Carter Lancaster | Slight of Hand

Carter Lancaster’s guitar playing of his own compositions is very elaborate fingerstyle, usually with three musical things going in the top, middle, and lower register strings. Lots of drive, speed, banging and twanging and serious showy display of technique. The final tune, ”Only One Pillow”, stands out for its sensitivity, feeling and softness. “I Love the Blues” has a touch of boogie and rag. By and large, his melodies are charming. There is a sameness in touch that tends to be heavy-handed, and the tones are often harsh. Most of his compositions tend to start slow, stop, restart and stop, punctuated by a lot of body banging, emphasizing the dramatic. Makes me think of a houndog ambling off the porch, who sits, scratches himself a few time, looks about, scratches again, then takes off like hell after that rabbit, stops, scratches again, loops back, but never quite catches that rabbit. On the other hand, his work is sincere to traditions including bluegrass, folk and jazz, and the writing is generous.

Stanley Fefferman for The Live Music Report

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