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Country artist Carlene Carter performing in Idaho Falls next month

Idaho Falls

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Carlene Carter is performing at the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls next month. We spoke with her ahead of her visit. Listen to our conversation in the video player above or download it below. | Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – For more than 40 years, Carlene Carter has performed in venues across the globe, but eastern Idaho is a place she loves to visit and she’s excited for her performance in Idaho Falls next month.

Carter is an award-winning country artist with a string of hits to her name, such as “I Fell in Love,” which topped the country singles and video charts in 1990. She followed it with another smash hit two years later with “Every Little Thing.”

But her musical heritage is her biggest claim to fame. As the daughter of June Carter and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, music is in her blood. She grew up on the road with her parents and her musical style developed from an early age. She tells EastIdahoNews.com her earliest memory of performing when she was just three years old.

“I go out on stage and my mom says, ‘Well hello, what do you want?’ I wasn’t supposed to come out, but I did. And I said ‘I wanna talk on that’ and pointed at the microphone,” Carter says.

The first instrument she learned to play was the ukelele and Carter started taking piano lessons when she was six. Through the years, she honed her songwriting chops before she got her first record deal in 1978 when she was just 17.

Her self-titled debut album established her as an edgy country artist, according to Rolling Stone, that “merged Nashville with contemporary rock and roll.”

Early on, Carter says she struggled to find where she fit in musically and it was Johnny Cash who gave her some advice she never forgot.

“All music is good if you’re being yourself,” he said, according to Carter. “Don’t let labels of being country or rock ever hold you back. Just be yourself. Then you are unique and can’t be held in a box musically.”

Carter’s biological father, Carl Smith, was a country artist at the top of his career during the 1950s and 60s. His song “Loose Talk” was a No. 1 hit for seven weeks in 1955. Carter pulled her dad out of retirement 40 years later to record a duet with him.

Carter has been touring with John Mellencamp for the last several years and teamed up with him for an album in 2017 called “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.” Carter put on her acting chops for a role in a touring production of Mellencamp’s southern gothic musical play “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.”

Of all the places Carter has visited, she says Sun Valley is one of her favorite stops.

“I’m usually a warm-weather person, but I decided to do something different (about seven years ago) and go somewhere snowy and beautiful (for a vacation),” says Carter.

She’s looking forward to coming back to Sun Valley for several days before her concert at the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls March 6. And she’s hoping it will be a party.

“I want all y’all to come out of your houses to have a fun night with us,” she says. “We rock like hell. It’s fun. I’ll make you laugh and hopefully, I’ll make you cry.”

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by clicking here.

LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION WITH CARLENE CARTER IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

Click here to download it.

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