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Carter Brothers Fan Club Blog

An Interview with the Carter Brothers (Part One of Two)

Created: Saturday, 07 December 2013

As I sit here in rainy Maryland, wishing I was in Key West with the Carter Brothers this week and occasionally peeking in on their performances via the HogCam, I thought I would publish the first half of an interview I did with Danny and Tim this past spring.  Previously this was published on the Fan Club Facebook page.  Some of the questions I posed were suggested by fans around the world who sent them in via the Facebook page.  Part two of the interview will be published subsequently.

Alex Counts (AC): What’s up with the Carter Brothers Band these days?

Tim Carter (TC): We are juggling a lot of things right now.

Danny Carter (DC): This is true.

A Big Time Music Day in Key West !

Created: Sunday, 20 October 2013

With the Blues Cruise docked in Key West yesterday, everywhere you turned there was great music and tons of music lovers.  What a day for live music in this town that specializes in it.  Wow!

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For Carter Brothers Nation, the day began with our traditional luncheon mixer where the band and their fans and friends gather over a meal.  Seven times this has happened as part of a beach picnic, but on many occasions it takes place in a restaurant.  With the great Mexican restaurant Salsa Loca booked for Fantasy Fest, we went to Charlie Macs which had the advantage of being next to the Green Parrot, where Eric Lindell was playing 12pm-2pm.  So we spent 90 minutes over a meal with lots of laughter and fellowship, and then another 90 minutes taking in some great blues tunes next-door.  Yum!  Thanks especially to three members of the band who came to the lunch! (NB: Try the Turkey BLT if you eat there.)

The Triumphant Bang Bang Tour !

Created: Monday, 12 August 2013

Long before Adam Chaffins snapped this photo of Tim Carter sleeping with his banjo (!) on day two of the recently completed “Bang Bang” tour, tim sleeping with banjo smallmany of us associated with the Carter Brothers understood the special relationship Timmy had with his favorite (musical) instrument.  We knew that while he loved playing the blues/bluegrass/rock fusion music with his brother, he yearned to every so often play more pure bluegrass tunes with musicians who shared his love for the genre.  But assembling world class musicians to come together for a concentrated period to learn and perform the kind of songs that populated Tim’s breakthrough solo CD “Bang Bang,” and booking a week’s worth of gigs, and managing all the logistics, is no mean feat.  (Trust me on this one.)  So for years it remained something to merely be talked about on breaks between sets at places like the Hog’s Breath Saloon in Key West, Florida.

Rocking Key West -- October 2013 edition

Created: Saturday, 19 October 2013

It’s been a fantastic week overall for the Carter Brothers and their fans in that little corner of paradise: Key West, Florida.  The music, weather, food, and dancing have all been terrific, and these weeks give an opportunity to people who have bonded over Carter Brothers music to reunite and celebrate.  However, the fall is a busy time for many people, so the number who travelled from around the country is down a bit compared to January and June.  Especially missed are Charlie Anderson, Rhonda Skains, Peg Walton and Joan Robbins.  The only other downer this week is that Danny has been having problems with his back that have made playing a bit of a challenge (though doing so seated has helped a lot).  He has appreciated the help of many to deal with this flare up. band sm1

I watched bits of the shows at the Hog’s Breath from home the first three nights, and the set list seemed pretty standard – starting with Shelby Street and Green River, for example.  But once I got here, things got jumbled up in exciting ways.  Thursday night, the band started with “Woman at the Well” and from there played some great dancing songs that got the early arrivals for Fantasy Fest, and some Carter Brothers fans, on the floor.  It was great to see Emalyn Mercer (shown below with Dann and Adam on a break) fresh back from her trip to the Philippines related to her humanitarian work with Grameen Foundation, which I founded.  

Alicia Renner (shown below on the bench outside the Hog in between Danny and Tim) came by and she and I danced in our unique style for the first time I in a few years, and we were a bit rusty.  (Alicia is an artist and amazing photographer with a shop in Key West on Lazy Way.)  But when a tourist engaged Alica in something akin to “interpretative dance” towards the end of the second set, she asked the band to play something “fast and spiffy” before breaking, and Alicia took me out for another ride, and with “Cry Love” playing we finally got back in the groove.  Fun!  For the rest of the night, Gail Hardy was my tried and true dance partner. 

There was a big crowd for the first two sets but it dwindled a lot after 1am so the third set was cancelled.  This allowed for an extended after-party at a bar where super-fan Carolyn Guarini was working.  We had a handful of fans and the entire band minus Danny having drinks and talking about the absurdity of life (and related topics) at least until I left at 3:30am. 

