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Deana Carter – Interview

By • Jun 16th, 2015 • Category: Artist Interviews

Interview by William Simpson

Country superstar Deana Carter blasted onto the country music scene in 1996 with her smash hits “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” and “Strawberry Wine”.  She is back with a vengeance with a new blockbuster album titled “Southern Way Of Life” released on her own label Little Nugget Records.  StageShottz Magazine caught up with Carter at the CMA Music Festival after her show on the Bud Light Stage.

StageShottz Magazine: Your latest album, “Southern Way of Life” is your first studio album since 2007; did you feel an apprehension about going back into the studio and starting that process after such a long break?

Deana Carter: I had been writing a lot and I had all these songs and the main thing as a songwriter first and foremost I’m thinking I have to demo these songs so I can at least start getting them cut.  And it just kind of sprung out of that really.  And then I was like hey these are pretty good, what are we going to do next and it just all came together.  My Dad passed away and he had Nugget Records when I was little so I just revived his logo and re-trademarked it and make it Little Nugget Records and put the record out on Little Nugget because nobody on the road wanted to sign me or other artists in my boat who have a lot of success and no label.  It’s not in a lot of stores, it a real mom and pop kind of thing.  Just to do the record and doing videos for it it’s really the model now for artists to be able to reach their fans and social media.  It’s been expensive but it has paid back in spades, not really financially as much as connecting and getting out there and connecting and having a story to tell.  It’s been taxing but it’s been such a blessing too.


SSM: Tell me a little bit about album.

DC: Well all songs are written or co-written by me and I got to produce the record so I sole produced by records for well over 10 years.  I have always co-produced even from the first one so that has been awesome.  I’ve have a lot of help, great engineers, great musicians, great co-writers.  But the studio is where I grew up and that is where I am really really comfortable as a record producer.  I want to be the first girl out of Nashville producer solely without a guy overseeing it all, its way overdue.  The record itself is songs about life, things I’ve gone through, autobiographical songs.  Love songs, not so love songs, un-love songs (laughs).


SSM: You said you were first and foremost a songwriter, what is your song writing process?

DC: I absolutely draw from life experiences and I like to coin phrases.  The music always leads for me; melody is really prominent for songwriting, and being Sothern the cadence in a word.  It’s always fun to follow the melody with a lyric.  Like “Count Me In”, that was a phrase, you know, like are you coming?  Count me in I’ll be there.  Or “Did I Shave My Legs For This”, just taking our common language and putting it to music is something I really enjoy and its good for my heart.  It allows me to sing songs forever and they never lose their meaning or importance.


SSM: When you were starting out or early in your career, what is a musical experience or a show that you take with you today and look back on with fondness?

DC: Oh man, so many things.  I just met a guy that said do you remember playing this show and you came off the stage I had this infant in my arms and she’s here and she is like 17.  But those kind of things when you see the physicality of what mattered to somebody that blows my mind.  The moments like meeting my icons, every time I get to have one of these on, a backstage pass, I just think this is awesome.  When I met Bruce Springsteen was big one because I listened to him all through high school.  And I presented him with a Grammy for best folk album and that moment where I am seeing his name and it’s my secret for a second and I say his name and he’s ready to make out with me.  I was like AWESOME! (laughs).  He was so happy to see me and I know why but fir a second you can dream you know.  I went to UT in Knoxville and I graduated by the grace of God and I got back and I’m on the field at Neyland Stadium and we play with the marching band. When we played “Strawberry Wine” they marched out my name and that was one of the most special moments in my life.  More than any of my weddings (laughs).  If I don’t joke about it then life’s no fun.  Those are just the pinch me moments.


SSM: Tell me about your experience on Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid in 1994 and you were just starting out in the music business and you were the only female solo artist performing.

DC: It was amazing.  At the time I didn’t realize it, I kinda just thought I was just showing up as a favor and they would put me out there while they were setting up the stage or something.  I didn’t think I would get a spot.  We didn’t get a sound check and Willie told Kristofferson to just go out there and sing some songs, you don’t need a sound check.  When Kristofferson found out that I didn’t get a sound check he brought me to the stage.  He was friends with my family like Willie and he spent Christmas with us a couple of times.  They loved me like family and they babied me and I was loving it.  So we did a few songs and everybody roared when I did “Did I Shave My Legs For This”.  Then Kris took me out to the press tent and he said I don’t want to talk about anything but her, she’s the next big thing.  It was so sweet and that’s the kind of men they are.  To me that’s what makes them great artists, it’s all about the music.


SSM: One final question, anything else you would like the fans to know about Deana Carter?

DC: I’m mean as a snake, that’s first (laughs).  Just that I’m grateful and say your prayers, that’s it.



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