Carlene Carter: Stronger (YepRoc/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Carlene Carter: Why Be Blue
Carlene Carter: Stronger (YepRoc/Southbound)

It's hardly surprising that on her first album in more than a dozen years there are songs about loss: in 2003 she buried her mother June Carter, her stepfather Johnny Cash, her partner Howie Epstein (of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) and her sister Rosie.

That said, this album seems to also want to live up to its title and on material like Why Be Blue and I'm So Cool she shakes the bar walls, and elsewhere brings some country-rock into play, or digs into what might be called New Country (the especially good To Change Your Heart).

Interestingly a couple of these 12 originals are from her vaults, including It Takes One to Know Me which Johnny covered back in the early 70s, and some are songs which she was selling as demos online. The reason? Carter has had what we might charitably call a troubled life and her previous albums hadn't sold.

But here in the hands of her producer/stepbrother John Carter Cash she seems back on track and her songwriting is confident, although perhaps not enough of these grip in the way that best (the gorgeous ballad Spider Lace among them) do.

That said, if a kind of country-rock with heart and attitude peppered by songs of genuine emotional impact is your thing you could do a lot worse than this.

Nice to (sort of) have her back.

The video is of her in rockin' out mode on I'm So Cool.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Juliagrace: Beautiful Survivor (Parachute)

Juliagrace: Beautiful Survivor (Parachute)

One problem with being identified as a "Christian artist" -- as so many have discovered -- is that there is a resistance to them outside that market, and because of that many simply give... > Read more

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

Hobotalk: Homesick for Nowhere (Yellow Eye)

The Scottish singer-songwriter Marc Pilley who is the hub of Hobotalk has a gentle way with his music: nothing feels forced or false, and the augmentation of his simple tunes by mandolin, violin,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Return of Jerry Lee (1958)

Jerry Lee Lewis: The Return of Jerry Lee (1958)

When Jerry Lee Lewis arrived in Britain in May 1958 the rock'n'roll crown was his for the taking. He was the wildman at the piano with crazy stacked-up hair, had delivered seminal, sweat-inducing... > Read more

Berne, Taborn, Formanek, Cleaver: The Rub and Spare Change (ECM/Ode)

Berne, Taborn, Formanek, Cleaver: The Rub and Spare Change (ECM/Ode)

Although you would be unwise to say any particular album seems unusual on ECM -- this is a label which has had Jan Garbarek with the Hilliard Ensemble, the noisecore of Lask and the Art Ensemble of... > Read more