The Muse's Muse - CD REVIEW: Art Carter - Freedom Rains - By JJ Biener - 12/16/2008

When I first met Art Carter, the last thing I expected to find was that he was a singer and songwriter. I was interviewing him for a computer job and our inclinations toward music didnít come up. Since we were both musicians, it wasnít long after I hired him that the subject did come up. We swapped CDs. Mine was some tracks I had recorded in my home studio. Artís was a fully produced CD called Unbound. He had recorded it in Nashville with a group of professional studio musicians.

Tracks from Unbound received airplay internationally and some even charted in disparate markets. While tracks were good, to my ear something wasnít quite right. Talking to Art I discovered the source of my discomfort. Recording the music for the tracks took most of his available time and he was left with only two days to record all the vocals.

When Art was planning for his latest release, Freedom Rains, he applied the lessons he learned from his first experience. He returned to Nashville to record the music, but he recorded the vocals later at a studio closer to home. He was able to take his time and get the tracks recorded on his own terms. His approach made all the difference, at least to this reviewerís ears.

Freedom Rains lands squarely in the contemporary Country music genre. It touches on the themes familiar to Country fans around the world. Patriotism, love, loss, faith, salvation, redemption and of course a healthy dose of misbehavior all make their appearance.

The opening track, 20 Minute Train, is about the hazards of getting caught behind a long, slow freight train. Holding On is a song of love and loss and the hope of reconciliation. I Canít Stay Good is pretty much self-explanatory, as are America, I Believe In You and Jesus And My Heart.

If the Nashville sound is what touches you, you should give Art Carterís music a serious listen. Samples of the songs from Freedom Rains can be found in the Jukebox section on Artís web site, www.artcarter.com. If you happen to find yourself in the Orlando area, check out Artís band, Nothing But Trouble, who play out around town regularly.

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