PUBLISHED IN THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1998

 

 

 

WHO: Deana Carter with Alan Jackson

 

WHERE: Copps Coliseum

 

WHEN: Saturday, October 3. 8:00 p.m.

 

TICKETS: $29.50 at the Copps Coliseum and Hamilton Place box offices, or by calling TicketMaster at 645-5000.

 

By Nick Krewen

Special To The Spectator

 

 

DEANA CARTER is stoking the winds of change on her new album Everything's Gonna Be Alright, and those who loved the Nashville country approach of her multi-platinum Did I Shave My Legs For This? may be in for a bit of a shock.

On a few of the songs on Everything's Gonna Be Alright, due for release October 20, Carter rocks.

Hard.

But the 33-year-old Nashville native offers no apologies.

"I didn't want to try to recreate the first album, because that came at a particular point of my life," Carter explained recently during a promotional visit to Toronto.

"I wanted to be as honest with myself musically as I was the first time around. As we dug a little deeper, more of my different genres and backgrounds of music came through, as did my love for the groove.

"The groove is essential to music. It's got to be there. So my love of that, combined with the country elements and the '70s overtones that I grew up with, and two more years of security and comfort and experience and confidence, is what we poured into the album."

The loud guitars will probably turn as many heads as Carter's funky remake of the 1968 MELANIE hit "Brand New Key", but the sexy, spunky blonde stands by her achievement.

"I think it's a great piece of work," Carter states, her soft, feminine Southern accent glowing with pride.

"I'm just really proud of it. It's my blood and guts. It's like giving birth."

For the record, Deana Carter has never given birth, though she'd eventually like to have kids some day with her musician husband CHRIS DiCROCE.

"Chris is Italian. You talk about kids and he turns white as a sheet," she laughs. " We do want to have kids. I really do. I know he does too, he's just a little scared to admit it. But I don't know when. I'm 33, and that clock is ticking, and it's just hard to figure out because I'm in love with this album, too.

"I want to do a worldwide release with this so that means traveling a lot, and putting the time into it, so you're looking at least at another year-and-a-half before you can even think about family. Then our schedules are so sporadic that it would take an act of God for that even to happen. And I don't want to be pregnant on New Year's Eve in 1999 because I want to go have fun! "

Carter shrugs, and then smiles.

"But you know, I prayed about my husband coming to me, and that worked out great. I prayed about my career, doing the right things for the right reasons, and that has been very fulfilling. I pray about the kids thing too, and I think that'll come when it does."

Deana Carter would be the first to admit that it's taken a lot of Divine Intervention to get her this far. Not that she didn't deserve the success of selling four million copies of Did I Shave My Legs For This? in the U.S. and an additional 400,000 copies here in Canada, but there were a lot of detours and speed bumps along the way.

Carter's first exposure to music was as a child. Her father, FRED CARTER JR., was Nashville's premiere session guitarist in the late '60s and '70s after spending time as a charter member of RONNIE HAWKINS' HAWKS.

"I remember standing in my den, looking up at a guy tuning his guitar and going, 'Man, that's a weird name. GORDON LIGHTFOOT. Is that your real name?'"Carter chuckles.

She initially tried for her own recording deal at 17, but as the rejections piled up she began searching for another career.

Disgusted by her grandmother's poor living conditions at a nursing home, Carter enrolled at the University Of Tennessee for a Bachelor of Science Degree as a rehabilitation therapist for stroke and head injury victims.

Six years later, she graduated and worked at the Tennessee Christian Medical Centre. Carter lasted only a year.

"I had a patient die, and I couldn't take that," she explains.

A succession of odd jobs ranging from waitressing to toilet scrubbing eventually led back to Carter knocking on Nashville record company doors. Liberty -- later Capitol Nashville -- answered with a contract in 1991.

A different version of Did I Shave My Legs For This? was originally released in Europe, and for a while it looked as though the album was never going to see the light of day. A few facelifts later, and Did I Shave My Legs For This? was out in '95, propelled by such hits as "Strawberry Wine" and "We Danced Anyway", transformed Deana Carter into a country superstar.

No matter how many stages she performs on or how many songs she records, Carter says a facet of her career as a therapist remains with her today.

"One thing specifically is family orientation," she explains. "When you have to sit as a therapist and explain an illness that their loved one has that they might never get over, that is incredibly difficult. You're having to break some pretty tough news to people that they don't want to hear, and that is hard. That's something that changed my life. It makes you deal with the facts.

"It stuck with me, because no matter what, it's not going to do any good for me to smooth it over. That's why I hate it when people try to make things work a little better than they really are, or when they don't explain the whole scenario to me. People trying to save their own ass by not being honest just makes it ten times worse."

The family connection between father and daughter is also noted on the title track of Everything's Gonna Be Alright.

"I wanted it to be the title of my record because it's a song that my Dad wrote when I was little," Carter says. "I was probably in kindergarten or younger when it was written, and it's such a positive message for our family for a lot of different reasons.

"It's always been this little silent anthem that we've all loved, all of us. It helped my aunt get through about 15 years of breast cancer, and although she eventually passed away, it was such a little beacon for us.

"It really says a lot for everybody. Everything's going to be all right, people. Do the best you can do, for yourself and for other people. That's what this album represents."

The 33-year-old Nashville singer and songwriter will preview selections from the new album Saturday when she appears at Copps Coliseum as the special guest of ALAN JACKSON, the native of Newnan, Georgia who has recently released his own brand new album, High Mileage.

Overshadowed in county music stature only by GARTH BROOKS and GEORGE STRAIT, Jackson's heartfelt, honest songs and traditional flavors should provide a strong contrast to Carter's contemporary flavor.

A trait Carter shares in her music with Jackson is sincerity, and she hopes her fans pick up on that distinction.

"I want them to know that I'm proud to wear my heart on my sleeve," says Carter. "I don't think that's such a bad thing.

"I want to be an example that says honesty is okay, and feelings are good. We don't have to grow up masking what we really want to be."

 

-30-

 

DISCOGRAPHY

1995 -- Did I Shave My Legs For This? -- Capitol

1998 -- Everything's Gonna Be All Right

 

COLLABORATIONS

1998 -- Various Artists, Touched By An Angel -- The Album -- Columbia

1998 -- Various Artists, Hope Floats

 

CONTRIBUTIONS

1999 -- Paul Brandt, That's The Truth

 

#1 HITS

1996 -- "Strawberry Wine" (2 weeks)

1996 -- "We Danced Anyway" (2 weeks)

1997 -- "How Do I Get There"

 

AWARDS

1997 -- Single Of The Year, Country Music Association - "Strawberry Wine"

1997 -- Song Of The Year, Country Music Association -- "Strawberry Wine"

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