track about being blinded by love. Carter then returns to lead on the gritty tale of ‘Damascus Road.’ . . . Mr. Mellencamp is incomparable at his craft, and Ms. Carter is right on par with our hero; together the two are unstoppable. For these reasons and so very many more, CrypticRock gives Sad Clowns & Hillbillies 5 of 5 stars.” – Jeannie Blue, Cryptic Rock

“John Mellencamp’s 23rd studio album takes a while to hit pay dirt. Openers Mobile Blues and Battle Of Angels, then Grandview (a by-the-numbers paean to trailers featuring country-pop star Martina McBride) sound curiously lowkey… but when the album delivers on its artwork credit and starts ‘featuring Carlene Carter’, the magic really happens.” – Neil Jeffries, Team Rock

“’Indigo Sunset’ is a soulfully beautiful duet with Carter, highlighted by some sweet vintage organ burble.” – Ben Salmon, Paste Magazine

"’Indigo Sunset’ is a glorious collaboration with Carlene Carter…” – Markos Papadatos, Digital Journal

Read more… close

Carter Girl

Carlene Carter

Released April 8, 2014 Rounder Records

"This new album, produced by Don Was, is evocative, mature, and consistently impressive... A strong and very welcome showing for one of pop music’s long-missed characters, now back again." DAVE DiMARTINO, ROLLING STONE

  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. Black Jack David duet with Kris Kristofferson (A.P. Carter)
  12. I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow featuring Helen Carter, Anita Carter, June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash (A.P. Carter)

Carlene Carter − vocal, acoustic guitar, acoustic "Carter Scratch" guitar, piano, vocal harmony. Joe Breen – backing vocals, vocal harmony. Sam Bush – mandolin. Lorrie Carter Bennett – vocal harmony. Cowboy Jack Clement – acoustic guitar. Elizabeth Cook – vocal, backing vocals, vocal harmony. Vince Gill − vocal harmony. Rami Jaffee − Hammond organ, keyboards, piano. Jim Keltner – drums, percussion. Kris Kristofferson – vocal, vocal harmony. Greg Leisz – steel guitar, acoustic and electric guitars. Val McCallum – guitar, electric guitar. Blake Mills – guitars, acoustic and electric guitars. Willie Nelson − lead solo guitar, vocal harmony. Mickey Raphael − harmonica. Don Was − bass.

Don Was – Producer. Recorded by Howard Willing. 2nd Engineers: Wesley Seidman, Jeff Gartenbaum, Clinton Welander. Additional Engineering: Matt Rausch, Chris Wilkinson. Recorded at Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA; The Village Studios, West Los Angeles, CA; Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA; House of Blues Studios, Nashville, TN. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain. Mixed at Mix This! Studios, Pacific Palisades, CA. Assisted by Sergio Ruelas Jr. Mastered by Paul Blakemore at CMG Mastering. Production Coordinator: Ivy Skoff. Assistant to Carlene Carter: Tiffany Anastasia Lowe. The Carter Family photographs courtesy of Carlene Carter and The Carter Family. Package Design: Larissa Collins.

(****) The two originals are deeply moving, but her interpretations of the Carter Family's songbook are also heartfelt and impressive. There's as much rock and blues as country in her takes on "Little Black Train," "Blackie's Gunman," and "Blackjack David," but Carter approaches these songs as something fresh and vital, and she fills them with her own fearless spirit... On Carter Girl, Carlene Carter has confronted the mighty legacy of the Carter Family's songbook and allowed it to strengthen her music rather than buckling under its weight, and this ranks with her finest recorded work to date. MARK DEMING, ALLMUSIC

...what Carlene is doing here is fascinating. They are old songs, though here they aren’t distinguished that way at all. Here they are just songs, with a message and a delivery so modern that they could have been written yesterday... In fact, it’s a delight on all sorts of levels, not the least of which being that the album achieves so beautifully, entertainingly, the thing that it set out to do: revisit the fold. GLEN HERBERT, HUDSON VALLEY BLUEGRASS ASSOCIATION (February 21, 2014)

...she controls her considerable talent with dignity and stylish tribute, not imitation... Suffice to say that this album is the real thing amidst so much that is good and so much more that is just slowed down pop songs played with acoustic instruments. BRIAN ARSENAULT, THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MUSIC (March 3, 2014)

(****1/2) This album is a spirited, sensitive masterpiece by one of the Carter Family Royalty--Carlene Carter. Her most ambitious, fully-realised work to date... Carlene manages to sound simultaneously contemporary and traditional, and her clear-as-a-bell voice is showcased to its fullest. ALAN CACKETT, ALANCACKETT.COM

Carlene Carter's new album Carter Girl (Rounder), a tribute to the musical heritage of her fabled family, is a triumph... Carter Girl is that rare contemporary album with a cohesiveness that rewards listening from start to finish. MICHAEL SIGMAN, HUFFPOST ENTERTAINMENT (March 30, 2014)