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Friday night saw the arrival of several more fans, including Cindy Walker from Virginia and my wife Emily from Maryland.  We all spent the afternoon and early evening together, off and on, taking in other music including Joel Nelson at the Pier House and the “Love Lane Gang” at the Irish bar McConnells. 

The Carter Brothers got going a bit earlier than usual last night, and the first set was a mixture of great listening songs like Fatback and Waltz for Earl, and some excellent dancing songs ending with a surprising choice, “Ain’t Ever Satisfied,” which normally starts the second set.  Super fan Donna Nelson came by to dance for that one.  Donna owns the island’s best toy store (Imagination Station) which is on hiatus for one month as it has transformed into the best adult costume shop with the onset of Fantasy Fest.  For some reason, I recalled that Donna, who has become a great friend (one of dozens I have met through the band), and I offhandedly realized we both liked to dance about 5 years ago and got on the floor to “Satisified.”   The things one remembers!

Anyway, with Danny going off to the Tuna we were thinking it would be a long break, but in fact our heroes started before midnight.  They went on to play the best set of their great songs to dance to, back to back to back, which was exhilarating and tiring.  In quick succession we were treated to “Woman at the Well,” “Copperhead Road,” “Cry Love,” “Moonlit Midnight,” “Before you Accuse Me,” and much more.  Sweat was pouring down our faces but we were loving every minute of it.  Cindy Walker did a lot of damage on the dance floor until she wilted towards the end (admittedly, she had woken up at 2am in Virginia that day and not slept a wink since.)  The band sounded great despite the heat and Danny’s condition.  People in outrageous costumes occasionally distracted the band, dancers and listeners but we are on the cusp of Fantasy Fest, after all.dann ema and adam sm

The third set – the first this week since it was the only time there was a sizeable crowd after 1am – was also terrific.  It started with the classic "Mr. Spaceman" which was fun and silly, and ended with “Last Thing on My Mind” and finally a rousing version of “Sin.”  (Somehow, not having Joan Robbins and Sally Gailbraith there for "Spaceman" flet a bit strange.)  Of course, “Sin” was appropriate since after lingering at the Hog’s Breath for a while after the show ended, a small group of us headed to the Green Parrot for a final drink.  (BTW, the picture below includes Benny, a German student in town as part of a three-month "couch surfing" tour of the USA, Gail Hardy, local author Kevin May, Cindy Walker, Dann Sherrill and in the background my wife Emily in the pink top talking to Tim.)  

Today, with the onset of the best/worst of Fantasy Fest, we will gather for lunch at Charlie Macs at 12pm, and then all disperse to enjoy this great island all the music, and then reunite for one more night of the Carter Brothers Band doing their amazing thing at the Hog’s Breath.  Come join or tune via the HogCam.

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Top Ten Memories from the June Shows in Key West

Created: Sunday, 16 June 2013

Well, the Carter Brothers June shows in Key West are over, and so are their performances in Key Largo that seemed to go very well.  Following their fans who left Key West (or returned to their “normal” lives there, the band is driving back to Nashville as I write these words.  But what a week it was! 

I keep waiting for some week with the Carter Brothers Band in Key West (or anywhere else for that matter) to be a downer.  The recently completed week seemed ripe – what with the bad weather predicted (and realized early in the week) and the cancellations of plans to come to Key West by some fans around the country.  But it ended up being super-fun as always – in some ways, perhaps the best week ever (and I’ve had quite a few with the band there). 

Bang Bang Tour in Photos

Created: Thursday, 15 August 2013

Below is a supplement to my Bang Bang tour blog -- a montage of pictures with from the week (mostly from the Boone weekend).  All photo credits go to Shelly Skidmore Smith, Cindy Walker, or me.  What a great week it was!

 

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Above you see the band playing on the main stage at Boone Friday night.  Now let's move on to the campfire jam session that same night.

Enjoying Great Food and Even Better Music

Created: Monday, 10 June 2013

When two of the youngest Carter Brothers fans set off to make a sign to direct people to our seventh gathering of friends and fans on the beach, we initially thought they had misspelled a key word.  Their mini-poster read: “Carter Brothers Pignic” with an arrow pointing towards our group.  Well, by the time people contemplated the quality and amount of food that our 40+ attendees had brought (a lot of which was cooked on site), we realized that it was a PIG-NIC indeed! 

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