Welcome to a new feature on Let’s Not Get Carried Away (title comes thanks to Robocop). I love buying vinyl, but I hate paying $20+ for it. Usually I end up in the $1 section at Amoeba. That actually works out for me because I’m a huge fan of 70s-80s folk/yacht rock and that’s what I seem to gravitate towards. So without further ado, here is our first feature.
Album: Just A Stone’s Throw Away
Why I picked it up: The cover. Those eyes. That Annie Hall type hat. The 70s era charm necklace and also her last name (was she a relative of the Carter family)
What I found when I flipped to the reverse side: A much better photo of Valerie and holy crap look at the artists on this album. Co-Producers: Lowell George (Little Feat and (Maurice White (Earth Wind & Fire), Vocalists Linda Ronstadt, Denise Williams, Musicians William Payne, Jeff Porcaro, John Sebastian, Jackson Browne…why had I not ever heard of this album?
The brief bio:
Carter is perhaps best known as a back-up vocalist who has recorded and performed with a number of singers including Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt, Christopher Cross, The Outlaws and, most notably, James Taylor.
Carter has written songs for Judy Collins (“Cook with Honey” from Collins’ 1973 album True Stories and Other Dreams), Jackson Browne (“Love Needs a Heart” from his 1977 album Running on Empty) and “Turn It into Something Good” (from Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1980 album Faces).
She has recorded six albums of her own. Her debut album came about after her band Howdy Moon broke up after one album
What the album sounds like: As you can imagine with the leaders of both Little Feat and Earth Wind & Fire it is a little all over the map. A little folk, soul and soft rock. She has a decent voice and I like the song choices but I can see why her bread and butter was in background vocals. She doesn’t seem to capture or commit to the essence of the songs. The musicians seem to overtake the vocals. One of the best tunes on the album is the Lowell George/John Sebastian song “Face Of Appalachia”
Fun Fact: Steve Winwood wrote “Valerie” about her
Worth the dollar investment?: For “Ooh Child” alone. You betcha! It was featured in the 1979 movie “Over The Edge” starring 15-year old Matt Dillon and a film Kurt Cobain described as ” pretty much defined my whole personality. It was really cool. Total anarchy.”