This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 4/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
Linguists don't know it yet but another language is
sorrowfully on its decline--that being Carterian. To counter this will
require drastic action.
Carterian is literate yet esoteric, a resurrection of
the ancient and the discarded commingled into a brew of the current,
with sometimes a pinch of old Sumerian. Sadly, it's unlikely we will
ever experience such a joyous fusion again.
Named for its proprietor, the late Dave Carter, a select few have
merrily chosen to embrace it, usually voicing themselves in luminous
and melodic song. These adherents will fight its extinction.
But the last chapter, "Flower Of Avalon," has now been written, with Tracy Grammer as presenter and interpreter.
Revealing nine new Carter compositions, plus one other song,
release opens with the eerie "Shadows Of Evangeline." Impossible to
seems like stream of consciousness spookiness elevated by being
descriptive subject matter filtered through Dave Carter's expressive
mind. Could it be an updated coda
to the myth surrounding the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "Evangeline"
poem which features separated Acadian lovers momentarily reunited prior
to their deaths?
Despite pangs of empathy, a prospective john, overcome by reality, moves on:
"Hey Ho" and "Mother I Climbed" follow, demonstrating Carter's unsurpassed ability to serenely excoriate the oh-so-deserving. Quiet songs that cut a wide swath, in "Hey Ho," he critiques the forces that promote the values of rampant consumerism, the purchase of war toys and abusive child labor and, in "Mother I Climbed," he presents the emptiness encountered in a search for meaning via traditional pathways.
"...it's dust to ashes and wings to clay and I
check my wallet as we pull away, 'cause it's
hard to make it in this world today"
"...as a woman of heart and lenience"Phantom Doll" is Dave Carter playful and and jazzy. The only thing missing is Grammer scat singing. Dedicated to musicians bassist Byron Isaacs and drummer/percussionist George Javori, this cut is delightfully different from what one might expect.
I make liberal with my pardons
I am generous with my kindness>
he, with smiles and exultations
though he binds his wounds in silence
I my own in practiced patience..."
Long time fans will note longer than usual songs here with the
briefest inclusion lasting a few ticks over three and a half minutes. Three of
the cuts are either close to five minutes or over.
The music of Grammer and Carter best exemplify amazing grace, the spirit, not the song. Every music store should have a stand alone section labeled AMAZING GRACE, with but one offering: the music of Tracy Grammer and Dave Carter.
As the frontperson for the departed Carter, Tracy Grammer is
can be hoped for. Dedicated to keeping the music of Dave Carter alive,
Grammer has fulfilled this promise. Her interpretations and singing
here are so silky smooth and fitting that it is difficult to imagine
anyone else performing even close to comparable versions. She is that
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