Art Carter "Freedom Rains" - Write-up - Orlando Sentinel - Friday, Jan. 16, 2009 - Jim Abbott

Traditional country

On the other end of the spectrum, but still on the desk, here's the CD by Orlando country singer Art Carter.

I've been telling him to call me when he has a gig, and now he has a good one. Carter and his band, Nothing But Trouble, are opening for country legend Loretta Lynn on Saturday at Silver Springs in Ocala.

Carter will be doing songs off his independent release, Freedom Rains, music that has earned him a positive mention in Country Weekly magazine.

It's traditional-sounding country that ranges from catchy honky-tonk tunes such as "I Can't Stay Good" to patriotic and religiously steeped anthems such as "America, I Believe in You" and "Jesus and My Heart."

The latter category goes way too close to Lee Greenwood for me, but the less heavy-handed stuff is not without its charms.

It's the second release from Carter, who learned a lesson from his first attempt.

"We took our time on it," says Carter, who recorded the tracks at Studio 19 in Nashville, Tenn., and did mastering at Walker Studios in Orlando.

"I wrote a lot of the songs based on life experience," Carter says.

"20 Minute Train" was inspired by the delays that Carter experienced at a railroad crossing on Michigan Avenue. Origins of some others are more serious.

"America I Believe in You," of course, is rooted in the war.

"Because of the things going on in the world, we've got soldiers in different places sacrificing," Carter says. "So it was like, 'What can I do to contribute in some way to giving something back to this great land we live in.' "

The challenge now is for Carter to find an audience for his songs. Freedom Rains is available online at cdbaby, iTunes and Amazon.

"All these little things you learn the hard way open doors," Carter says, a line that ought to have a song title in it somewhere. "I'm just seeing where all this goes and hoping it'll generate enough money that I can keep on doing it."

Jim Abbott can be reached at 407-420-6213.