Album Reviews

The Carter Family, John Prine, George Jones, And More

The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes And The Course Of Country Music

Artist:     The Carter Family, John Prine, George Jones, And More

Album:     The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes And The Course Of Country Music

Label:     Omnivore

Release Date:     10/16/2015

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The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes And the Course Of Country Music is Beth Harrington’s documentary about the roots of country music. In Maces Spring, Virginia, a stream at the Appalachian foothills, is where A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law, Maybelle, made careers as the first three stars of country music. This original Carter family made their mark on the history of country music, not just by playing the music but by inventing it. The documentary, as well as a companion book, act as an oral history of the Carter family’s story and how their music has shaped future generations of their own family and other country musicians.

This is the soundtrack to that documentary. According to Harrington, it “highlights the work of the Carters themselves as well as a variety of family and friends interpreting that music.” Fans will hear songs from the original Carter family performed by them as well as country music artists like George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, and of course Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash. Highlights include “Hello Stranger” by the Carolina Chocolate Drops and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Johnny Cash and the Carter Sisters.

The album contains liner notes from Harrington that describe the Carters’ story for anyone who may not have had the opportunity to see the film. There are also photos from the John Carter Cash archives. It’s an important release for anyone who loves this music, this family or the legacy of the genre.

—Brenda Hillegas

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  1. […] John Prine learned to play guitar when he was 14, and hasn’t stopped since. Prine was discovered by Kris Kristofferson in the late 1960s, and over the subsequent decades has established himself as one of the preeminent storytellers of his generation, with Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash citing him as an influence. […]