Singer/mandolin player RT Bob Carter has played in 17 bands over the past 50 years, mostly in Santa Cruz County. One of his biggest was the Woodshed Bluegrass Band in the ’80s, and three years ago, he formed yet another string ensemble, the Poor Carters.
“I put this group together so we could play our old-timey music. It’s not the most commercially viable sound, but it’s a fun sound,” Carter says. “My background is traditional and old-time music. I just love to play fiddle songs. Nobody plays fiddle songs.”
By fiddle tunes, he means dust bowl-era Appalachian music. Other than a few standards from this period, most of the Poor Carters’ songs are originals written by him and guitarist/banjo player Bob Peters. They also throw in some western swing and contemporary honky-tonk.
The group, which also features Tricia Muren on standup bass and daughter Ariel Carter on the fiddle, aims to capture the upbeat, and fast-paced feel good music of Appalachia. The band is named after one of the one of the genre’s most famous groups, the Carter Family.
“The Carter family is very big and traditional,” he says. “We are the Poor Carters, the ones that didn’t make it big.”
The group plays frequent community events, plus monthly shows at Lulu Carpenters and Carter’s songwriter showcases at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge.
9pm. Friday, Nov. 15, Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $5. 423-7117.