Born and raised in Oklahoma, Carter Sampson will drop her fifth studio album – Lucky – October 26. Lucky features the musical contributions of Jared Tyler (dobro, vocals), James Purdy (drums), John Calvin Abney (keyboards, guitar, harmonica), Kyle Reid (keyboards, guitar, steel pedal), Luke Mullenix (bass), Jack Waters (drums, vocals), and vocal backing from Erik Oftedahl, Nellie Clay, and Ken Pomeroy.
Touring nationally and internationally, Sampson plays more than 200 shows per year. Her awards include winning the Chris Austin Song Contest at Merlefest, as well as being a Top 10 finalist at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest. In addition, Sampson is the founder and director of The Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls OKC, a nonprofit outfit empowering girls through music.
Comprising 10 tracks, Lucky opens with the title track, a compact, twangy country tune riding a tight, crisp groove. The flow of the music is rapid and colored by drawling guitars and the gorgeous tones of the dobro. Sampson’s voice is reminiscent of Dolly Parton crossed with Patsy Cline.
Along with “Lucky,” standout tracks on the album include “Peaches,” which opens with an Allman Brothers-like intro seguing into a light, upbeat country tune full of vibrant energy. Layered textures of guitar riffs infuse the tune with undulating surfaces, glossy and oozing. “Hello Darlin’” might be my favorite track on the album because of its twangy drawling harmonics and Sampson’s tender tones. The cry of the pedal steel guitar fills the song with sentimental yearning.
“All I Got” is another beautiful country tune flavored with wisps of So-Cal soft rock à la Poco, or Pure Prairie League. Sampson’s voice is nuanced with gentle intimate colors, providing luxurious emotional commitment. “Rattlesnake Kate” presents the ballad of a woman who spent her days killing rattlesnakes and conjures up memories of Paul Newman in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean because of the story’s flair and renegade flamboyance.
Permeated by the scrumptious energy of outlaw country, Lucky reflects the drawling resonance missing from most of contemporary country music. This is a must-hear album for lovers of genuine country music, the kind that’s simple, charming, and evocative.