Get this crazy baby off my head!


Valerie Carter

Valerie Carter - The Way It Is - 1996 - Unity Label Group (ULG)

After a long absence from solo work, Valerie Carter released "The Way It Is" in 1996. Following the pattern of her debut, it featured a fine selection of songs and a fine array of guest performers. The years since her previous album, Wild Child, had been spent doing much session work with a variety of artists, keeping her voice in good form. It was interesting to hear her take on songs such as Neil Young's "Birds" and Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic," and it was especially nice to hear her version of "Love Needs a Heart," a song she had co-written with Jackson Browne and Lowell George and which originally appeared on Browne's 1977 album Running on Empty. The funked-up blues-rock of "Who Is She" was a duet with Lyle Lovett, who had long admired her work. © Rob Caldwell © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved

Writing Judy Collins hit song "Cook with Honey" is just one of Valerie Carter's achievements. However, she is an excellent songwriter, having written many great songs, unheard by many people. She co-wrote four of the songs on this album, and also covers classics like Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic", Neil Young's "Birds", Tom Waits' "Whistle Down The Wind" and more. She is probably best known as a session vocalist and background vocalist for artists like Al Kooper, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne. The lady has also released some good solo albums. Valerie, in an interview in September 1999, said that, "I owe a great deal of everything that happened to Jon Lind and to my manager, Bob Cavallo. He managed Laura Nyro, the Lovin' Spoonful, and Little Feat. He handled this "candy store" full of amazingly talented people, very nice people, who were very willing to help out somebody who obviously had some talent but wasn't honed at all. Like Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire, and just a really interesting conglomerate of people. They were all there for me, some in small ways that still were huge to me, and some in very large ways. They just gave a hundred percent of themselves so I could kind of find my way. The connection with Little Feat was immediate. Lowell George, who was my mentor, introduced me to Jackson Browne, and the three of us started writing together. We had a really good ride of writing and doing some records together, and that was a great thing for me. Lowell co-produced my first record. He was always so curious about anybody and their music and what they were up to. And, honestly, I've looked back at some of the stuff I did, and I just had so much innocence and such a lack of understanding of who I was. And my voice is kind of small, you know, real shy, and I don't even know why he took up his time with me. I really don't know. I look back on it and think it was so incredibly brave of him. And if he saw something, I wasn't aware of it. I miss Lowell so much all the time, still. His family and I are very close, his wife is like a best friend, and his daughter is a wonderful, wonderful singer. So I feel close to him in some ways, and in other ways I just want him to show up with his guitar". (Don't we all? - A.O.O.F.C)."The Way It Is" is a great album of West Coast rock, soul, and folk blues, and HR by A.O.O.F.C. It may also be of special interest to Lowell George/Little Feat fans. The album includes the track "Love Needs A Heart" which was written with Lowell and Jackson Browne. Her 1977 "Just a Stone's Throw Away" co-produced by the late, great Lowell George is also a terrific album, and well worth checking out.


1 The Way It Is - Valerie Carter, Mark Goldenberg, Kevin Hunter *
2 Love Needs A Heart - Valerie Carter, Jackson Browne, Lowell George *
3 That's The Way Of The World - Maurice White, Verdine White, Charles Stepney
4 Blessing In Disguise - Tom Snow
5 Into The Mystic - Van Morrison *
6 Birds - Neil Young *
7 I Say Amen - Valerie Carter, Kathy Kurash, Tom Snow *
8 Who Is She (And What Is She To You) - Bill Withers, Stan McKenny *
9 When the Blues Come To Call - Tom Snow *
10 I Wonder Why - Tom Snow *
11 Sea Of Stars - Valerie Carter, Mark Goldenberg, Kevin Hunter *
12 Whistle Down The Wind - Tom Waits *

N.B: * Tracks on the original 10 track 1996 ULG album issue: Tracks 3, & 4 appeared as bonus tracks on later CD issues: There is also a 15 track bonus CD issue with the extra tracks, Prince's "Crazy You", Paul Buchanan's "Tomorrow Morning", and Fred Tackett's "Find A River"


Valerie Carter - Lead Vocals
James Harrah - Guitar
Mark Goldenberg - Guitar, Keyboards, Accordion
Kevin McCormick - Bass
Scott Plunkett - Keyboards, Piano
Mauricio-Fritz Lewak - Drums
Debra Dobkin - Percussion
Joe Sublett - Saxophone
Novi Novog - Viola
James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Linda Ronstadt, Arnold McCuller, Edwin McCain, Kate Markowitz, Lyle Lovett (who duets with Valerie on "Who Is She") , David Lasley, Jackson Browne, Sweet Pea Atkinson - Vocals


Possessing a voice at once adept at soul, rock, pop, and folk, Valerie Carter has had a successful career as a solo artist and in-demand backup singer. Beginning her career singing in coffee houses as a teenager, she eventually became one third of the short-lived country-folk band Howdy Moon. Though they debuted at the legendary Troubador in Los Angeles in 1974, their one album is now fairly obscure. It is notable, however, for the Carter-penned song "Cook With Honey," later a minor hit for Judy Collins, and for the introduction of Carter to Lowell George, who produced the album. He would be a mentor to her till his death in 1979 and introduce her to Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and many other artists she would work with throughout her career. Her first solo album, Just a Stone's Throw Away, featured an impressive array of guest artists from the 1970s Southern California music scene. The album was well-received and garnered favorable reviews, plus an opening slot for the Eagles in Europe. Though she released another album, Wild Child, two years later, she had all but dropped out of the music business by the early '80s. By the end of the decade she had returned, focusing primarily on singing backup on a wide variety of albums by other artists. In addition, she spent most of the 1990s touring in Browne's and Taylor's bands. With the momentum afforded her by this re-entry to the music business, Carter released her first solo album in 17 years, The Way It Is, in 1996. The excellent EP Find a River followed two years later. © Rob Caldwell © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/valerie-carter-p16322/biography


