Pictured are (l-r, foreground) Carlene Carter and producer/bassist Don Was; (rear l-r) Greg Leisz, steel guitar; Wesley Seidman, assistant engineer; Rami Jaffee, accordion; Tiffany Anastasia Lowe (Carlene's daughter); Jim Keltner, drums; Howard Willing, engineer; and Blake Mills, guitar. Photo by David Goggin.
Hollywood, CA (March 14, 2014)—Carlene Carter’s forthcoming album, Carter Girl, an homage to her Carter Family legacy, was recorded at Ocean Way in Hollywood, with additional sessions in Nashville.
The album was produced by Don Was and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, for release on Rounder Records—Carter's first for the label—on April 8.
As the daughter of country music legends June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, and granddaughter of "Mother" Maybelle Carter, Carter says it has been her lifelong goal to make this record. "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 shares writing credit on "Lonesome" with her great uncle A.P. Carter. The track features vocals by Vince Gill. Other guest artists on the album are Willie Nelson on "Troublesome Waters" and Kris Kristofferson on "Blackjack David."
"Elizabeth Cook steps in as an honorary Carter Girl," Carter adds, "singing harmonies on six of the twelve songs." Family is represented by cousin Lorrie Carter Bennett (daughter of Anita Carter), and Carlene's husband Joe Breen, each heard on two songs.
The album was produced by Don Was and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, both on Carter’s wish list for the project, and she says Carter Girl has "lots of fabulous musicians: Don on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Rami Jaffee [The Wallflowers, Foo Fighters] on keyboards. Greg Leisz plays steel guitar, acoustic, and electric too. Sam Bush is playing mandolin on three songs. Blake Mills plays most of the stringed instruments, electric guitars, and tiple, which is a kind of mandolin. I play piano, and acoustic guitars in the style of my grandma, but it's different from the 1920s. I'm really glad I was able to pull together all of these perfect people."