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Carter Girl

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Audio CD, April 8, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Carter Girl, set for release April 8, is the first album of new recordings this decade from Americana legend Carlene Carter. Produced by Don Was, Carter Girl is, in a very literal way, Carlene's personal homage to the Carter Family legacy that both underpins so much of America's music and is part of her own DNA. The album revisits both classic Carter Family repertoire as well as original songs that reflect Carlene's direct connection to her roots. Willie Nelson guests on Troublesome Waters and Kris Kristofferson joins Carlene on Black Jack David while the unmistakable voice of Vince Gill is heard harmonizing on Lonesome Valley 2003. Blackie's Gunman is a duet with Elizabeth Cook, whom Carlene likes to think of as her adopted sister Carter Cousin Lorrie Carter Bennett and Carlene's husband Joe Breen. Musicians on the sessions included Jim Keltner, Rami Jaffee, Greg Leisz, Sam Bush, Mickey Raphael, Blake Mills as well as Don Was on bass. The guitar of the late Cowboy Jack Clement is heard on I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow and there are vocal contributions from generations past -- Carlene's aunts Helen and Anita Carter as well as her mom, June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash on the chorus of I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow-- that make Carter Girl an evocative collection, bringing music history to life for contemporary listeners.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Little Black Train 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Give Me The Roses 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Me And The Wildwood Rose 4:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Blackie's Gunman [feat. Elizabeth Cook] 4:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight 4:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Poor Old Heartsick Me 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Troublesome Waters [feat. Willie Nelson] 5:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Lonesome Valley 2003 [feat. Vince Gill] 5:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Tall Lover Man 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Gold Watch And Chain 3:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Black Jack David [feat. Kris Kristofferson] 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow [feat. The Carter Family] 2:44$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JordanJasper on April 8, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This album could easily have veered off into the realm of a sort of convenient sentimentality, but a number of key factors conspire to make this sterling collection one of the records Americana and roots-deep country music fans will want to keep front-and-center in their music libraries for a long time to come.

Carlene Carter's heyday as one of country music's premier singer-songwriters and performers was relatively brief, given how long this stunningly talented lady has actually been making top-notch music, beginning with 1979's legendary 'Musical Shapes'. Her 1990-1993 collaborations with Howie Epstein at the production helm yielded chart-topping singles ("Every Little Thing," "I Fell in Love," "Come on Back") that dominated jukebox and honky-tonk bars from coast to coast, and albums (Little Love Letters, I Fell in Love) that garnered Grammy nominations and regularly made Best of the Year lists. Carter's inimitable gift was producing an irresistible hybrid of music that combined her Appalachian roots, Nashville spark, and mud-in-your-eye verve with such ease and splendor you couldn't believe she didn't have a genre all her own. This album exhibits the best of ALL her many talents in a way that makes the past seem present and the future very bright, indeed.

With ace producer Don Was (Bonnie Raitt, Waylon Jennings) at the boards, Carter brings the mountain-music of her heritage to the Big City and gives it vibrant new emotional life without compromising a shred of authenticity. I don't know if such a compromise would even be possible for Carter, as steeped as she is in the ancestral ghostliness of this music and as brilliant as she is in terms of style and multi-instrumental intuitiveness.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Stolk on April 12, 2014
Format: Audio CD
"Carter Girl," Carlene Carter's first new album in six years, is a tribute album to the legendary country Carter/Cash family, Carlene being the daughter of June Carter Cash and her first husband, honky-tonk singer Carl Smith. This makes June's third husband Johnny Cash her stepfather, while her grandmother was Maybelle Carter, from the renowned Carter Family, who played an instrumental part in the birth of country music. This album covers material from the music of three generations of the Carter family and was produced by Don Was.

On this 12 track album, Carlene revisits songs that are Carter Family classics and/or have other family ties. And it's not her doing just a blue-grass album with covers of these century-old classics. While staying true to the originals, she revamps them and makes them her own, bringing music history to life for a modern audience. The songs can be divided thematically into three sections (or generations, if you will):

Her grandmother's generation, the Carter Family, is covered in the following songs: the bluesy, stomping "Little Black Train," the hauntingly beautiful "Give Me The Roses," the more traditional "Gold Watch And Chain" and ballad "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight." There's also the fun "Blackjack David," a duet with country-legend Kris Kristofferson and the feisty "Blackie's Gunman," a duet with Elizabeth Cook, who is a honorary Carter girl and ended up singing on six of the tracks.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kiley on April 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a longtime fan of Ms. Carter, I've been hoping for just this sort of album for 10+ years. Carlene's previous studio album had much to offer, but was largely devoid of the lively style and vocal flourishes that made her earlier work such a staple in my listening library, and the tracks were almost uniformly melancholy.

This album is a whole 'nother story as the saying goes. Carlene is in FINE voice here, it's like an intervening decade or two never happened, or somebody found a set of great tracks from the mid-90's. The production by Don Was is PERFECT. Never too sparse, never too much. Focused like a laser is Mr Was...

The tracks themselves are fantastic, a heady mixture of classic old time country, with a sensibility that is both modern and respectful. You can literally hear the joy in singing come through in Carlene's vocals, even on sadder tracks about departed family members.

I got my copy a day earlier than the release date thanks to Amazon's shipping and listened to it four times straight through the first day and several more times in the following couple days. I have the new version of "Me and the Wildwood Rose" playing as I type. LOVE this track truly demonstrates the outstanding production choices on this album. Carlene's touching vocal, no longer having to compete with a fog of bright swirling instrumentals (as on the original version from "I Fell in love")is free to carry the song backed by excellent but simple accompaniment, and the song is elevated to a whole new level due to it.

If you've ever enjoyed any of Carlene's prior work (or that of her Carter Family forebears) I can't recommend this album highly enough.
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