If you want to learn the facts about Valerie Carter's considerable success as a solo performer, background vocalist and songwriter, don't ask her. Oh, sure, she'll tell you that she's worked with James Taylor as a background singer dating back to 1975. She'll probably admit that she's recorded and toured over the years with a sparkling list of artists, among them Jackson Browne, Lowell George, Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles, to name but a few. If you ask, she might own up, rather reluctantly, to having written Judy Collins's 1973 hit "Cook With Honey" and to her association as a songwriter with Browne, George and others. But Valerie Carter, who's probably one of the most congenial -- and modest -- people you'll ever meet, really prefers to direct attention away from herself. Refreshingly lacking an oversized ego in a business where divas are a dime a dozen, she marvels at how everything that's happened professionally has been "completely mind-blowing" to her. Valerie's career began when she was a teenager, and success came early. With friends Jon Lind and Richard Hovey, she formed a group called Howdy Moon. The trio signed with A&M, which released their 1974 recording, Howdy Moon, produced by Lowell George (Little Feat). After Howdy Moon disbanded, Lowell George co-produced (with George Massenburg and Bob Irwin) Valerie's first solo album, Just A Stone's Throw Away (Columbia, 1977). Stone's Throw featured an all-star line-up of supporting players, including George, Linda Ronstadt, Earth, Wind and Fire's Maurice White, the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian and singer Deniece Williams on backing vocals, Jackson Browne on piano and guitar, Toto's Jeff Porcaro on drums, and Little Feat's (and one-time James Taylor band member) Billy Payne on keyboards. The LP also contained three of Valerie's compositions, two of which were written with Lowell George. A similarly stellar set of musicians joined Valerie on Wild Child, her second album (Columbia, 1978, produced by James Newton Howard) including Jeff Porcaro again on drums, singer/songwriter David Lasley on background vocals, Steve Lukather on guitar, Jim Horn on horn, and Steve Porcaro on synthesizer. Wild Child featured five of Valerie's songs (co-written with Newton Howard, Lukather, and Richard Bell). In 1996, Valerie issued another solo recording, The Way It Is (Pony Canyon, produced by Mark Goldenberg and Eddie Offord), which featured backgrounds by James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Phoebe Snow and her current fellow James Taylor backing vocalists David Lasley, Arnold McCuller and Kate Markowitz. The CD's songs were equally impressive and included "Love Needs a Heart," written by Valerie, Jackson Browne and Lowell George (a song that Browne performed on his Running on Empty record), and collaborations by Valerie with Goldenberg, Kevin Hunter, Tom Snow and Kathy Kurasch. Her last solo recording to date is Find A River (Pony Canyon, 1998), a superb five-song CD produced and arranged by Goldenberg. Known for her powerfully soulful, smoky and sultry voice -- with a range that switches from childlike innocence to a bluesy wail, often all in the same song -- she has performed and/or recorded as a background singer with Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, Nicolette Larson, Randy Newman, Neil Diamond, Aaron Neville, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Shawn Colvin, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Webb, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Anne Murray, Christopher Cross, Eddie Money, Al Kooper, Hoyt Axton, and Jimmy Webb, among many others. In 1975, Valerie met James Taylor, and she sang on Gorilla's "Angry Blues" and In the Pocket's "Family Man" and "Money Machine." (That's Valerie intoning the distinctive "money" in the middle of the latter song.) She has toured steadily with JT since 1990 and has also been featured on his last three albums (New Moon Shine, James Taylor Live and Hourglass). Valerie's tremendous musical talent is matched by her personal charm. Friendly and warm, easygoing, candid and blessed with a wry and gently self-deprecating sense of humor, she would make a great best friend. © Laura Stegman © http://www.james-taylor.com/features/carter/


2ndderangement said...


Please use the normal password which is aoofc

My soulmate P. (A.O.O.F.C.)has compiled all text used and he has asked me to post his albums. His mother has a serious illness which he must deal with first. Thank you - 2ndderangement

flyra said...

i find an all around appeal in this blog, and i follow it some years now.
i love music but i'm also human and this blog radiates a certain culture.
i have left sporadic comments, all - without exception - answered by the blog owner and i appreciate that a lot.
i'm not going to comment on the album, because there is a much more important issue - the matter of health.
i wish that everything is going to turn out all right for your mother and to have you back soon and in a good mood.
i am sure everybody following this blog is behind you in this matter and, please, just forget about answering comments and focus on your main issue.
thank you and ttu soon!

vali_nash said...

Sorry to hear about P's mother. Please tell him we pray for her and wish her fast recovery.

jeffersongenya said...

Have loved Valerie Carter since her first lp. & "Wild Child" still does it for me. The two extra tracks on this download are most welcome.
So many of your downloads I already have but use your blog for downloads for the car. Many thanks. Keep up the good work. ian

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,vali_nash. My mother is now improving. Than you very much for your kind thoughts....P

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,flyra. My mother's health is now improving. I sincerely thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I will TTU soon!....P

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Ian. I love her music also. I'm glad you like my blog. It has some good driving music! Many thanks, and keep on trucking! TTU soon...P