Carlene Carter with John Mellencamp

Saturday • Aronoff Center

click to enlarge Carlene Carter
Carlene Carter

Mother Maybelle Carter was a member of the Carter Family, whose infamous 1927 recordings in Bristol, Tenn., (along with Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Alfred Reed and others) brought Country music to the masses. Later in life, Maybelle would record and tour with her daughters, including June, who would go onto marry Johnny Cash.

Before June Carter Cash wed the Man in Black, however, she was married to Carl Smith and they had a daughter named Carlene Carter. Carlene, a longtime acclaimed musician in her own right, is currently opening for John Mellencamp on an extensive tour, which hits Cincinnati this weekend.

In 1978, buoyed by a historic musical lineage — a famous and sweet mother, iconic stepdad and a legendary-yet-cool grandmother in Maybelle (who listened to Southern Rock like the Allman Brothers Band in later years) — Carlene put out the first of many albums, a self-titled effort for Warner Bros. Since then, Carlene’s recordings have varied from Country Rock fare to ’80s New Wave (with an assist by her husband at the time, Nick Lowe) to more mainstream Country sounds.

Carlene’s latest album is 2014’s Carter Girl. On it, she finally and fully embraces her family history, offering 10 Carter Family songs while mixing Country with Rock and Blues influences. Produced by Don Was, the project also features guests like Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Jim Keltner, Greg Leisz, Elizabeth Cook and Kris Kristofferson.


CARLENE CARTER plays at the Aronoff Center Saturday, Jan. 24. Find tickets/more info here .

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