Carlene Carter has been releasing music for almost four decades. The daughter of June Carter Cash and country star Carl Smith, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, and granddaughter of “Mother” Maybelle Carter, she is the embodiment of the Carter Family in the 21st century. Carlene started her career singing with The Carter Family at 17. With the 1978 release of her self-titled debut album, having recorded it in England with Graham Parker’s band The Rumour, she established herself on the edgier end of the country music spectrum. When Maybelle Carter died later that fall, Chet Flippo wrote in Rolling Stone that she “lived to see her granddaughter Carlene merge Nashville with contemporary rock and roll.”
Her most recent album, Carter Girl, is a collection of Carter Family songs and originals inspired by her family. Carlene spent much of the last few years on the road with John Mellencamp on his Plain Spoken tour as a supporting act and joining him on stage nightly to perform duets. She also played a role in the touring production of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the Southern Gothic musical written by Stephen King and Mellencamp.
Carlene Carter is an incredible performer and masterful storyteller. You might have seen her on Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music. Now see her live!