CD The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family (CD 1089522),
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The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family
1. Worried Man Blues - George Jones
2. No Depression in Heaven - Sheryl Crow
3. On the Sea of Galilee - Emmylou Harris/The Peasall Sisters
4. Engine One-Forty-Three - Johnny Cash
5. Never Let the Devil Get the Upper Hand of You - Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
6. Little Moses - Joe & Janette Carter
7. Black Jack David - Norman & Nancy Blake/Tim O'Brien
8. Bear Creek Blues - John Prine
9. You Are My Flower - Willie Nelson
10. Single Girl, Married Girl - Shawn Colvin/Earl Scruggs/Randy Scruggs
11. Will My Mother Know Me There? - The Whites/Ricky Skaggs
12. Winding Stream, The - Rosanne Cash
13. Rambling Boy - The Del McCoury Band
14. Hold Fast to the Right - June Carter Cash
15. Gold Watch and Chain - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band/Kris Kristofferson
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 01162
John Carter Cash; Sheryl Crow
Tributee: The Carter Family.
Liner Note Author: John Carter Cash.
Country musicians, be they alternative, traditional, or neo-traditionalist, never tire of singing praises to the Carter Family. Heck, even the occasional rocker will say a few kind words about the Carter legacy. With this type of enthusiasm, there's never a bad time to put together a tribute album like The Unbroken Circle. The album is packed with VIPs like Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, and Willie Nelson, and it even includes no less than three Cashes (Johnny, June Carter, and Rosanne). Despite this impressive list, The Unbroken Circle gets a very rocky start with lukewarm efforts by Jones, Crow, Harris, and Johnny Cash. Jones and Cash sound fairly rough, and Harris' outing, backed by the Peasall Sisters, is underwhelming. Crow's appearance on a country record is somewhat surprising, and perhaps it was meant to add a little pizzazz to the disc. Unfortunately, she sings "No Depression in Heaven" as though she were auditioning for Freakwater. While the album never quite recovers from this early stumble, there are bright spots after those first four songs. Marty Stuart offers a truly superb version of "Never Let the Devil Get the Upper Hand of You," filled with creepy ambience and a fine vocal, while Janette and Joe Carter's take on "Little Moses" sounds more old-time than the Carter Family. There are solid offerings by Nelson, John Prine, and the Del McCoury Band before everything comes to a crash landing with the less polished contributions of June Carter Cash and Kris Kristofferson. While fans of the artists on this compilation may want to check it out, there are better Carter Family collections (Bristol by Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice and Songs of the Carter Family by Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin), and there's always the option of listening to the Carter Family themselves. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.
Rolling Stone (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Instead of putting their own egoistic stamp on the music, all the artists let the elemental power of the songs take charge."
Uncut (p.110) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[T]he finest moments come from unexpected quarters....If you've only room for one country compilation this year, look no further."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The most moving moments come from family members..."
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Dualtone Music 01162
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