Carter’s pose on the cover evokes her mother, but this isn’t meant to be a sepia-toned reproduction of those old songs. Instead, Carter brings them into her musical world — charging June Carter’s murder-suicide ballad "Tall Lover Man" with the sort of twangy, poppy, country-rock treatment that has always been the daughter’s calling card, giving an update to A.P. Carter’s "Lonesome Valley" via the soulful mourn of "Lonesome Valley 2003," and reprising her own "Me and the Wildwood Rose" to sing her memories of time spent on the road with the Carter Sisters. This may be the best record this Carter girl has ever made. STUART MUNRO, THE BOSTON GLOBE (April 1, 2014)

Carlene Carter has made the album of her life, and to hear her find herself so completely is a near-religious experience... This album, produced by Don Was, featuring some of the finest players on the planet and including all-time Carlene Carter original "Me and the Wildwood Rose," will hopefully allow the stellar singer to reach her deserving place on the history roll call, and prove once and for all this circle will surely remain unbroken. BILL BENTLEY, THE MORTON REPORT (April 2, 2014)

What Carlene Carter does on Carter Girl is significant. She doesn't approach these old songs as sacred relics to be enshrined with pious respect. Rather, she treats them like living, vital pieces of art that can withstand being taken apart, thought about and re-imagined... In the process, she comes up with her own excellent piece of work... on its own terms, Carter Girl is as strong as anything Carter has ever recorded. It carries the heavy burden of history lightly, and yet never flinches at the seriousness of the lives she's singing about, including her own. KEN TUCKER, NPR MUSIC (April 4, 2014)

ALBUM OF THE WEEK (***1/2 out of four stars.) Friends and relations pop up as guests, among them Willie Nelson (Troublesome Waters), Kris Kristofferson (Black Jack David) and Vince Gill (Lonesome Valley 2003). Still, Carter's dusky, honeyed voice holds its own, spanning generations and emotions with the grace she has both inherited and earned. ELYSA GARDNER, USA TODAY (April 7, 2014)

Carlene Carter proves just how personal, and powerful, a tribute album can be... "Carter Girl" has a rare power, drawn from memories, tears and years of finding strength in these songs of blood and legacy... Like the songs she's recorded, this is an album for the ages. MICHAEL McCALL, ASSOCIATED PRESS (April 7, 2014)

It may have been a while since you’ve considered Carlene Carter; to a certain generation, she was the cute & spry American babe who headed to the UK and struck up some relationships there, nearly all of them musical. Much has happened--she’s back now, recording for Rounder Records, and this new album, produced by Don Was, is evocative, mature, and consistently impressive. With the inevitably top-heavy guest list — on hand are Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Vince Gill and about the best musicians you can find — Carter Girl in 2014 ironically sounds more like a country album than most of last week’s ACM winners, which themselves seem to be subtly aping the sort of albums Carter herself made back in 1979. Oh well. A strong and very welcome showing for one of pop music’s long-missed characters, now back again. DAVE DiMARTINO, ROLLING STONE (April 8, 2014)

Beyond her storied career straddling punk’s emergence, the ascendence of post-country’s first real credibility scare and the rock fringe she hung out on writing and singing with members of the Doobie Brothers and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, she was in her soul always a Carter. HOLLY GLEASON, PASTE MAGAZINE (April 29, 2014)

(*****) ...this is unashamedly traditional: committed, personal and really quite perfect. SYLVIE SIMMONS, MOJO MAGAZINE UK (May 2014)

Carlene Carter has been mixing country, blues and rock since her debut with The Rumor back in the 70s. Step daughter of The Man in Black and daughter of June, Carter has had a career that is as open nerved as a country song itself. This latest excellent outing has her doing material from various members of the Carter family (including herself)... Carter herself sounds in rich and mature form... GEORGE W. HARRIS, JAZZ WEEKLY (May 26, 2014)

If there's a better hardcore country record in 2014 than Carlene Carter's Carter Girl, I haven't heard it... What cannot go unmentioned here is a simple fact: Carlene Carter is one of the greatest living country vocalists. Like Loretta, like Tammy, like June - like George Jones or Merle Haggard - she's got that sob in her voice... Carlene Carter's new masterpiece spans a century of music, but by implication contains the whole of human history in an unbroken circle. She -- and her elders -- have given us this gift. MICHAEL SIMMONS, HUFFPOST ENTERTAINMENT (June 8, 2014)

Read more… close

Stronger

Carlene Carter

Released March 4, 2008 Yep Roc Records

"I couldn’t let a day go by without writing a note about CC’s record. It is astounding." ELVIS COSTELLO.

"A staggering achievement by one of the great voices and fearless hearts of country rock." BERNIE TAUPIN.

"It's great to hear her again." USA TODAY.

  1. The Bitter End / 2. Why Be Blue / 3. To Change Your Heart / 4. Bring Love / 5. I'm So Cool / 6. Spider Lace / 7. On To You / 8. Judgement Day / 9. Break My Little Heart In Two / 10. It Takes One To Know Me / 11. Light Of Your Love / 12. Stronger

All songs written by Carlene Carter except "The Bitter End" by Carlene Carter and Mark Winchester. Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by John McFee. An Oil Field Trash Production. Carlene Carter: vocals on all tracks & backing vocals on track 4. John McFee: all instruments and backing vocals by except: Sharon Celani: backing vocals on tracks 3, 6, 8 & 12. Guy Allison: keyboards on tracks 4 & 8. Shane McFee: rideout lead guitar on track 5. Joe Breen: guest vocal on track 10. Photography: Robert Matheu.

While definitely among Carter's best work, it may well stand as one of the best albums of this year. BRIAN BAKER, COUNTRY STANDARD TIME (February 2008)

Stronger is one of her best and most personal albums to date. She's made a disc that's as lively as her music of the '80s and '90s without sidestepping the emotional gravity that informs her new material. Stronger shows she still has spunk and fire to spare, while also revealing a hard-won maturity and strength that richly, truly earns her the over-used appellation of "survivor." MARK DEMING, ALLMUSIC (March 2008)

"Stronger" has the kick and luster of Carter's best songs from the '80s and '90s. It's an ironically joyous, even witty CD, filled with the kind of rollicking roots rock that extends the great American legacy that lives in Carter's genes. JIM FARBER. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (March 4, 2008)

This is why you should care about Carlene Carter: She puts her whole life into her music in a way few artists dare or accomplish. Not just snippets of a diary. I mean her life experience, her guts and her whole psyche. It goes in there. It's not always a pretty recipe. But the results are often gems of music. CHET FLIPPO, CMT NEWS (March 13, 2008)

She returns with a confident new album grounded in the bedrock country that is her birthright as a member of the storied Carter family. Here's hoping she's home to stay. CHRIS NEAL, COUNTRY WEEKLY (March 24, 2008)

Anybody who's not touched by reflective moments like "Bring Love" or the mournful-yet-uplifting title track must be a coldhearted creature indeed. JON YOUNG, MOTHER JONES (May 2008)

Read more… close

The Platinum Collection

Carlene Carter

Released August 6, 2007 Rhino / Warner Music UK

"2007 collection from the Country/Pop princess... Carlene recorded some great early '80s Roots/Pop albums then came back strong in the late '80s and '90s with her own brand of Country. This compilation features the best of the Country period." AMAZON

  1. Do It In A Heartbeat / 2. Baby Ride Easy / 3. I Fell In Love / 4. Come On Back / 5. The Sweetest Thing / 6. One Love / 7. My Dixie Darlin / 8. Goodnight Dallas / 9. Me And The Wildwood Rose / 10. The Leavin Side / 11. You Are The One / 12. Every Little Thing / 13. Unbreakable Heart / 14. I Love You Cause I Want To / 15. Love Like This / 16. Hurricane /
  2. Loose Talk (Ft Carl Smith) / 18. Go Wild / 19. The Lucky Ones / 20. All Night Long

From Amazon.com: 2007 collection from the Country/Pop princess, daughter of June Carter Cash, step-daughter of Johnny Cash and ex-wife of Nick Lowe. Carlene recorded some great early '80s Roots/Pop albums then came back strong in the late '80s and '90s with her own brand of Country. This compilation features the best of the Country period with tracks like 'I Fell In Love,' 'Do It In A Heartbeat,' 'Me And The Wildwood Rose' and many more. 20 tracks. Warner.

Read more… close

Hindsight 20/20

Carlene Carter

Released September 10, 1996 Giant Records

"For most of the last two decades, Carlene Carter has roared and rocked Nashville's socks off and sometimes we've taken her for granted. 'Hindsight 20/20' reminds us just how much we'd miss her if she wasn't around to brighten our lives." NICK KREWEN, COUNTRY WEEKLY

  1. Sweet Meant To Be (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)
  2. I Fell In Love (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Benmont Tench / Perry Lamek)
  3. Every Little Thing (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  4. Unbreakable Heart (Benmont Tench)
  5. Come On Back (Carlene Carter)
  6. Me And The Wildwood Rose (Carlene Carter)
  7. Never Together But Close Sometimes (Rodney Crowell)
  8. Cry (Carlene Carter)
  9. The Sweetest Thing (Carlene Carter / Robert Ellis Orrall)
  10. Baby Ride Easy (Richard Dobson)
  11. I Love You 'Cause I Want To (Carlene Carter / Radney Foster)
  12. I'm So Cool (Carlene Carter)
  13. He Will Be Mine (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  14. Hurricane (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  15. Change (Carlene Carter)
  16. Trust Yourself (Bob Dylan)
  17. One Tender Night (Carlene Carter / Benmont Tench)
  18. It's No Wonder (Why I Love Him) (Carlene Carter)
  19. Love Like This (Mary Ann Kennedy / Pam Rose / Pat Bunch)
  20. Easy From Now On (Carlene Carter / Susanna Clark)

Produced by Howie Epstein; Bob Andrews and Brinsley Schwarz; Nick Lowe; Carlene Carter and James Stroud; Carlene Carter; Lance Quinn and Tony Bongiovi. Photography - Randee St. Nicholas.

