Bio - Carl Carlton
The long-awaited live double CD of Carl Carlton is there: read about the jubilant concert tour with songs and stories from the life of the exceptional guitarist. Please go on and join this musical roadmovie …
»Woodstock & Wonderland Live«
The winters on Langeoog are dreary. “Easy Rider” is running in the island cinema, and Karl Buskohl, a pupil of the nearby boarding school, sits in the auditorium. We write the year 1969, and Karl sees how Wyatt aka Peter Fonda takes off his watch and throws it into the dust before he bumps with his pal Billy onto the highway and run off on their bikes towards New Orleans … He hears – beside many other classics from this cult movie – the Robbie-Robertson composition “The Weight”, a song that deeply moves him and never lets go.
48 years later – Karl Buskohl has long since turned into Carl Carlton – one can find a congenial adaptation of this famous The Band title on Carlton’s long awaited double CD “Woodstock & Wonderland Live”, review of the jubilant concert tours “Spirit Of Woodstock” as well »Songs & Stories – Spirit Of Wonderland«. These live performances 2015/2016 lured fans from Kiel to Kitzbühel in clubs and halls and led music critics to acclamation storms. “The life story plays it,” the newspaper in Nürnberg said. “Heldenplatz”, Andrian Kreye from the Süddeuschen wrote a report on how he joined the professionals as an amateur saxophonist in the “Freiheiz” in Munich and had a memorable evening.
Carl Carlton does not have to be imagined. The “man who, with his 1.98 East Frisian meters, embodies a pirate-like archetype of the rock guitarist who can throw the rebelling of Woodstock with a jolt from the wrist” (SZ), has long been Germany’s most famous guitarist, rock musician, producer, singer / songwriter and “Sidekick”. Moreover, Carlton’s network branches far to England and America. First the young artist changes from Friesland to Holland, plays “Gitaar” with the Arnhem rock’n’roll band Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers and later also with the enfant terrible of the NL scene, Herman Brood. After earning a reputation as guitarist with Manfred Mann, Eric Burdon, Joe Cocker and Willy DeVille in England and America, he became active again in Germany in the early ’80s. First with the panic Udo Lindenberg, in the consequence for all, who here officially rock: Maffay, Niedecken, Westernhagen. Especially important for Carlton is the meeting and work with Robert Palmer and Levon Helm. He does not only have a deep friendship with the former, he also writes and produces with him, among other things the Grammy nominated blues album “Drive”. Palmer also gives the impetus to Carlton’s solo career. Levon Helm, legendary The Band drummer, is a fatherly friend and a creative beacon to Carl until his death. In Helms’s mysthumed studio barn The Barn in Upstate New York the “Woodstock” concert series shapes and from the individual musical puzzles a coherent biography grows, the life of Carlton in the form of Songs & Stories.
The live double CD is now a collection of seventeen tracks, including own material from the 2014 album “Lights Out In Wonderland”: “Moonlight In New York”, “Little Men In The Radio”, “Invincible” and the personal Best Of by Carlton from all the years on the road and on stage. These include Warren Zevon’s “Mutineer,” Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” the Willie-Dixon-Howlin-‘Wolf-Blues “Little Red Rooster”, the melancholic Ronnie Lane Eric Clapton composition “Annie” or “Cissy Strut,” a signature song by the radio pioneers The Meters, “Sailin ‘Shoes” from the ever-underrated Little Feat or Dylan’s century song “The Times They Are A-Changin”. This is evidence of exquisite taste, but how, does one ask, does it all fit together? Rock, Blues, Funk, Folk, Bluegrass? It is because Carlton and his team-mates not only master their craft perfectly (!), but because they interpret all these songs cleverly – as parts of a story, a cosmos called Rock’n’Roll. One can hear – and wonder – how Carlton slides the chords with “Little Red Rooster” as Pascal Kravetz breathes or stutters the organ, how he shines on the piano, and how bassist Yoyo Roehm and drummer Wayne P. Sheehy for all the solo excursions create a rhythmic foundation. The stories Carl had so sympathetically told were dispensed with. What goes live would go beyond the scope “on record”. For this, they give the songs the time to develop themselves, to play them out – for example with the title of the Joni Mitchell play “Woodstock”, which runs at the start for a good ten minutes and is not a second too long. Because it is exactly the feeling that made the concerts so magical. It’s like sitting in Levon’s barn and witnessing how such masterpieces are being created. The rocking, the breathing, the hisses and sparkles, that is real live!
Shortly before the end of the sumptuous concert record, Carlton & Co. are serving a very special piece of jewelery “Toast To Freedom” written in 2011 for the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International by Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan) and Carl and with a multi-headed all-Star band (Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Donald Fagen, Taj Mahal …). Here, the song develops all its radiance and meaningful power up to the gospel-like finish. “Encore Encore” – and then they will end with “Good To Be Alive”, a worn show stopper with wonderful choirs, pearly pianist songs and a brilliant Carl Carlton.
If you want to have more after this journey through the rock history, the current concert dates should be red in the calendar. In March it is going on again, this time under the motto »From Tobacco Road To Graceland«. The rock archaeologist Carlton will leave the roots of modern pop music and, thanks to a clever song selection, make the story heard from Tobacco Road to Graceland. This has nothing to do with the tranquility of the room. Clear, quiet sounds, folksy simplicity, a good mood and great fun in the hot stories Carlton knows about his encounters with the greats of the rock world, but also a lot of rock, pressure and steam.
The two “newcomers” in the line-up: “Bass God” Wyzard, bourgeois Jerry Seay, co-founder of the legendary funk rock band Mothers Finest and drummer Dion Murdock, known for his collaboration with the band. Last but not least, Pascal Kravetz is also on the list, keyboards extraordinaire, musical all-rounder, companion of Peter Maffay, Udo Lindenberg, Robert Palmer, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Barnes and Carl’s longtime friend.
»Woodstock & Wonderland Live« (Label: Staages Music / Distribution: Cargo Records) is the shortest and most entertaining way to the next Carl-Carlton concert in a concert hall of your choice.