Follow us:


A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

July 30, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Kitsap songwriting legend Bill Carter | Concert preview

Last year, the late Kitsap County-bred songsmith Ron Davies was celebrated in a sparkling, star-studded Nashville compilation, “Unsung Hero,” featuring Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and others singing Davies’ songs.

Come to find out Davies not only had Nashville followers, but a bona fide protege — even before he left home. His name is Bill Carter and he’s on a bill celebrating Austin blues-rock guitarist Ian Moore’s birthday Saturday at the Triple Door, along with Jon Rauhouse, V. Contreras, Pete Droge and others.

Carter is probably best known for his poignant song “Anything Made of Paper,” which played over the credits of the much-heralded 2012 documentary about the West Memphis Three,  “West of Memphis.” The lovely video of the tune, which continues to snag awards at film festivals, earned him a spot on David Letterman.

But Carter, like Davies, is a behind-the-scenes songwriter kind of guy. He wrote Stevie Ray Vaughan’s No. 1 rock hit, “Crossfire,” not to mention Robert Palmer’s “Why Get Up” and Counting Crows’ “Richest Man.”

“Bill grew up in the Bremerton/Tracyton area of Puget Sound, where he met my father,” writes Davies’ daughter, Michelle, who is coming up from Los Angeles for the party. “Pop was 19, Bill 15. My father instantly became a mentor to Bill, as to so many in the area.”

Back when folk-rock was aborning, Carter played locally in a Bob Dylan- and Byrds-influenced band called Chimes of Freedom. Every year, he and his pals from that era, including Chimes of Freedom players and veteran Seattle guitarist Pete Pendras, gather in Jarstad Park, in Gorst, for an annual “hippie reunion.”

“Since I was coming up, anyway, I decided to put together a few shows,” said Carter by telephone from his home in Austin, Texas.


Carter recently released his first solo album, ironically titled “Unknown,” which features “Anything Made of Paper” as well a hilarious and timely ditty titled “Amerijuana.” Profoundly influenced by Dylan and the Band, the gruff-voiced Carter is strong on Americana. His dark blues for a murdered streetwalker, “Eva Bible,” is the kind of thing Dave Van Ronk could have sung. “Save You” has the kind of pop hook that makes you see why Carter has made a living as a songwriter.

While he’s in the area, Carter will also perform at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival (Wednesday, July 30), Brother Don’s, in Bremerton (Thursday, July 31), and the Red Bicycle, in Vashon (Friday, Aug. 1).

Bill Carter, with Ian Moore and others 

8 p.m. Saturday at the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $15 (206-838-4333 or





Comments | More in Americana, Blues | Topics: "Anything Made of Paper", Bill Carter, Concert Preview


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►