(****) Country music would be a duller place without Carlene Carter. "Hindsight 20/20" is a 21-track retrospective (20 in the U.S.) covering two decades of music, all of which exudes genuine spark and personality. "Hindsight 20/20" is the sound of 20 years well spent. MARK BLAKE, COUNTRY MUSIC INTERNATIONAL (September 1996)

(***1/2) "Foresight 20/20" might make a better title for this collection marking Carlene Carter's 20th year of recording. The cool thing about this retrospective is seeing how much her style was already defined years before the world-at-large caught on to Carter's charms. If this set proves anything, it's just how prophetic her once-rebellious musical experiments were when it came to the future of country music. Rather than finally going commercial, Carter instead kept refining her craft until country music caught up with her. It's still too early in Carter's career for her to be genuinely anthologized (though she'll no doubt make for a helluva boxed set). After all, "Hindsight 20/20" still proves that this scion of country music's first family is keeping their ground-breaking family tradition alive, and that the Carter name will have a special resonance in contemporary country for some time to come. ROB PATTERSON, NEW COUNTRY

Carlene Carter has never feared challenge or change. Sometimes the hunger that fuels her artistic ambition has led the eternally youthful daughter of country music legends Carl Smith and June Carter across the Atlantic -- as it did in the late '70s -- and sometimes it's led her across America, as it did earlier this year on the Kraft tour as a concert co-headliner with Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan. "Hindsight 20/20" is the macaroni-and-cheese of Carlene's wonder years: a celebration of her first two decades as a recording artist. Selections for this 20-song package range from her reggae-flavored 1978 Rodney Crowell cover "Never Together But Close Sometimes" through the rockabilly spunk of 1995's "Hurricane." Blessed with a powerful set of pipes that can purr 'n' growl with country's finest, this release re-affirms Carlene's fiery spirit, a lethal combination of cheerleader and cherub. Her voice's capability of elevating a song to a higher emotional plane by its sheer presence -- witness the near a cappella climax of "Sweet Meant To Be" or her sunny warbling during her Top 5 country-rock twist "I Fell In Love" -- is unique among female country singers. For most of the last two decades, Carlene Carter has roared and rocked Nashville's socks off and sometimes we've taken her for granted. "Hindsight 20/20" reminds us just how much we'd miss her if she wasn't around to brighten our lives. NICK KREWEN, COUNTRY WEEKLY (October 29, 1996)

To be called Carter is the country music equivalent of a coat of arms and an entry in Burke's Peerage. Yet Carlene arrived in post-punk London sounding like the newest girl on the block. Early cuts on this retrospective compilation feature her with Dave Edmunds and her husband for a spell, Nick Lowe, breathing rock'n'roll fire into the format. Her 1980 duet with Edmunds, "Baby Ride Easy," is a sly and feisty delight: "And if we arm-wrestled, I'd say that you won!" Later songs, like the Grammy-nominated "I Fell In Love," suggest the family genes have not stopped working their magic. PAUL DU NOYER, MOJO (UK)

Read more… close

Little Acts of Treason

Carlene Carter

Released August 8, 1995 Giant Records

"The real stunner here is 'Change,' a ballad she wrote that is an introspective look at Carter's life, demonstrating her maturity as a songwriter and as a singer of deeply felt emotions." RANDY WEST, PEOPLE MAGAZINE

  1. Hurricane (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  2. Love Like This (Mary Ann Kennedy / Pam Rose / Pat Bunch)
  3. Little Acts Of Treason (Carlene Carter)
  4. He Will Be Mine (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  5. Come Here You (Carlene Carter)*
  6. Change (Carlene Carter)*
  7. The Lucky Ones (Carlene Carter)*
  8. All Night Long (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  9. You'll Be The One (Carlene Carter)*
  10. Loose Talk (Duet with Carl Smith) (Freddie Hart / Ann Lucas)
  11. Go Wild (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)*
  12. The Winding Stream (A.P. Carter)**
  13. Come Here You (Reprise) (Carlene Carter)*

