This bodes as some good news for those that missed out on a Numero obscurity the first time around. Back in 2015, the label started up a subscription series that culled from three of their collections — Eccentric Soul, Wayfaring Strangers, and something they dubbed The Private Mind Garden. Jimmy Carter and Dallas County Green would fall under the Wayfaring header, gracing their Cosmic American Music comp from 2016. Outside of the subscription, this one didn’t show up too much and has been hard to come by in the years since. This year the label gives all the Cosmic Americana heads a break and put it back on LP and back on shelves. The record embraces the full scope of the genre’s promises. Carter fell far outside of the purview of typical players at the time, but stacked alongside any cosmic country records from the era, this is a perfect encapsulation of buttered twang and melted sunshine strums.
Carter didn’t grace the West Coast stages or the Nashville circuit, but rather found home in rural Missouri, recruiting some local session players and farmhands to flesh out a band that comes across as worn-in and relaxed. The band’s roots lead to a record that’s never flashy, but serve Carter’s songs just right. Country-folk strums, bittersweet odes, and just a touch of soul in the background vocals. Despite its ’77 release date, there’s a feeling that Carter was soaking up plenty of late ‘60s folk, folding in Mamas and Papas harmonies alongside emerging country rock ripples that had pushed through ‘70s radio. There are shades of private press folk from Relatively Clean Rivers to Gary Higgins to Mountain Bus in the record, but truly it becomes something all its own. There are a lot of small press holy grails out there, but this is one that absolutely lives up to its hype. With a second pressing and wider availability, Summer Brings the Sunshine jumps back into reach. I’d grab it while that availability lasts.
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