Carlene Carter will pay tribute to her illustrious family legacy on Carter Girl, her first new album since 2008, to be releasedMarch 25 on Rounder Records.
Though known for being the granddaughter of Maybelle Carter, daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, stepsister of Rosanne Cash, and nice of A.P. Carter, Carlene Carter has built a musical legacy all her own thanks to her acclaimed progressive Country-Rock albums of the seventies and eighties, as well as mainstream nineties Country hits “I Fell In Love”, “Come On Back”, and “Every Little Thing”.
“The songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music,” she explains. “The original Carter Family (A.P., Sara, and Maybelle); momma’s ‘Tall Lover Man’ and Helen’s ‘Poor Old Heartsick Me’; then two of mine: ‘Me and the Wildwood Rose’ and a new song about momma and John’s passing called ‘Lonesome Valley 2003.’”
Carter will be joined by several special guests on this new project, including Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Elizabeth Cook (whom Carter dubs “an honorary Carter girl”), as well as her husband Joe Breer and her cousin Lorrie Carter Bennett (daughter of Anita Carter).
The new album is produced by Don Was and mixed by Bob Clearmountain. Musicians featured on the project include Was on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Rami Jeffee (of The Wallflowers and Foo Fighters) on keyboards, Greg Leisz on steel, acoustic, and electric guitar, Sam Bush on mandolin, and Blake Mills on multiple stringed instruments, while Carter herself can be heard playing piano and acoustic guitar, she says, “in the style of my grandma, but it’s different from the 1920s!” In addition, the late 2013 Country Music Hall Of Fame inductee Cowboy Jack Clement played acoustic guitar on the song “Ain’t Gonna WorkTomorrow.”
“From the day I first touched a guitar or piano,” Carter recalls, “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.’” Carlene Carter proudly carries the torch with Carter Girl.