Produced by Carlene Carter and James Stroud. *Produced by Carlene Carter. **Produced by Howie Epstein and Carlene Carter. Carlene Carter - vocals, electric guitar, autoharp, keyboards, percussion, bongos, marxophone, glockenspiel. Al Anderson - electric and acoustic guitar, background vocals. Jim Hanson - bass, fretless bass, background vocals. Glenn Worf - slap bass, bass. Vince Santoro - drums, percussion, background vocals. John Hobbs - piano, Wurlizer electric piano, organ. Dann Huff - electric guitar. Paul Franklin - pedal steel, steel guitar, lap steel. Phil Parlapiano - accordion, keyboards, mandolin, harmonium. Larry Byrom - acoustic guitar. Danny Jacob - acoustic guitar. Eddie Bayers - drums. Matt Rollings - piano. Joe Spivey - mandolin. John Jorgenson - acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, slide guitar, sitar. Sheila E. - percussion. Mickey Raffael - harmonica. Scott Joss - fiddle. Benmont Tench - piano, organ. Carl Smith - duet lead vocal. Albert Lee - acoustic guitar, piano, mandolin. Mark O'Connor - fiddle. Roy Husky Jr. - upright bass. Howie Epstein - acoustic guitar, background vocals. Background vocals - Barbara Santoro, Tiffany A. Lowe, Curtis Young, Jana King, Michael Black, Jim Lauderdale, Lucky Carrigan, Jamie Lefler, John Jackson Routh, Dingo, June Carter Cash, Helen Carter, Anita Carter, Johnny Cash, and more. Photography - Randee St. Nicholas.

Carlene Carter gives us more of that joyous vocal abandon evident on previous outings--growling, yodeling and yelping her way to a song's finish line. But the real stunner here is "Change," a ballad she wrote that is an introspective look at Carter's life, demonstrating her maturity as a songwriter and as a singer of deeply felt emotions. RANDY WEST, PEOPLE

This one overflows with her gutsy, relentless intensity, not only in her original material but throughout its 13 flawless, totally focused performances running a wide gamut of emotions. Carlene the producer gave Carlene the artist ample space, none of it wasted. The simple sentiments of Carter's own "You'll Be The One" prove that today's love songs don't need syrupy metaphor and flowery, greeting card sentiments. Not only does "Little Acts Of Treason" reaffirm Carter's individuality, it's an unforgettable experience for all listeners. RICH KIENZLE, COUNTRY MUSIC

Why this commanding songstress is not at the top of every female vocalist category is beyond me. A dynamic voice and matching stage presence like this doesn't come around so often. Carlene Carter certainly comes to the forefront of sheer dazzling entertainment with her latest album. She coproduced the disc, and it's obvious that Carter's worldly musical influence is present throughout every cut. WIX, MUSIC CITY NEWS (SEPTEMBER 1995)

In a rare example of fame catching up to a performer ahead of her time, Carter made a resounding comeback in the 1990s with two geat albums, "I Fell In Love" and "Little Love Letters," both of which yielded hit singles and videos for pretty much what she'd been doing all along. Over the years, Carter has evolved into an extraordinarily compelling singer, with a sexual magnetism that leaves most blow-dried sex kittens looking like neutered pets. Her vocal presence is commanding, and when she fields a number tailor-made for her rowdy charisma--as on the five-alarm opener "Hurricane"--she's a force of nature. "Little Acts Of Treason" may prove to be a temporary holding pattern in Carlene Carter's strange, tortuous career--but a holding pattern in her book is a career-high achievement in virtually anyone else's. JIM RIDLEY, NEW COUNTRY (September 1995)

While so many of the cookie-cutter "young country" stars on Nashville's assembly line seem to have been literally "born yesterday," it's encouraging that a bona fide third-generation country blueblood like Carlene Carter can still crack radio playlists. On her latest, "Little Acts Of Treason" (****), she extends her Carter Family heritage all the way from its Clinch Mountain home to the Hollywood Hills, where she now resides. JEREMY TEPPER, PULSE! (September 1995)

(****1/2) On "Change," Carlene ups the emotional ante as she digs deep inside to find the strength she needs to change her life before she's finally run out of precious time. The writing and the band are both tight from first track to last, and Carlene really crawls inside these songs, singing with the kind of emotional authority and honest vulnerability--or, if the occasion calls for it, sheer joy--that elevates just another song to something that demands a closer listen. One of Carlene's very best records. COUNTRY BEAT

BEST OF THE MONTH. Many women have arrived in country music of late, but Carlene Carter remains the genre's only true female rebel. Given Nashville's current dependence on formula, Carter may never become the big star her talent (and even her birthright) would suggest. But it's to her credit that she's chosen to stay true to her own brand of music, while others pass her on the charts. Like the rest of her famous family, Carter is an American original. ALANNA NASH, STEREO REVIEW (December 1995)

Read more… close

Little Love Letters

Carlene Carter

Released June 22, 1993 Giant Records

"These songs form a marvelous, eclectic quilt of colors and patterns. Overall, it's exhilarating--almost like what The Beatles did with the famous 'Sgt. Pepper's' album, only more homespun and less cryptic." NEIL POND, COUNTRY AMERICA

