LORIDA -Country music recording artist David Carter has seen a lot of changes in his life in the last few months, from releasing his debut album on Oct. 1 to the birth of a new baby girl.
In September, the 27 year old Lorida resident signed a contract with record producers Jack Gale and Jim Pierce of Playback Records Nashville.
His self-titled CD, "David Carter," is already being played regularly at 46 stations in the United States as well as four countries.
"The big thing about David is he is believable, he's real country. I think we are going to do really well with him," said Gale, who over the past 42 years has produced records for legends like Tonya Tucker, Crystal Gayle, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Little Jimmy Dickens, Frankie Lane and George Jones.
"Who is David Carter? I'm still trying to figure that one out myself," remarked the budding new artist, who is better known on the local music scene by his real name, David Cleveland.
On Nov. 20, he and his wife, Caitlin, welcomed 7-pound 8-ounce Paisley Rose into the world.
"There is nothing as innocent and pure as a newborn," said the proud father. "It makes you stop dead in your tracks realizing someone depends on you. I'm dad to my 5-year old Kendra, but now, this is all new again."
A former EMT, Carter works as the commercial parts pro at Advanced Auto Parts in Lake Placid. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys the lifestyle of a true country boy.
He shares his five-acre home with his wife, who is a horse trainer, his daughters and several critters, including a pig, mules, two small dogs and five hunting dogs.
"When I'm not singing or at work, I'm in the woods chasing hogs," Carter remarked.
Carter's interest in music developed early in life. From the age of 2, he sang gospel music accompanied by his great-grandfather on the acoustic guitar. At his church, First United Methodist of Sebring, he played hand bells and sang in the choir.
After attending a concert at the age of 5, Carter remembered wanting to be just like his idol, George Strait.
With a heart condition that prevented him from playing sports in school, Carter joined the school band and soon realized he had an affinity for drums.
"I've been playing in bands since high school - Quick Fire, the old Saddle Tramp, Third Degree, Ransom and the last one was The Shannon Reed Band. I was with her from the beginning," said Carter, who was known for singing from behind his drums.
When the opportunity arose to sign with Playback Records, it was a difficult decision for Carter.
"I was definitely happy I was with Shannon's band. That's how I got heard singing, at Dock 633 in Lake Placid, but I wanted to take a chance and see what direction this will go," he said of his musical aspirations.
Since signing with Playback Records, Carter's music is playing on iTunes, Amazon and Google, and he is in the process of forming The David Carter Band.
"My CD is available on my website, www.davidcartermusic.net," said Carter.
"To me, country music told a story," said Carter, whose Honky Tonk style of storytelling is evident in his first single "Sunday Morning Girl."
"Sunday Morning Girl" is one of the seven tracks on "David Carter" that were written by acclaimed songwriter Peter Callander, who penned hits for Tom Jones, Elton John, Wayne Newton and the group Paper Lace, as well as the theme music for the movie "Bonnie and Clyde."
"Hey Bahama Mama" and "Tappa Kegga Brew" were written by Nashville songwriter Sandy Ramos.
"Radio is so tight with play now (the songs) have to be good," noted Gale from his Sebring office. He added that out of the seven musicians playing on Carter's CD, three are in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"'Sunday Morning Girl' is doing terrific as a single," said Gale. "This is going to be a big year for David Carter."