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Boot Scootin’ Country Soul

Apr 18, 2024

Boot Scootin' Country Soul

(Editor’s Note: Sign up here to receive Good Country issues when they launch, direct to your email inbox via Substack.)

Recording artist Brei Carter is currently enjoying the best of both worlds for any performer. She’s found her niche artistically and is thriving in it, excelling in a hybrid sound she calls “country soul,” one that nicely blends each genre’s special characteristics: soul’s emotional fury and country’s narrative focus. Louisiana born, she relocated to Nashville in 2019 is now working on an upcoming LP that she promises will really show listeners how much these two genres can be combined into her own distinctive style.

“I’ve always kind of gravitated towards all kinds of music, but vocally I’ve found that soul and country are the styles that work best,” Carter said during a recent interview. “For me, it’s no stretch to say that I love soul and I love traditional country. Those are the styles and songs that I grew up listening to and those are the ones that really are suited for the types of things that I want to sing.”

Considering the long history of performers who’ve taken soul tunes and made them into country hits or vice versa, Carter’s certainly in good company.

But, she’s also enjoying commercial success in a different vein. Her single, “Boots Get To Talking,” has quickly become a line dance staple. An energetic, engaging number that’s also a collaboration with the person she calls “my mentor and inspiration,” Elektrohorse, the song has generated its own line dance, something that Carter immediately credits Elektrohorse with enhancing and developing.

“When I first played him the song and told him what I wanted to do, I had my own ideas for how it would work as a line dance,” Carter continued. “He told me, ‘Brei, I’ve got some ideas, too. I think we can really do something with this.’ He took it and did some things with it that I never would have considered and he made it into something huge.”

“Boots Get To Talking” is one of those songs that really has something for every taste. It certainly has a catchy backbeat, equal parts honky-tonk and hip-hop. There’s some underlying blues feel to it as well, but when utilized in the line-dance environment the tune has an added energy and fury. “It’s my new anthem,” Carter adds, “And I’m so happy that it’s getting such a great reaction and response everywhere. It’s also a signal that people will always respond to good music and songs that make them happy and make them feel good.”

That desire, to reach across boundaries and unite people through music, has always been a big part of Carter’s performing mission. Her musical background growing up in Monroe, Louisiana included equal parts Loretta Lynn, Aretha Franklin, Charley Pride, and gospel music: “Plus a healthy dose of Cajun and Zydeco,” Carter adds. “That’s where my love of dance was developed. In those dance halls, no one ever sits down.”

Carter’s earned impressive academic credentials: a Bachelors in Business from University of Louisiana in Monroe, a Masters in International Relations from Webster University, and a Doctorate in Theology from New Foundation Theological Seminary. She’s also a proud U.S. Army veteran, having served as an enlisted soldier and as an officer.

Boot Scootin' Country Soul

After deciding that music would be her career path, Carter’s been carefully crafting her style. Her first single, “Gave Him A Girl,” got enough positive attention to lead to appearances on RFD-TV, WSMV-TV, WoodSongs’ Old-Time Radio Hour, among others. She made her CMA Fest debut in 2022, and released her debut album, Brand New Country, which featured a fine cover of Charley Pride’s “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” and the powerful biographical piece, “Stronger Than That.” Carter released her most recent single last year, “Straight Up Country Crazy,” as well as her first Holiday EP, the critically acclaimed Twinkling Tales of Christmas.

Still, she acknowledges it took a while before she really understood exactly what she wanted to do from a technical perspective. “I realize now that my voice really does fall right in that middle area between country and soul,” Carter continued. “That’s a territory where I’m comfortable, and that’s really the area that I want to emphasize now.” With an upcoming series of concert dates set to begin this month, plus her new LP that will be coming later this year, Brei Carter feels really confident about the future.

“I’m really happy about where things are going for me musically, and what the future holds,” Carter concludes. “I’ve found the right mix musically, and the line-dance hit has really been a blessing, as has working with Elektrohorse. I’m very much ready to see what’s coming next.”

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Lead Image: Brei Carter by Heather Carpenter.
Inlay Image: Brei Carter by Berlin M.

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Boot Scootin' Country Soul
Boot Scootin' Country Soul