Various Artists
"The Unbroken Circle"
The Musical Heritage Of The Carter Family
by Johanna J. Bodde


"The Unbroken Circle
(The Musical Heritage Of The Carter Family)"
(Dualtone Records)

John Carter Cash, the only son of Johnny and June, has presented himself as the keeper of the musical family heritage. He produced a beautiful album honoring The Carter Family, a well-deserved honor, as Alvin Pleasant Carter and the cousins Sara and Maybelle left an indelible impression on the music world, from the thirties when the original recordings were made, until this very day. All kinds of famous singers and musicians have cited A.P.'s songs and Mother Maybelle's distinctive guitarplaying as their source of inspiration.

So we find on this CD, besides all the talented family members & friends who are playing A.P.'s works, a few less obviously related artists. Sheryl Crow for example, who seems to feel completely at home with this sound, just like Shawn Colvin, accompanied by Earl and Randy Scruggs. Johnny Cash himself sounds a bit tired but his voice is otherwise fine in "Engine One-Forty-Three", that he also sang in 1964 already, although the recording stayed on the shelf until the release of the LP "Tall Man" in 1979. We hear June Carter Cash in a song that was recorded at home in Maces Springs, Virginia and Rosanne Cash in a beautifully performed "The Winding Stream", while her former brother-in-law Marty Stuart took care of an ominous arrangement for his genuine murderballad. John Prine is another highlight with that nice & pithy played "Bear Creek Blues". Kris Kristofferson closes off, with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band including John McEuen.

A selection of songs, from known all over the world to never heard before, there's a booklet in sober colors with a few very old pictures of The Carter Family: John Carter Cash did a very professional job, from A to Z!

Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.