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The Carper Family

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FAIRBANKS — Look again. That’s the Carper Family, not Carter Family. The Carter Family was around in the 1950s and ’60s was then considered the most famous family in country music.

But having a similar name is just the beginning of the fun with the Carper Family, a trio of singing and picking women from Austin, Texas.

“People do notice a resemblance even though we’re not quite as folky,” fiddler and former Fairbanks resident Beth Chrisman laughed. “We’re more bluegrass and country than the Carter Family was.”

One listen and the differences will be obvious. The Carper Family focuses on old-timey bluegrass and the early roots of country with a stripped down acoustic sound of fiddle, upright bass and guitar. The songs are simple, hummable and easy to tap a foot to.

The band, which also includes bassist Melissa Carper and guitarist Jenn Miori, also uses three-part harmonies and the occasional yodel, a popular piece to bluegrass and country in the 1940s and ’50s.

“It just seemed like something fun to add,” Chrisman said with another laugh. “A lot of the stuff we listen to has (yodeling) in there, so it was easy to throw it in.”

The band performs vintage covers along with a number of originals, many of which were composed by Carper, who, according to Chrisman, “Pumps out a song a day.”

Chrisman also does her share of the writing, too, when she’s sad enough.

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