Sing Me A Carter Family Song
A Carter Family Song - The Schoolhouse On The Hill - Picture On The Wall - Sunshine In The Shadows - While The Band Is Playing Dixie - My Native Home - I'll Aggravate Your Soul - The Waiting Stream - You've Been A Friend To Me - Anchored In Love - Lulu Will - Can The Circle Be Unbroken
At the very same time Barry Mazor is releasing his very entertaining book "Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Music" in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dennis Cash has a brand new CD out about the Carter Family music just released in Autryville, North Carolina. What's the connection? Everything! Peer was the one who discovered the Carter Family and even managed them. Dennis Cash also discovered the Carter Family, especially their music, and he is singing, performing, and recording it in a most excellent style that harkens back to what the original Carter Family must surely have sounded like in 'live' performance. Dennis has the perfect voice for this kind of old-time country music, absolutely perfect, fits like a "T." As in Tom "T" Hall who wrote the very first song, "A Carter Family Song" with his wife Dixie. All of the rest of the songs are Carter Family, through and through. Dennis's accompanying musicians also 'feel' the incredible aura of original Carter Family music. It must have been so incredibly pleasant to hear the Carters 'live' and that makes Dennis's CD so very important. This is not the Carter Family, but it sure is close, maybe better. What a delight to hear these songs in the hands and voice of Dennis Cash. Lest there be any confusion, I do not believe there is a direct connect between Dennis and the Johnny Cash tribe. Throughout this CD you will hear a most delightful drop-thumb or clawhammer banjo played magnificently by Kevin Scanlon. Second outstanding instrument is the autoharp played by Dennis himself. He brought this instrument to it's first keen inception at the LeMars Festival last year, producing many new fans of this lovely instrument. Josh Goforth is on the fiddle, and he too is right in the middle of the sound track, and broadcasts exactly what a really good fiddler would have done at actual Carter Family performances. A great deal of the Carter Family music is up-tempo and incredibly easy to listen to. The other thing about the Carters is the truthfulness one finds in the lyrics of their songs. Very unlike country music today which has cut it's roots to real country, stranding them in a very unwelcome musical island of same-sounding ridiculous lyrics. Just the opposite is this remarkable CD by Dennis Cash. This is a trip to the magical land of 'real' rural music. Expect to hear some great 3-finger banjo in the hands of Bill McDonald. The over-dubbing by Dennis on guitar, mandolin, and bass is a triumph of a proper 'mix' in the final draft. Perfect ear for every song on this CD. Dennis was wise enough to use several different musicians on the same instrument, for instance Carl Pagter also plays clawhammer banjo, creating a very different sound from Kevin Scanlon. What a treat. Bill Clifton (attended the LeMars Festival in 2012) said on the liner notes...."Here, in his second CD devoted exclusively to the music of the Carter Family, Dennis reaches deep into the Carter's song bag and retrieves some sparkling gems that have been sorely neglected over the past 85 years or so, while at the same time, breathing new life into a few of their most widely known and oft-recorded songs." I can't say enough about how well done this particular CD is. I know one thing for sure. It's still early in the year, but this one goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for 'old time CD of the year' and if that gets taken else where, I'll insist they find a new category, one that fits Dennis Cash. Maybe 'Best Carter Family CD of the Year" if it comes to that. Thanks very much Dennis Cash for a most remarkable, incredibly entertaining trip back in time to hear what 'real' rural country music once was. The circle still stays 'true' with Dennis Cash.
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine