Top critical review
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SOME GOOD STUFF
on 28 March 2011
The Carter family are really interesting. From the early days of recording, the lure of $50 got a really eclectic mix of songs down, giving an insight into the 'at home' repertoire of the family. There's hard-core folk, hymns, country gospel, sentimental drawing-room ballads, and plenty of stuff collected, adapted, written or nicked by AP (maybe the distinction's not so big as we like to think). It's all interesting even where time has not been good to it. And all given added pizzaz by fabulous natural-voice vocals, sometimes great harmonies, and the characteristic and influential guitar of Maybelle Carter. And it's not all Carter Scratch - there's a bit of bottle-neck in there too. You get a view of their wide range of influences and the traffic between black and white music.
To my way of thinking, the 2nd CD is pretty disposable, with too much sentimental commercial stuff. And some odd omissions. So check out the selection on Can the Circle be Unbroken. But for £2.99, that's a 'wow' from me.