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Valerie Carter Trio 

Sunday, August 29, at Nighttown.

Valerie Carter was a lovely folk-rock thrush of the '70s, beloved of Lowell George, contemporary of Nicolette Larson and Karla Bonoff. Like Larson and Bonoff, but unlike fellow George disciple Bonnie Raitt, Carter never quite established herself as a solo artist. Perhaps she was ahead of her time. Rangy of voice and lovely of face, she delivered a notable album in 1977, Just a Stone's Throw Away, produced by Little Feat mainstay George with help from Earth, Wind & Fire kingpin Maurice White.

During the '70s and '80s, Carter worked a lot of background gigs, including high-profile stints with James Taylor and Jackson Browne. Her 1978 album, Da Doo Rendezvous, didn't generate the buzz of Stone's Throw, and she dropped out of sight as a solo artist until 1996, when she released The Way It Is, featuring longtime associates like Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett, and Taylor.

Google Carter and you'll find that her website is on hiatus. But her albums are largely available, and if memory serves, Just a Stone¹s Throw Away is as aurally toothsome as ever. She's made money as a background singer, and she wrote "Cook With Honey" for Judy Collins, which has brought in some cash over the years. Carter released Vanilla Grits (an anthology) and Midnight Over Honey River (Japanese only) in 2001 and 2004. Her site may be down, but she's clearly not out.

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