Stories » Regina Carter set to release 'Southern Comfort' / Oakland Press review

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Regina Carter set to release 'Southern Comfort' / Oakland Press review

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Regina Carter's impossibly varied career has spanned her time playing jazz with Straight Ahead to recording and gigging with Joe Jackson in 2012 - and she's still finding new musical territory to explore. The Detroit-born violinist and Oakland University graduate's latest album is aptly titled, taking her into a Library of Congress world of Appalachian traditional songs, spirituals, country, folk and even something that will be familiar to rock 'n' roll fans - a take on "See See Rider" modeled more on its rural roots than Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels' roaring reinvention. The gospel piece "I Moaned and I Moaned" also gets something of a rocking makeover as Carter's violin jousts with electric guitars for "Southern Comfort"'s most fleshed-out track. Carter and company lend a New Orleans flavor to her gradually building, aggressive treatment of Hank Williams' "Honky Tonkin'," and to the Cajun dance tune "Blues De Basile," while "Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy" is treated to a pretty violin-and-guitar arrangement and the Appalachian standard "Miner's Child" is driven by an urgent polyrhythm. Carter also tucks effectively into a Tex-Mex styled version of Gram Parson's "Hickory Wind," and her take on the children's song "Shoo-Rye" is both playful and provocative. It's a sweeping, down-home collection treated with otherworldly vision that expands Carter's already broad artistic résumé.