God knows, the cats in Nashville certainly have good enough reason to be suspicious of Carlene. The Southern songbird has the gall to record her albums in smelly old Los Angeles! "I don't know if people say they dig me to my face and then go behind my back saying, 'God, she makes records in L.A.' I've gotten asked this question a lot lately--Is it a rebellious thing that you record in L.A.?'--and that's not the case at all. It's just that I happen to live out here, and I'm just fortunate to have a recording studio in the house I live in, so I find it much more comfortable to stay home and record."

And it's not just Nashville that has Carter stumped.
"Radio is weird. You never know what they're going to like or not like, what they're going to think is pop and what they think is country," Carter says with a throaty chuckle. "I thought 'Every Little Thing' [Love Letters' first single] was a pop song, and they loved it--it got a lot of airplay, and it didn't get any resistance. Then I put out 'Love You Cause I Want To,' which I think is a much countrier song, and they think it's pop because it's got horns on it."
But there is one thing Carter is quite sure about, one thing she flat-out does not like: "Trashy Women' by Confederate Railroad. I think that's a sucky song," Carlene says with a sniff. "I mean, I normally am not offended by people making fun of people, but I thought that was really in poor taste. A lot of girls wear tight dresses and have bleached-blond hair, particularly myself, and I sure as hell ain't trashy!"

Carlene Carter will perform on Wednesday, February 23, at Toolies Country. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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