Country singer Deana Carter made a holiday visit to the City of the Hills Saturday night.  A near sold-out crowd enjoyed her show, which was billed as "her greatest hits and more."

Carter, with a winning smile and a familiar personality, was comfortable on stage, backed only by a guitar accompanist, as she performed more than a dozen of her radio hits.  As most people know, I have been playing country music at WDOS in Oneonta for over 30 years.  So I remember when this strawberry blonde came bursting on the scene with her mega-hit "Strawberry Wine" in 1996.  It was one of the most requested (and most played) songs on my show in 1996.  It ended up selling over 5,000,000 copies and won the CMA "Song of the Year" award.

Carter also sang her other big songs, including "We Danced Anyway," "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" and "How Do I Get There."  Her guitar playing was excellent, her voice strong and her personality was definitely "girl next door."

Carter, 52, is the daughter of the legendary musician Fred Carter, Jr.   He was a guitar master who can be heard playing on more than 100 albums, by everybody from Simon and Garfunkel to Jim Reeves.

If I had any complaint about the show I would have to ask.....why so few Christmas songs?  I mean, it was December 1, there were plenty of Christmas sweaters on review in the crowd, Carter was decked out in "Christmas red," the Gingerbread Jubilee was in the lobby, and the stage was beautiful with holiday lights and three glittering Christmas trees.  It would have been perfect for a "second half" Christmas sing-a-long.  The performer only sang two short holiday songs.

All in all, it was another wonderful night at Foothills, though.  I particularly enjoyed her closing number, a sweet and sentimental version of "Strawberry Wine," which was accompanied by more than a dozen couples who felt compelled to go to the front of the theater and slow dance along with the song.  Nice.

I like Deanna Carter, and even interviewed her for a national country music magazine in the late 1990s.  She is a great talent and I hope to catch her again, maybe with her full band behind her.

Thanks for all the fun in 2018, Foothills!  Amy Schumer, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Deana Carter, Thompson Square, and more.  What a great year!!

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