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Little Blue Egg

Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

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Album Review

In one sense, singer/songwriter Dave Carter is destined to remain one of those tragic what-ifs of the music world, passing away far too soon and leaving admirers of his work to wonder what else he might have accomplished if only he'd stuck around a little longer. At the same time, however, the five albums he released with partner Tracy Grammer during his lifetime are a treasure trove of tunes; some have been recorded by the likes of Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Chris Smither, and Joan Baez. The posthumous release Little Blue Egg adds one more album to Carter and Grammer's already impressive legacy. It consists of home recordings made between 1997 and 2002, and brings to the world a previously unheard batch of tunes from Carter's pen, which is no small thing. People have often wondered why Carter & Grammer didn't break through to a bigger level of success, but honing in on these intimate recordings, one possible reason suggests itself. The fact is that Carter's voice, while tuneful and pleasant, wasn't a particularly commanding one. As great as his songs are, his delivery doesn't demand attention to them. Grammer's harmonies and occasional lead vocals help a bit on that front, though, and when it comes down to it, none of these songs require any kind of hard sell. The duo's cover of "Way Down Yonder in the Minor Key" — a Woody Guthrie lyric put to music by Billy Bragg — is listenable, but it's Carter's compositions that put the asses in the seats, so to speak, and we get ten of those here, all top-notch. Like Leonard Cohen, Carter is sometimes at his best when he's tapping into something spiritual, and the almost hymnal quality of "Any Way I Do" makes it a standout, while the plaintive, poetic lament "Hard to Make It" displays the kind of superpowered songwriting that cemented Carter's legend. As sad as it may be that he'll never write another tune, it's an unexpected little miracle that we've got another Carter & Grammer album. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A gem of a CD

When a person mines in the back rooms of life you find Billy Bragg CD you've forgotten about or a Johnny Cash LP you got at an auction, Tracy Grammer finds old mix tapes and turns them into a gem of a CD we can all share. All you need to know that there isn't a single song that you won't want to listen to several times. Thank you Tracy for sharing it.

The Voice of Dave Carter lives on-Thank You Tracy

How do write a review to a collection that featurea a voice that left us 10 years ago ? When that voice is Dave Carter it's really not that hard. Althought Dave may not be with us in a physical body his spirit embodied in the wonder of his lyrics will never leave us. Ten years after his passing both vereran folf artist and newcomers still sing his songs in live gigs and recordings. topping that list is long time partner / soulmate / collaborator Tracy Grammer who's live gigs spread those songs to longtime fans and new people that may be unfamillar to those songs it's also Tracy who we can thank for "Little Blue Egg" she happen to stumble on tapes lying around that turned out to be recordings, outtakes, alternate arraingments of Dave Carter music. This collection is a gem feauring 11 tracks 10 written by Carter with one cover "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" a Woody Guthrie , Billy Bragg collaboration. Throughout the CD Dave Carter vocals are front and center supported by Tracy accompaning vocls but never stepping on Dave's toes at any point but making it clear that without her vocals Dave would be riding a bicycle built for two on his own but those lyrics are so in sync that if you did not know better you would think he were riding a unicycle. Tracy does get her chance on lead vocals too after all it's Dave Carter and tracy Grammer not Dave Carter w/ Tracy Grammer> There is a haunting feel with Dave's banjo & Tracy's violin" Gypsy Rose" has always been on of my favorite Dave Carter songs and the arraingment here with a chilling banjo as starkas any version to date. There appears to have been much efford but into the track sequencing as each song flows and hands off to the other in a gentle and graceful way "Better Way" flows to "Hard Edge of Livin" to "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" Do youself a favor download "Little Blue Egg" You Will Love It

Amazing, as always

Maybe I was nervous that maybe this album wouldn't be quite as good as I hoped - I shouldn't have worried. God, it's good to hear Dave Carter. Not a bad track in the mix. (Personally, I'm thrilled that Gypsy Rose is on this album, and that I get to hear Dave sing it.)

Customer Ratings

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