Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Carter Stanley's Eyes

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Carter Stanley's Eyes

Article excerpt

It's a flatpicking fiesta. At 18, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Peter Rowan's initiation into bluegrass heavyweights the Stanley Brothers-Carter and Ralph-arrived via an afternoon spent with Baltimore mandolinist Jack Tottle's bootleg reel-to-reel tape collection. "I was touched by the generosity of the pickers and singers and struck by Carter and Ralph's harmonies, the hardcore 'grass they gave us beginners," Rowan recalls in his liner notes to this homage to the Stanley Brothers. "I was moved by Carter's mysteriously, longing voice . . . tragic yet yearning for spiritual transcendence."

Rowan would later join Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys; he gives a nod to Carter, also a former Blue Grass Boy, on the touching original "The Light in Carter Stanley's Eyes." The mountain spirit soars on the ancient murder ballad "Hills of Roane County. …

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