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Carlene Carter Announces New Album

Carlene Carter
Sasha Haagensen, GettyImages

Carlene Carter is ready to release a new set of tunes. Her latest album will pay tribute to her famous family.

‘Carter Girl’ is set for release in March. The daughter of June Carter Cash and her first husband, Carl Smith, as well as the granddaughter of Maybelle Carter, the songstress hopes to share her rich musical heritage with each song on the new record.

“The songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music,” she explains (quote via Roughstock.com). “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.’”

The 58-year-old enlisted several of her musical friends to join her on the record, including Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Elizabeth Cook, as well as her husband, Joe Breen, and cousin, Lorrie Carter Bennett.

“From the day I first touched a guitar or piano, my mom said, ‘You have to carry on the legacy of the Carter Family music,’” Carter adds. “‘It’s supposed to be passed on and passed around.’”

Rock producer Don Was helmed the project, which also includes Wallflowers and Foo Fighters keyboardist Rami Jeffee, and Sam Bush on mandolin.The late Cowboy Jack Clement also appears on a song that features some of Carter’s own family members, including a few who have passed away.

“Cowboy Jack Clement played acoustic guitar on ‘Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow,’” she says, “and we used an old track for that to have Helen, Anita, momma, and me, along with Big John [Johnny Cash], singing background on the chorus. We built a new track around our vocals from the ‘Wildwood Flower’ album we did back in 1986. Kind of a cool thing to have the technology to bring it as a part of this project.”

‘Carter Girl’ will be released on March 25 on Rounder Records.

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