  1. Little Love Letter #1 (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Benmont Tench)
  2. Every Little Thing (Carlene Carter / Al Anderson)
  3. Wastin' Time With You (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Benmont Tench)
  4. Unbreakable Heart (Benmont Tench)
  5. Sweet Meant To Be (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)
  6. Nowhere Train (Carlene Carter / Anni O'Brien)
  7. Long Hard Fall (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)
  8. Little Love Letter #2 (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Benmont Tench)
  9. I Love You 'Cause I Want To (Carlene Carter / Radney Foster)
  10. World Of Miracles (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)
  11. First Kiss (Carlene Carter / John Jorgenson)
  12. Hallelujah In My Heart (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)
  13. The Rain (Carlene Carter / Bernie Taupin)
  14. Heart Is Right (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein)

Produced by Howie Epstein. Carlene Carter - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, autoharp, percussion. Howie Epstein - acoustic and electric guitars, bass, banjo percussion, background vocals. Joe Romersa, Eddie Bayers - drums, percussion. John Jorgenson - acoustic and electric lead guitar, bass, mandocello, mandolin, slide guitar, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone. Benmont Tench - piano, organ, various other keyboard-related instruments. Phil Parlapiano - accordion, piano. Willie Weeks - bass. Albert Lee - acoustic guitar, mandolin. David Lindley - acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin. Buddy Emmons, Jay Dee Maness - pedal steel. Roy Husky Jr. - upright bass. Chorus on "I Love You 'Cause I Want To" - NRBQ, Jim Lauderdale, Andy Paley, Kathy Valentine, Dave Edmunds, Susan Cowsill, Phil Parlapiano, Joe Romersa. Photography - O'Brien and Schridde.

Carlene has inherited a beautiful, clear voice from the deep end of the gene pool. When Carlene brings that voice to a gospel song like "Hallelujah In My Heart," she's come full circle back to the "days of Grandma and her girls," as she sang on "I Fell In Love." And when she applies it to a ballad, the song doesn't turn into mush, but something delicate and soulful like "The Sweetest Thing" (from "I Fell In Love," or an acoustic lullaby such as the new record's "Unbreakable Heart"). In a Nashville full of adult-contemporary divas, her good taste is a blessing. MARK SCHONE, L.A. WEEKLY (July 16, 1993)

The love affair here is between Carter's high, lonesome voice and great songs that range from bluegrass gospel to rockabilly updates. KEITH MOERER, REQUEST

Carter, bottom line, is a skilled pop-rock singer (who cowrites most of her songs) and her latest record is Top 40 fine. CRAIG TOMASHOFF, PEOPLE

No female country singer has ever seemed as comfortable with an emphatic backbeat as Carter, and as she bomps her way through the catchy country-rock numbers on her new album, "Little Love Letters," her delight proves contagious. Carter's octave-climbing optimism is persuasive when she declares that anything is possible in this "World Of Miracles." Even better is Benmont Tench's simple wish for an "Unbreakable Heart": the tune boasts the same kind of jazzy chords that Willie Nelson wrote into "Crazy" and Patsy Cline picked up on, and Carter sings it just that classily. All in all, "Little Love Letters" marks a major step forward for Carter into the first rank of country singers. GEOFFREY HIMES, COUNTRY MUSIC

Performance * * * * Sound Quality * * * * Carlene Carter doesn't concern herself much with how things are done in Nashville. She records in California with a rock'n'roll bass player (Howie Epstein of The Heartbreakers). She does it on her schedule (it's been three years since her last album, an eternity in Music City). Daring to be different, "Little Love Letters" delivers a big payoff to country and pop music fans alike. PAUL KINGSBURY, CD REVIEW (September 1993)

These songs form a marvelous, eclectic quilt of colors and patterns. Overall, it's exhilarating--almost like what The Beatles did with the famous "Sgt. Pepper's" album, only more homespun and less cryptic. NEIL POND, COUNTRY AMERICA (January 1994)

Carlene Carter started the new wave of country music. Her album, "Little Love Letters," still continues to astound us. EXPRESSION (Sweden's Largest Daily Newspaper)

Read more… close

I Fell In Love

Carlene Carter

Released August 13, 1990 Reprise Records

"The Best of '90. A world-beater album sung by a woman whose voice, with its leathery delicacy, can handle tunes of hard traveling and wrong-turn loving with equal finesse. If country music is still a man's game, Carter is effortlessly bending the rules." TIME

  1. I Fell In Love (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Benmont Tench / Perry Lamek)
  2. Come On Back (Carlene Carter)
  3. The Sweetest Thing (Carlene Carter / Robert Ellis Orrall)
  4. My Dixie Darlin' (A.P. Carter)
  5. Goodnight Dallas (Carlene Carter)
  6. One Love (Carlene Carter / Howie Epstein / Perry Lamek)
  7. The Leavin' Side (Carlene Carter / Keith Christopher / Tom Gray)
  8. Guardian Angel (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  9. Me And The Wildwood Rose (Carlene Carter)
  10. You Are The One (Leon Payne)
  11. Easy From Now On (Carlene Carter / Susanna Clark)

