Carter’s Chord is, as the name implies, a musical triad of proverbial notes in perfect and beautiful harmony: three singing and songwriting sisters who were literally born into and raised on music. Becky, Emily and Joanna Robertson were blessed with music by their parents, Barny and Carter Robertson, who toured and recorded with Waylon Jennings during the height of the Outlaw movement. Now Carter’s Chord are poised to take the music they grew up on and the music they create into the future with a sisterly blend of talent, charm and voices that is sure to soon be known and loved by music fans in country and beyond.
Signed by superstar Toby Keith to his Show Dog Nashville label, Carter’s Chord is the real deal as well as the full package, multiplied times three. And it takes but a listen to their self-titled debut album, co-produced by Keith and their Grammy-winning father Barny Robertson, to know that something special if not magical has arrived on the scene.
With all three sisters trading lead vocals as well as unifying in delectable harmony, Carter’s Chord is one of those albums that captivates the ears from its first notes. With the debut single “Young Love” leading the charge with its imagery of love running like wild horses through the night, the CD’s 10 tracks — with songs written by all three sisters individually and collectively as well as a number penned by their mother (“Summer, Early 60’s”) and tunes from some of Nashville’s best songwriters — display both veteran assurance and youthful élan and innovation.
The sound of Carter’s Chord is as country as a verdant hillside and as fresh and invigorating as a sip of well water. The sisters also bring their modern musical flair to a tradition that includes Southern rock and the blues as well as Outlaw country to create a distinctive new rocking country that’s all their own, citing myriad influences like Patty Griffin, Counting Crows, Emmylou Harris, Marc Cohn, Black Crowes and a host of others. As with the best modern country music, Carter’s Chord has a widespread appeal that will have fans of popular music soon likely singing the chorus of Emily’s “Song of Blue” back to the girls themselves: “I’m in love with your music, I’m in love with your song.” And in live performance — with Joanna’s piano at the center of the sound and Emily’s acoustic guitar providing a propulsive drive — the organic talents and vocal blend as well as the considerable charms of Carter’s Chord are just as downright irresistible as the music on their album.
“The harmonies of Carter's Chord are so magical because they’re sibling harmonies with that family blend,” notes Keith.
The three Robertson sisters were born in Southern California into a household where music was the center of family life as well as both a career and the prime creative joy for their parents. “We always joke that our house was like a music conservatory,” says Emily “Someone was always playing the piano or guitar or writing a song. We also grew up in church, so we always sang in choir. And we all took music lessons at some point. And when we were little we used to put on shows for our parents and make them sit for hours after dinner listening to us sing.”
It was a tradition that began in the musical families of pianist, producer and string arranger Barny and singer Carter Robertson, who grew up not far away from each other in the Bakersfield area of California’s Central Valley. They met while playing in a country band in Los Angeles, and after they both worked on recording sessions with Jessi Colter, the couple was invited to join Waylon and Jessi on tour and became members of Jennings’ legendary band The Waylors.