Danny Carter passes

Danny Reid Carter, the guitar playing half of the Nashville duo, The Carter Brothers, died on June 30 in Jamestown, NC. He was 71 years of age.

With brother Tim on banjo, The Carter Brothers played a rockin’ brand of newgrass, and recorded for Compass Records until Danny suffered a number of strokes in 2017. Those strokes exacerbated Carter’s then dawning dementia, and he required a degree of nursing care up to the end – a very unkind coda for a man who spent 35 years as a touring musician, and had dedicated his entire life to music.

Both were born in North Carolina, where they started the band. Signed to Capitol Records in 1992, The Carter Brothers built a following all over the US, particularly in Key West, FL. Together they recorded a total of four albums.

Tim and Danny also operated a recording studio in Ridgetop, TN called Treehouse Recording Studio, which Tim still runs. They record bluegrass, country, and everything else tracked in the Nashville area.

While Tim was a grasser all out, playing banjo, mandolin, and guitar, Danny’s tastes ran more to rock and blues, influences he brought into the Carter Brothers’ music. Outside of touring with his brother, most of his music was in that vein.

Danny was also a songwriter, and he and Tim wrote a good deal of the music they cut together.

Danny and Tim were not only siblings and bandmates, they were best friends, and loved each other as much as any brothers ever did. They were related to the famous Carter Family of Virginia through their great-grandfather, who was a first cousin to A.P. Carter. Their father, Winfred ‘Diamond’ Carter, and his twin brother, Willard ‘Biggen’ Carter, had formed the first edition of The Carter Brothers many years ago.

A memorial celebration for Danny Carter is scheduled for August 25 in High Point, NC at the High Point Elks Lodge (#1155). All are invited to attend and share their memories of Danny.

R.I.P., Danny Carter.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.