Produced by Howie Epstein. Carlene Carter - vocals. Ed Greene - drums, percussion. Albert Lee - lead guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, piano, background vocals. John Ciambotti - bass, upright bass. Howie Epstein - acoustic guitar, banjo, background vocals. Benmont Tench - piano, organ. Eddie Baytos - accordion. Bob Metzger - lead guitar, dobro. Jay Dee Maness - pedal steel guitar, pedal steel. James Burton - acoustic guitar, acoustic lead guitar, dobro. Frank Reckard - acoustic guitar. Phil Parlapiano - accordian. Lee Thornburg - trumpet. Phil Kensey - saxophone. Barry Goldberg - additional piano. Steve Fishell - Weissenborn slide. David Lindley - fiddle, banjo. Doug Atwell - fiddle. Background vocals - Dave Edmunds, Jim Lauderdale, Levon Helm, Jim Photoglo, Kevin Welch, Keith Knudsen, Vince Melamed, June Carter Cash, Nicolette Larson, Robert Ellis Orrall, Kiki Dee. Photography - Gerry Wenner.

On this comeback album, Carter, at 34, sounds like a combination of the young Dolly Parton and the even younger Brenda Lee, and incorporates both the rural authenticity of her heritage and the smart progression of contemporary country rock. A soulful interpreter and a stunning songwriter, Carter was ahead of her time a decade ago. This album should allow everyone else to catch up with her. Grade: A ALANNA NASH, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (August 31, 1990)

It's hard to fathom why this beautiful and gifted artist is unknown to most country audiences. But, that situation will soon be remedied if her new album, "I Fell In Love," receives the chance it deserves. WILLIAMS, MUSIC CITY NEWS

Of course it doesn't hurt to have all-pros like Albert Lee, Levon Helm and Dave Edmunds lending inspired support. But they're just the band. I Fell In Love is a Carlene Carter album - the one she's always had in her. The circle remains unbroken. MICHAEL SAUTER, ROLLING STONE (November 1, 1990)

Country without sentiment, autobiography without tears. Carter's first album in seven years is not only a welcome return but also a reminder that she's one of the best down-home singer-songwriters around. Nothing could be finer. TIME (December 3, 1990)

Carlene Carter has always been a renegade. But her musical pedigree--like her talent--is undeniable. "I Fell In Love" makes you wonder how Carlene Carter managed to remain an obscure cult figure for so long. Her new album leaves you feeling that, at long last, she may be ready for the mainstream. And--even more importantly--the mainstream may finally be ready for her. BOB ALLEN, COUNTRY MUSIC

THE BEST OF '90. A world-beater album sung by a woman whose voice, with its leathery delicacy, can handle tunes of hard traveling and wrong-turn loving with equal finesse. If country music is still a man's game, Carter is effortlessly bending the rules. TIME (December 31, 1990)

PEOPLE PICKS & PANS - BEST OF SONG 1990. If all country singers had roots so deep, they'd have to open a branch of the Grand Ole Opry in Beijing. But Carter can rock, too, as this nouvelle C&W album shows.

RECORD OF THE YEAR AWARDS. Alternately delights, surprises, and reaffirms an independent musical stance. STEREO REVIEW (February 1991)

She is one of our time's most effective and powerful songwriters. PATRICK CARR, COUNTRY MUSIC

Her roots are in The Carter Family, but her songs are singular; she's country's tight connection to the past and future. Carter is a kind of roots rebel and hard to pin down, but last year's "I Fell In Love" was her breakthrough hit--Sylvia Plath at the honky-tonk. JAY COCKS, TIME (March 30, 1992)

Read more… close

C'est C Bon

Carlene Carter

Released August 1983 Epic Records

"It shows just how far Carter has come to reach her deserved position among country’s great artists, it demonstrates her versatility, and it is a fascinating glimpse into the way she immersed herself in the early 1980’s UK music scene." LYNDON BOLTON, NO DEPRESSION MAGAZINE

  1. Meant It For A Minute (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  2. Heart To Heart (Climie)
  3. Third Time Charm (Carlene Carter / Pete Marsh / Andy Howell / Roger Bechirian)
  4. Heart's In Traction (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  5. I'm The Kinda Sugar Daddy Likes (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  6. Breathless (Blackwell)
  7. Love Like A Glove (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  8. Cool Reaction (Pete Marsh / Andy Howell)
  9. Don't Give My Heart A Break (Carlene Carter / Nick Lowe / Paul Carrack)
  10. That Boy (Carlene Carter)
  11. One Way Ticket (Carlene Carter)
  12. Patient Love (Carlene Carter)

Produced by Roger Bechirian. Carlene Carter - keyboards, vocals. Roger Bechirian - keyboards, percussion, vocals. Pete Marsh - guitar, keyboards, vocals. James Eller - bass, guitar, keyboards. Andy Howell - bass, guitar, keyboards. Terry Williams - drums. Paul Cobbold - cello bass. Annie Whitehead - trombone. Gary Barnacle - saxophone. Luke Tuney - trumpet. Tony Visconti - horn arrangement on "One Way Ticket." Photography - Nick Knight, Paul Carrack, Michael Suchodolski.

