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Regina Carter’s musical career mirrors personal journey

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Monday October 13, 2014

From Centre Daily Times

‘Southern Comfort’: Regina Carter’s musical career mirrors personal journey
By: Kecia Bal

If people look deeper — or listen closer — they may discover shared roots tangled among the soulful songs of the American South.

That’s one of the messages behind Regina Carter’s recent albums — and one she hopes audiences at the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State hear when she brings her sound to State College.

Carter, a jazz violinist known for her ability to weave stories and a mix of backgrounds — jazz, Motown, swing, funk and world music — into her songs, opens the center’s season with a show Sept. 25 at Schwab Auditorium. Audiences can expect to hear jazz standards mixed in among her newest pieces from her Sony Music Masterworks debut album “Southern Comfort” the result of an exploration into the folk tunes and tales her paternal grandfather might have heard as he labored in Alabama coal mines. Carter said she changes the lineup for each show, sometimes even mid-show, depending on the vibe she feels from the audience.

“I am presenting some music I know a lot of people have never heard,” she said. “But there are people who do know some songs. I play a song called ‘Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy.’ I’ve had so many people stop me and say my mother or my grandmother sang that to me but she didn’t use those words. She had other words. I found another rendition at the Library of Congress. This is the one I remember that my grandmother would sing.”

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