Album Review: Carter Sampson – Lucky

The whimsical portrait on the cover of this new album from Carter Sampson appears to show a woman comfortable with the world. Sure, she holds a horseshoe for luck but she’s not wishing for endless riches or anything outrageous like that. Her smile suggests she’s counting her blessings and appreciating the life she has right now. The music on ‘Lucky’ reflects this peaceful contentedness, with its warm and inviting country sound.

We start with the title track where Sampson does indeed declare herself to be Lucky, even if she ain’t got much it’s enough. Musically the song has a quiet understated country twang that will define the style on this record. The theme continues on Anything Else to Do where she celebrates the simple life – her dreams don’t usually come true and she’s lucky to even be alive really, let alone in love. She hopes her lover will also appreciate what they have, Love me like you ain’t got anything else to do, she sings hopefully. Peaches then takes us back to her roots, inspired by her childhood.

The little waltz of Hello Darlin’ is one of the most delightful love songs I’ve heard all year. I’ve been waiting for you for so long, she sings with joy and a sympathetic understanding of loneliness. All I Got contemplates mistakes and understands how achievements don’t mean much unless you can look yourself in the eye and know you’re a good person. The sweeping drums and quiet country tinged instrumentation make this song really come to life. Wild Ride doesn’t really live up to its title musically, since it’s actually a mild and pleasant acoustic song, but it’s an honest look at her relationships.

An important characteristic of folk and country music is telling tales from the past, keeping stories alive and none are more dramatic than the one she sings about on Rattlesnake Kate. The song tells us of the day in 1925 when Kate Slaughterback took her child down to the lake and ended up fighting off 140 snakes singlehandedly. She then made a dress and shoes out of the skin of her attackers, wearing them with pride. And isn’t that just the most perfect metaphor for what women have to do to survive in this world? An outlaw with no fear, who takes no shit is exactly the kind of feminist hero the world needs to hear about right now, so kudos to Sampson for celebrating her in such a great song.

The last track is a cover of Shell Silverstein’s Queen of The Silver Dollar, which is a favourite in her live sets and this honky tonk bar song is a perfect way to finish such a quality collection.

Sometimes in life you make your own luck, so pick up this album from Carter Sampson and you will surely be rewarded.


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