On the drive home from a particularly trying workday last week, I was twisting the radio dial in search of one last song before I arrived at my house. It was a dark and stormy night, as Charles Schulz would say, and through the doom and gloom came Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine,” a CMA Song of the Year winner and a No. 1 single in 1996. Now, contrary to popular playlist belief, Carter recorded music after, say, 1998. In fact, she recorded a real gem in 2005 with The Story of My Life, a delightfully infectious, thought-provoking album that showcases Carter’s sensuous Southern drawl and nakedly honest observations.
That terrific set includes “Sunny Day,” where she slowly glides from caustic to cautiously optimistic in the span of a few minutes. “Sunny Day” is her resolution to throw off the chains of negativity and those that wield it with such carelessness. Plus, it’s a fairly blatant stab at the music industry (“I ain’t picked up my guitar in 15 days/Some music man doesn’t give a damn what I have to say”), and she eventually swears that her “son of a bitch” boss won’t steal her sunshine. Who wouldn’t want to express that sentiment sometimes?
Track of the week: “Sunny Day,” Deana Carter from 2005’s The Story of My Life.