Wook Kim
June 27, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Can the Circle Be Unbroken: Country Music's First Family

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Columbia/Legacy
genre
Folk

We gave it an A

Even a half century after they cut their last record, it’s almost impossible to overstate the influence of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara, and her sister Maybelle: They did it first; they did it best. On ”Can the Circle Be Unbroken: Country Music’s First Family,” just listen to Maybelle’s astonishing guitar work and A.P.’s haunting baritone on ”My Clinch Mountain Home” and try not to imagine the somnolent magic of a backwoods hollow, a freshly washed gingham dress, the dusty grit of a lonely country road. Spare, spiritual, and unsentimental — a tonic for our times. A

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