MusicRowPics: Deana Carter

Deana Carter visit

Deana Carter visit

Deana Carter visited the MusicRow office yesterday (Feb. 27) to perform songs from her album Southern Way of Life (Little Nugget Records). After a six-year hiatus, Carter returns with a considerable arsenal of new songs, all wrapped in her distinctive, honeyed vocal.

Carter has lived in Los Angeles over the past few years, writing songs for television and films. She still managed to launch a No. 1 song on the Country charts, with “You And Tequila.” “Alicia Pruitt called me and I got signed to Warner/Chappell [Music Publishing], and we did nearly three years of publishing and songwriting,” she says. “You and Tequila” was co-written with Matraca Berg and recorded by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter.

Southern Way of Life is released on her own Little Nugget Records, which is a tribute to Nugget Records, the independent label imprint her father, Fred Carter, Jr., once owned.

Carter performed the project’s gorgeous and honest first single, “Do Or Die,” accompanied only by her miniature Taylor guitar. “When I wrote this, I was sitting on the kitchen floor, praying and asking, ‘What’s going to happen? Do I need to do something else, or go back and get a graduate degree?’ The shows were becoming fewer at the time, and I just started putting my thoughts and worries and feelings into my music. Not long after the time I wrote this song, I got the Kenny Chesney cut, and that fueled this project.”

She followed up with the clever “I Know Better,” which was co-written with Anne Preven in Los Angeles. “About half the album was written in Los Angeles, and half was written in Nashville,” says Carter. She reports that she has enough song material for two additional albums.

Carter finished with the confident and carefree “That’s Just Me,” co-written with Kacey Musgraves. “We wrote it in about an hour, and it was our first time writing together. She had her guitar and it was on this opening tuning that I loved. I threw out the line about the blown out light bulb on the cafe sign, and it just went from there.”

She says living in Los Angeles has given her a good look at the vibe in the California city since the launch of the ABC show Nashville. “They are clamoring to be around people from Nashville. In Los Angeles, they don’t have the singer-songwriter guitar pulls that are so common in Nashville,” she says. “Where the songwriter just plays the song, stripped down, without a synth or other type of music. Where you can sit down and convey a message in a song and people are mesmerized.”

Carter reported that she has co-writes in Music City set for the coming months, and that she is considering a more permanent move back to Nashville. She finished her acoustic set with her signature 1996 hit, “Strawberry Wine.”

Photos by Kelsey Grady.

 

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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