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Janette and Joe Carter

Last Of Their Kind – 2004 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Janette and Joe Carter

For serious country music fans, no description of the role and influence of the Original Carter Family should be necessary. Many say A. P. Carter, his wife Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle Carter (also a cousin of Sara's) along with Jimmie Rodgers are the four most influential artists in the development of country music.

Following their breakup, millions of mainstream country fans came to know Maybelle's daughters, Anita, Helen and June through their touring (and June's marriages to Carl Smith and Johnny Cash). Lesser known, but no less dear to fans of the traditional brand of Carter music, are Janette and Joe Carter. For many years now, with help from their non-performing sister Gladys, these children of A. P. and Sara have operated the Carter Fold near Hiltons, Va., and with June's passing last year, they are indeed the last of their kind.The dozen tracks on this musical memoir (produced by June's son John Carter Cash) include Carter Family favorites like "The Poor Orphan Child" and "Kitty Waltz," as well as originals like Joe's "Through The Eyes Of An Eagle."

The production is spare and down-home as befits the simplicity and honesty that made the Carter Family household names throughout the country. A far cry from slick, modern Nashville fare, but for those with a sense of history, a lot more compelling.