The LP mixes up-tempo pop-rock gems like "Meant It For A Minute" with a dreamy, strings-textured mid-tempo number, "Heart To Heart," and a light peppy disco song, "I'm The Kinda Sugar Daddy Likes." Although Carter wrote most of the songs in collaboration with some of her band members, particularly James Eller, the album also includes a version of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Breathless." Carlene slowed it down, wrote a definite melody, supported it with new chords and turned out a version that she described as "soft, sexy and wistful." The song was originally recorded for the movie "Breathless," but the group X's version, a close remake of the original, was chosen instead. "Heart To Heart" could easily fit into a middle-of-the-road radio format, while "Meant It For A Minute," a tough, clever-talking pop-rock song, could crack the more rocking Top 40 stations. Or perhaps the song's video, which Carter described as a cross between "Beat It" and "Flashdance," might break her through the music and cable TV station route. MILWAUKEE JOURNAL (July 15, 1983)

Carter retreated to the confines of Rockfield Studios in Wales, legendary for some outstanding Dave Edmunds productions in the mid-'70s. Settling in with some of husband Nick Lowe's cronies (producer/keyboardist Roger Bechirian, guitarist Pete Marsh and bassist Andy Howell, collectively known as Blanket Of Secrecy; also bassist/songwriting partner James Eller and drummer Terry Williams), she then moved as far away from her noted country roots as possible to deliver the fresh, modern-sounding "C'est C Bon." The abrupt stylistic reversal was not pre-planned to take advantage of the currently bullish new music market, she claims, but the natural result of working with so many pure popsters. And unlike too many synth-dominated records, "It sounds relaxed, but it doesn't sound bored." The reason? "There was a lot of collaboration on this album. I mean, if one of us didn't like something, the others would say, "Go ahead, take it home and make it better!" And after a few years spent in a musical and contractual limbo, Carlene Carter knows precisely what she's going for with her next record: "We're gonna make it the same as this one, only tougher." WAYNE KING, RECORD (October 1983)

C'est C Bon has value for three reasons, all united by the perspective time brings; It shows just how far Carter has come to reach her deserved position among country’s great artists, it demonstrates her versatility, particularly vocally, and it is a fascinating glimpse into the way she immersed herself in the early 1980’s UK music scene. LYNDON BOLTON, NO DEPRESSION (May 2, 2018)

Read more… close

Blue Nun

Carlene Carter

Released 1981 Warner Bros. Records Europe

"The import-only 'Blue Nun' presented Carter as a tough Stax-type R&B singer ('I Need A Hit' and 'Tougher Stuff'). Two of the songs are duets with Paul Carrack ('Oh How Happy' and 'Do Me Lover')." GEORGE W. KRIEGER, GOLDMINE

  1. Oh How Happy (Edwin Starr)
  2. Love Is A 4-Letter Verb (Carlene Carter)
  3. That Boy (Carlene Carter)
  4. 300 Pounds Of Hongry (Fritts / Hinton)
  5. Tougher Stuff (Carlene Carter / Nick Lowe)
  6. I Need A Hit (Carlene Carter / James Eller)
  7. Rockababy (Carlene Carter)
  8. When You Comin' Back (Count Freda)
  9. Me And My .38 (Carlene Carter / Nick Lowe)
  10. Do Me Lover (Carlene Carter / Nick Lowe / James Eller)
  11. Too Many Teardrops (Nick Lowe / Carlene Carter)
  12. Billy (Carlene Carter / Paul Carrack)
  13. C'mon Feet / Born To Move (John Fogerty)
  14. Think Dirty (Carlene Carter)

Produced by Nick Lowe except "When You Comin' Back" and "Too Many Teardrops" produced by Roger Bechirian. Carlene Carter - vocals. Bobby Irwin - drums, vocals. James Eller - bass, vocals. Martin Belmont - guitar. Paul Carrack - Hammond organ, piano, vocals. Billy Bremner - guitar, vocals. Huw Gower - guitar, vocals. Ginny Clee - vocals. Bette Bright - vocals. Nick Lowe - vocals. Glenn Tilbrook - vocals. Photography - James Cotier.

"MUSICAL SHAPES" AND "BLUE NUN" (DEMON RECORDS) Now this is how to do a reissue, two albums and bonus tracks on one disc at a budget price. The import-only "Blue Nun" presented Carter as a tough Stax-type R&B singer ("I Need A Hit" and "Tougher Stuff"). Two of the songs are duets with Paul Carrack ("Oh How Happy" and "Do Me Lover"). Since the LP was released in Europe with different tracks than the U.K. version, the CD includes all those tracks as a bonus. GEORGE W. KRIEGER, GOLDMINE (May 15, 1992)

Read more… close