CD Review: Jeff Carson – 448
Album features Craig Morgan, Michael Ray, Darryl Worley
By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine
Fans of ‘90s Country music will remember Jeff Carson and his hits such as “Not On Your Love” and “The Car” that were among his fourteen singles that reached the Billboard Country charts.
Now fans can enjoy Carson’s new interpretations of nine of his songs on an album titled 448, available worldwide following its release on 12 May, 2023. But much as the news is welcome to his fans, it is also a bittersweet moment.
Carson died suddenly, 26 March, at the age of 58, just as he was beginning the second stage of his musical journey. The nine songs on 448 were to be part of his musical reemergence.
He had signed to Curb Records in 1994 where his early releases included the Number One hit, “Not On Your Love.” But Carson became increasingly disenchanted with the music industry as his career seemed to stall when Curb delayed and finally canceled the release of his next album.
He left music behind and trained to become a police officer, joining the police force in the city of Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. The title of this, his final album, 448, has a special significance: it was his badge number as a Franklin police officer.
At the time of his death, he had been working with record producer (and former member of Toto) Buddy Hyatt as they re-recorded some of his earlier songs. Carson was feeling new energy and was talking with Hyatt about recording new, original material.
For some of the tracks on 448, Carson invited his good friends to join him: Darryl Worley, Michael Ray, and Craig Morgan. Their voices add a touch of magic to Carson’s reimagined versions of those earlier songs.
“Jeff walked away from a great career in country music to serve his community (he even had a number one and he walked away to be an officer),” said T. Graham Brown in a recent interview. “JC was a good guy. It takes a really strong person…a very special person…to be a police officer. They are heroes who do a job that the rest of us don’t want to do,” he continued, “We are all very proud of Jeff in Nashville.”
Carson was honored in May during National Police Week with his name being enshrined in the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Track listing for Jeff Carson’s 448:
Not On Your Love – featuring Darryl Worley
The Car – featuring Michael Ray
Holdin’ Onto Something
I Almost Never Loved You
Real Life (I Was Never the Same Again) – featuring Craig Morgan
I Can Only Imagine
More about Jeff Carson and his final album 448 at his website: https://jeff-carson.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffCarson/. #JeffCarson