Didn’t Know Pete Carr? You Surely Know His Playing!
Just two days ago we ran across a video on YouTube that purported to be outtakes from Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow and Wired sessions, and some of it, in fact, was. But the first three tracks were not Beck’s; they were in fact three songs from Pete Carr’s masterful 1976 album Not a Word On It, beginning with the jaw-dropping “Tuscumbian Lover.” If that had been the only five and half minutes guitarist Carr had gifted to the universe, he would still be lauded as a brilliant player.
But Jesse Willard “Pete” Carr, who died Saturday, June 27, at the age of 70, had contributed in a major way to the music world for 55 years. Born in Daytona Beach, his journey would cross with Gregg and Duane Allman as he joined them in Hour Glass, the band that preceded The Allman Brothers Band. He went to Muscle Shoals, where he became an integral part of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section.
During his expansive recording career, he would play on records by Cat Stevens, Joan Baez, Donovan, Barbra Streisand, Joe Cocker, The Staples Singers, Wilson Pickett, Candi Staton, Paul Anka, Livingston Taylor, Kim Carnes, Johnny Rivers, Wendy Waldman, José Feliciano, Levon Helm, and Boz Scaggs.
Carr played on Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, Still Crazy After All These Years, and the hit “Kodachrome.” He played on three Art Garfunkel albums and was part of the 1981 concert in Central Park with Simon & Garfunkel and half a million friends. He was on Rod Stewart’s Atlantic Crossing and “Tonight’s the Night.” He was also on “If Loving You is Wrong” by Luther Ingram. From 1973 to 1986, he played with Bob Seger on seven albums and is admired for his solo on “Main Street.”
Pete Carr teamed up with one of his session mates, Lenny LeBlanc, to form LeBlanc & Carr, who had a hit single with “Falling” and the album Midnight Light. In addition to Carr’s excellent production work, he deserves to be known for his two fine solo albums, Not a Word On It (1976) and Multiple Flash (1978).
[Sadly, the YouTube version of “Tuscumbian Lover” cuts off at 4:30 of the 5:28 track.]