Singer/songwriter and upright bassist Melissa Carper has unveiled her brand new single “Makin’ Memories,” the first from her forthcoming album Daddy’s Country Gold, set for release on March 19th. Carper’s refreshingly unique style calls to mind greats like Kitty Wells, Billie Holiday, and Loretta Lynn, beautifully conveyed in the grooves of the album’s 12 sparkling gems. Carper enlisted fellow bassist Dennis Crouch (The Time Jumpers) and producer/engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Margo Price) to co-produce the album and bring her dream to life. Recorded live to tape at Tokic’s analog studio wonderland The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, the album features Crouch (bass), Chris Scruggs (guitar, steel guitar), Jeff Taylor (piano, organ, accordion), Matty Meyer (drums, percussion), Billy Contreras (fiddle), with guest appearances from Brennen Leigh, Sierra Ferrell, and legendary pedal steel maestro Lloyd Green. “As a dish cooked up with the spice of many talented hands, there rightfully should be a line out the door to sample this new album by Melissa Carper,” says Americana Highways in its premiere of “Makin’ Memories.” “And it’ll meet all your expectations for a classic country music with a dose of carefree humor.”
As a child, Carper, who acquired the nickname “Daddy” years ago from her bandmates for always knowing how to “take care of ‘bidness’,” would lay her head underneath the family record player as she listened to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and other greats from her parents’ collection. After a childhood spent in her family’s country band, Carper attended the University of Nebraska on a music scholarship, spending much of her time in the library devouring every Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole album she could find. Around this time, Carper’s father gifted her a full collection of Jimmie Rodgers’ recordings, which was a pivotal moment in finding her unique style of songcraft.
The wayfaring Carper soon found herself in the historic town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where she saw street performers for the first time. Busking seemed a very free and appealing endeavor, so Carper diligently learned all the old country songs she loved as a child. She soon relocated to music hubs like New Orleans, New York City, Austin, and eventually Nashville, oftentimes busking to make ends meet until gigs would come along. On the way, she founded award-winning bands like power trio The Carper Family, playing festivals and gigs across the globe, and on shows like “A Prairie Home Companion.” Carper also holds a spot in award-winning Arkansas foursome Sad Daddy, and founded roots duo Buffalo Gals with Sad Daddy bandmate and girlfriend Rebecca Patek.
Her forthcoming solo record Daddy’s Country Gold is just that – 12 glittering Carper originals of the country, western swing, and jazz variety. From the first notes of album opener “Makin’ Memories,” to the whimsical “Would You Like To Get Some Goats,” and the heart-wrenching tenderness of album closer “The Stars Are Aligned,” this lifetime of work, experience, and wanderlust culminates in a beautiful portrait of heartfelt music, written by a road-lovin’ gal who has lived these songs and spent her life playing music for folks that still love the real thing.