The Carter Family - The Carter Family On Border Radio Vol 1

Monday 1st April 1996
The Carter Family - The Carter Family On Border Radio Vol 1
The Carter Family - The Carter Family On Border Radio Vol 1

STYLE: Country
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Arhoolie 411

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

From 1927 to 1941 the Carter Family laid down the foundations, with over 250 recordings, from which the country music industry was to build its huge industry. This pioneering family group consisting of patriarch A P Carter, his wife Sara and her cousin Maybelle Carter, plus several squeaky voiced offspring. They had a dazzling repertoire, from Appalachian mountain songs, to instrumental reels and, possibly their greatest forte, old time gospel songs. These recordings were recorded between 1937 and 1939 for radio station XET, one of the stations that dotted the Mexican/American border. Only rediscovered in the 1970s and some of them issued on a long deleted JEMF album these tracks have now been remastered and with a fascinating sleeve note make for a compelling trip into the roots of country and American folk music. I could have done without the kiddywinkers doing things like "The Old Texas Trail" but when Ma and Pa duet on "On The Sea Of Galilee" or the beautiful "Just A Few More Days Of Sorrow" the effect is timeless, despite the crude recording quality. More roots deserving the attention of country and folk enthusiasts.

Also reviewed in CR35:
Timeless music from the pioneers of country, whose oldtime, backporch, rural sound echoes memorably down through the years. Although the sound quality is understandably less than desirable, allow for this and you'll encounter these pioneers on top form, relaxed, flowing, conveying total enjoyment. Wonderful to hear the youthful Carter girls harmonising their socks off, including 10 year old June, Johnny Cash's wife. The 27 tracks include a load of gospel songs, always part of the Carter Family repertoire, great old stuff like "We Shall Rise", "Room For You And Me", "On The Sea Of Galilee", "When Our Lord Shall Come Again" and more, all with a simple charm and grace that conveys the music, beautifully. Historic recordings with very informative notes, an important release. Can we have Vol 2 by next week please?
Tony May

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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