Carlene Carter says she’s been waiting her whole life to make “Carter Girl,” which finds the third-generation representative of country’s most famous family honoring her lineage through a collection drawn from the Carter Family and from mother June and aunts Helen and Anita (collectively the Carter Sisters), along with a few topical contributions of her own. Carter’s pose on the cover evokes her mother, but this isn’t meant to be a sepia-toned reproduction of those old songs. Instead, Carter brings them into her musical world — charging June Carter’s murder-suicide ballad “Tall Lover Man” with the sort of twangy, poppy, country-rock treatment that has always been the daughter’s calling card, giving an update to A.P. Carter’s “Lonesome Valley” via the soulful mourn of “Lonesome Valley 2003,” and reprising her own “Me and the Wildwood Rose” to sing her memories of time spent on the road with the Carter Sisters. This may be the best record this Carter girl has ever made. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Lonesome Valley 2003”Stuart Munro can be reached at email@example.com.