Roman Carter Never Slow Down

Roman Carter was born in the first half of the last century in Alabama. Like so many, he sang gospel as a child and later with two siblings formed the Carter Brothers. A house-rocking blues and soul band, they scored a regional hit back in 1966. Fast forward to 2007 and producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, R.L. Burnside’s remix projects) is working on a solo CD and brings Carter in to voice a song, which leads to Carter’s first solo release. It begins strongly with "It’s All Rite,” featuring a bluesy guitar riff riding atop a clipped drum loop. Gradually, more elements are added: acoustic slide quotes, simple bass accents, horns shots, a bit of percussion and even funkier guitar licks. This layering approach is used to compose most of the songs. What really catches your attention though is Carter’s voice; it’s raw, soulful, filled with energy yet sounds very well lived-in. Comparing the quality of his singing with Bettye LaVette’s wouldn’t be misleading. It helps that he wrote the majority of the lyrics. "W/O Love,” with its stripped down, voice-only intro, is magnificent. (Bong Load)