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Carter's Chord

Carter's Chord – 2008 (ShowDog Nashville)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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It's unlikely Carter's Chord's "Summer Early '60s" will make country radio. But what Martina McBride did to raise awareness of domestic violence with "Independence Day," this fledgling sister trio of 20s-somethings take it to another level with a gritty, autobiographical song written by their mother about her childhood.

And give Toby Keith credit for letting the sisters - Becky, Emily and Johanna Robertson - record it. It's classic American gothic, yet melds perfectly into a 10-song debut blending Dixie Chicks-like conviction, tightly woven SHeDAISY harmonies and Taylor Swift's youthful exuberance. Keith co-produced this gem with the girls' father, renowned gospel producer Barny Robertson, who along with wife Carter belonged to Waylon Jennings' band the Waylors in the 1970s. From the Waylonesque opening riff on the sassy "Boys Like You (Give Love a Bad Name)" to Johanna's mellow "Goodbye Song," this album never lets up. The sisters co-wrote the bluesy "Different Breed" then add the bouncy "When We Get There" and the country shuffle "Dear Baltimore."

They'll be compared with the Chicks, but country hasn't heard anything like Carter's Chord before. With the Outlaw movement and southern rock in their blood, Carter's Chord strikes a unique note indeed.