music & lyrics written by

Keith Carrington

produced by

Marty Rifkin

executive producer

Margery Nicolson

album graphics by

Chapman Design

recorded at

Rifkin Productions

Santa Monica, CA

vocals, acoustic guitar,

Keith Carrington

bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin, dobro

Marty Rifkin

drums

Edoardo “The Tank” Tancredi

fiddle

Gabe Witcher

piano, string arrangement

Andy Hill

background vocals

Teresa James

background vocals

Randy Crenshaw

background vocals

Gary Floyd

bass. Kiss and Make Up

Graham Carrington

A Christmas story.

When Keith was five, he ripped open red wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Beaming in his blue suit, he held up a small guitar.
“It was only a cheap electric toy, but I loved it,” Keith recalls. With his dad’s Buck Owens records cranked up at full volume, “I’d pretend I was Buck Owens and sing and dance and play.”
Then Keith’s parents divorced. His mom was in a near-fatal car crash. His father was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors and for years did not even know who Keith was. A child’s guitar dreams couldn’t compete with real life hardships.
“I wasn’t concerned about learning to play music or getting guitar lessons. I was just trying to cope with what my parents were going through.”
Decades later – after Keith served in the military, was married with two kids and running a clothing store in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee – a customer came in with a guitar he wanted to get rid of. Keith just so happened to have a leather jacket he wanted to get rid of. They traded. It felt just like Christmas morning all over again.
When adversity struck again, this time in the form of a divorce, Keith didn’t put down the guitar. Instead, he turned to it as a friend.
Though painstaking and difficult, Keith taught himself basic chord progressions and fingerpicking. “A lot of bad techniques,” he jokes. He drew inspiration and strength from the country western greats that loomed over his youth, as well as modern icons across all genres.
He poured his pent-up romantic pain, disappointment, hope, triumph, new beginnings – the full spectrum of love and relationships – into songs that would later become the foundation for his first studio album, “Unconditionally.”
After so many years, Keith was finally able to chase the dream his younger self was forced to abandon. Everything was clear as Christmas morning.
“Five-year-old Keith would probably say, ‘What took you so dang long? Where the heck have you been?”
“But I’m here now. We are here.”

THANK YOU!!

Love goes out to each one who is part of the soul of this album.

Margery for believing in me and encouraging me to make this all happen. You touch so many people’s lives with all the positive acts of kindness. Your support enabled this collection of songs to be put together, thank you so much.…

Marty Rifkin for having the vision to see how to weave all of these beautiful organic instrumentals together. You listened and responded to every note, every word in every song; and because you cared and strived for the best is the very reason this record sounds so damn good! Plus, you’re a pretty good steel picker! I LOVE YOU MAN!...

Gabe for all of your heart wrenching fiddle solos and with a wonderful string of answers and comments that give the songs warmth and character. Your fiddle playing is truly a gift…

Edo for bringing strength and soul to every song by finding the beats we were looking for. And thank you for the genuine love you bring not only as a musician, but as a person…

Andy, for those three chords you played so beautiful and so eloquent. You truly added a piano melody full of emotion and brought a sincere feeling of love ...

Teresa for singing above me, below me, and most of all with me. You are a wonderful feminine bonus on this album, thank you....

Randy for being my inner voice. Your vocals are so supportive of the songs….

Gary for blending your voice so beautifully...

Graham for your support, your respect, your talents and your patience. I cherish our times playing music together!...

Katherine for the being the best daughter ever! You’re brilliant, beautiful, caring and so loving; it’s no wonder why I love you so much!...

Dan and Yuki and Dean for your committed creative eye and making me look so darn good!….

Family and friends in Cali and in Tennessee who encouraged me to keep writing and singing, thank you so much.…

Carefoot and Parks for listening very early and insisting that I perform (I was so nervous) when I first found my voice in Jackson…

My family for demonstrating Christian love and support ALWAYS. (Thanks Mom) …

Eddie for constantly pushing me to do this. You see my weakness and help me find my strength...

Ximena (He-may-nah) for feeling my words and teaching me ASL. You are wonderful! You made a great “Sofa Girl”!

And last, but by far the first. Many years ago, a man led singing at small country church in West Tennessee. He played a little rhythm guitar, but mostly he enjoyed leading the choir and sang songs with his twin brother in the living room when we ALL were younger. I can still see him in my mind’s eye. I can still hear him through my heart’s voice. That man is my hero, thanks Dad for giving me a gift of song.

And of course if you are reading this, you’re listening to the songs and for that, I AM forever grateful. ENJOY!