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Carlene Carter Reflects on Heritage With New Album, “Carter Girl”

As the daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, Carlene Carter is tied into one of country music’s greatest and most influential legacies, that of the Carter Family. With her new album, Carter Girl (due out Tuesday, April 8), Carlene is examining her deep musical roots.

Carter Girl features Carlene’s renditions of Carter Family songs such as “Little Black Train” (originally recorded in 1935), as well as duets with Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson and Elizabeth Cook.

Vince joins Carlene for “Lonesome Valley 2003,” an A.P. Carter song that she updated to reflect the losses of her mother, sister and stepfather Johnny Cash 11 years ago. Don Was, who worked with Martina McBride on Everlasting, served as the producer.

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

You can hear the album in its entirety before its release over at The New York Times.

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