Love, heartbreak, redemption, forgiveness and passion are just the few of many words that culminate Lloyd Carter’s life. Growing up in a small-town leaves little room to hide these traits from others. But for this Georgia bulldog, being in the Bible Belt introduced him to his favorite outlet, music. Over 30 years of songwriting experience, Carter shakes up the country music world with his debut album Nothing to Lose.
A dynamic record that shares Carter’s experiences in life as well as the lives of his band members. Through this journey, Carter blends traditional and new age country music to produce a sound that’ll leave his contemporaries envious.
Kicking off the record, Carter injects listeners and hardcore traditionalists with his Conway Twitty inspired track “Nothing to Lose”. The self-titled track is where the record begins its storytelling of love from different perspectives. From this viewpoint, Carter expresses the provocative nature of love and its power. All the while his gravelly voice and bluesy electric guitar exasperate the effect of it on others. When asked on who the song’s about Carter said, “This song is about a good old boy from Tennessee that gave it all up for a awesome girl down in the Louisiana Bayou.” Of course, you wouldn’t need to analyze the lyrics too much to follow along with the story. Carter puts the message plainly with the track’s laidback style on its drumming and serenading guitar power chords.
Lovers of the classic style of country will appreciate what Carter brings to his music. However, he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to introducing the “modern” sounds of country music. Carter expresses his versatility with sound in the tracks “That Baby Will Run” and “When We Say Goodbye”. These pop influenced tracks continue the trend of examining love and how others have experienced it. This makes the record even more dynamic as we go from falling for someone to parting ways bittersweetly. Carter shows this dynamic with his styles blend complete with cascading drums and a harsher guitar tone. The blunt lyrics only add fuel to the fire on what was previously a feel-good relationship to a “never again” ending of another.
Carter’s age and family man influence are reflected in the tracks “Better Days” and “His Last Chance”. It’s here that Carter becomes a “Mr. Miyagi” kind of teacher and offers advice on what to do when romance shapes your life. At the same time, he showcases his vocal chops as he drives both tracks with a power ballad force. The Gospel upbringing of singing in small churches with his family is heard in these tracks. From the subtlety of the piano to his soulful voice that hits every note with clarity and grace.
This record offers a little something for everybody who’s gone through love and heartbreak. Including the ones who are still living the wild lifestyle that comes with being single. The rock ‘n’ roll track “It’s Friday Night” brings out the wild side of Carter and his band mates. A voice that’s a lot more ravaging and an instrumental sound that blasts an incendiary tone to listeners. The track rocks to the tune of a partying man who lives it up all night long with his best friends with a rap interlude to boot. The thunderous sound of drums and lightning strikes of an electric guitar put the pedal to the metal for all partying singles.
For a full-length album that’s been 30 years in the making, Carter makes his debut to audiences with style. The uncompromising mixture of old school and new school creates a record that’s as dynamic as the artist who made it happen. Nothing to Lose is the storybook record that every listener, both young and old, can relate to. If Carter sought to prove anything it’s that “you’re never too old to follow your dream and what you love doing for others to see.”
Written by Trenton Luber