Deana Carter is the daughter of famous sessions guy, Fred Carter, Jr, whose own playing has been heard encased in some of the world’s most endearing songs from many of the most known. On this album, a selection of covers that carry the stamp of her father, make up the bulk of the music. Deana Carter, a star in her own right since her “Strawberry Wine” song, takes her voice and understanding, applying them to songs that you’re very aware of, songs that you’ll recognize in a heartbeat.
On some of these songs, Deana enlists the assistance of some of the original artists. On her rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” she has Kris add vocal lines to the song in a duet. This authenticates what she does here and that spirit carries throughout the entire album. Kris’s involvement instills additional warmth to an already beautiful rendition of the song. On “The Boxer,” a Simon & Garfunkel song, she nails the mood dead on in what is the album’s most soul-touching track. The song is assisted by Fred Carter, Jr, Paul Simon (guitars), and Harper Simon (who sings with Deana on the song; Fred Carter, Jr played guitar on the original S&G song).
She does a gorgeous version of “Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” another original song that Fred Carter, Jr played on. I’m not as sold on her version of The Band’s excellent “The Weight.” She had instilled such a sense of emotion in the songs leading up to this one that it feels that it had drained here; a shame since I love the song and I really wanted to hear her connect to it as well. But she plugs back in on Jesse Colter’s “I’m Not Lisa” and convincingly proceeds through the rest of the album’s songs that include “On the Road Again,” “Good Hearted Woman,” and her excellent version of Neil Young’s “Old Man.”
There are several stunning, releasable singles here. A key to covers is in the connect; Deana Carter does that many times throughout, especially on “Old Man,” and “The Boxer.” There is a lot of heart on this album. I make no hesitation in exhorting you to pick up a copy of this gem.