The Art of Carter Robertson: Lady Outlaw Extraordinaire

Carter Robertson’s creative spark has lit more than a few fires lately. From writing memoirs to singing and storytelling, Robertson is an Artist who is delivering beautiful works of creative expression.

The only female member of the legendary “outlaw” band of the late, great Country Music legend Waylon Jennings, Robertson has just released a book about her life in music entitled Playin’ On The Tracks and this comes on the heels of her outstanding solo album, Neighborhood of Secrets. Both projects are well crafted, introspective bodies of work that give great insight into this magnificent lady. After years of providing backup support to Jennings and his wife Jessi Colter on over fifteen recordings, along with a body of studio work that includes the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Don Was, Robertson has revealed her strength as an Artist all on her own with her latest endeavors.

From a challenging upbringing to the realities of the road, Robertson has had quite a journey. Much of that journey involves her husband Barny Robertson,  an accomplished musician and producer who also toured with Jennings and now the two find themselves parents of a new musical force in the making, Carter’s Chord.  (More about them later).

Robertson met Mr. Waylon Jennings when she was a mere 22 years old. He enlisted both Robertson and her husband to record on a project with him in L.A., and there began her ride on Outlaw Country movement train. As a “Waylor”,  Robertson’s strong and beautiful vocals were a perfect compliment for the incredibly potent vocal presence that Jennings possessed. Robertson’s voice rang out with emotion and beauty in the spotlight on songs like “Come With Me”  and oh-so-sweet harmony on others, including “Luckenbach Texas” and “Are You Ready For The Country.”

So, how does a small town Pentecostal girl adapt to the ways of one of the (what word shall we use here?) rowdiest bands in Country Music? What is it like being on stage with one of the greatest talents in history? Those answers and a whole lot more are in Robertson’s new memoir, Playin’ On The Tracks.  Robertson is an honest, detailed and engaging storyteller and not only will hardcore Waylon fans be pleased, but also any woman who has had to step inside a man’s world and adapt will appreciate her tales as well. There’s heartache and tears and a whole lot of pure laughter in this book. Ah, the stories. She’s got ’em. And she tells them very, very well. She draws you into her experiences and makes you part of them.

Robertson also accomplishes this with her album,  Neighborhood of Secrets,  a stellar solo project that also shares her experiences through spoken word and beautiful songs. In the spoken tracks, her honesty and committed delivery will move you as the stories shared come to life. As for the music, well, here’s a warning – it will rock you. Listen to “Pickin’ Em Up” and you’ll be twisting and turning in your seat.  This ain’t no dainty little girl voice. This is a bluesy, gritty, get down voice. “Confused” is sultry and hypnotic and will have your head swimming. “Summer, Early 60s” is a haunting and incredibly piercing tale. Talk about powerful – this is a songwriter, folks. Her ability to move through the human scale of emotions in a seamless manner makes this unique album a true treasure. Rolling from deep depths of emotional turmoil to the joy of songs like “Stay A Little Longer” (you’ll wish you were back in some old roadhouse, carousing and carrying on in the best of ways), Robertson sings with strong and soulful conviction.  And in no song is she more emotionally revealing and beautiful as in “Couple More Years.”  Wow.

Have a listen for yourself:

You can listen to more clips from Neighborhood of Secrets and buy the album HERE.  You can also follow Robertson’s blog, Living This Side of Eden: An Artist’s Story,   HERE  or visit her Official Website for information on Performances.

Robertson has combined her writing, performing and  gift for storytelling in a new Live presentation featuring all aspects of her work. Sharing stories along with songs…..


Talent is definitely in the blood as the three daughters of Carter and Barny Robertson are the popular country trio, Carter’s Chord. How’s that for a great band name?  Here’s their video for “A Little Less Comfortable”:


If you get a chance to see Carter Robertson, take it.

~ Wade Phillips

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