The Carter Family

Country and Folk Roots

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This collection has few of the songs that are generally associated with the Carter Family, although given A.P. Carter's penchant for choosing classic Appalachian folk songs and gently tweaking the arrangements, the template for what they accomplished was unchanging, so this set remains characteristic even if it lacks "John Hardy," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Wildwood Flower," or "Keep on the Sunny Side." The Carter Family undoubtedly saved countless songs from oblivion, and songs like "Coal Miner's Blues," "No Depression," "Engine 143," and "The Little Black Train" can have their survival into the 21st century traced to the versions presented here. What keeps this from being a good introduction to the Carter Family is the almost total lack of annotation, and with so many other collections of country music's first family available, that's reason enough to look elsewhere.

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