Carousel is an utter and complete success, and will hopefully usher in more moments of high-minded honky tonkin’ in the ever burgeoning world of country and Americana. McHone is a natural and innate talent will help maintain this idealized maturation of the americana movement, both in sound and motif, not all that dissimilar to the revivalists of the American Short Story. If that’s what’s happening to country music, then McHone is carving out her corner, and Carousel is one hell of a head start. - Now/It’s Nashville
"Life is a battlefield of emotions for even the most Stoic and well-adjusted among us....It’s not just the words, but the music of Carson McHone’s Carousel that help create an audio illustration of this emotional battlefield that it’s haunting at times in how well it mirrors our own experiences." saving country music
"Carson McHone nods to her honky-tonk past — and pushes beyond it — with the upcoming ‘Carousel’. It’s a coming-of-age album produced by Mike McCarthy, the same man who oversaw more than half of Spoon’s catalog. The result is an LP that ignores the rules of traditional country music, with “Sad” — the lead-off track, driven along by fiddle and electric guitar — gleefully speeding up and slowing down at its own pace. Filled with self-aware lyrics about McHone’s history of heartbreak, this is the sound of an artist making peace with her own unrest." Robert Crawford Rolling Stone
“She dives into the idea of sad songs and the false notion that they’re simply written to further someone’s state of misery. She embraces that quivering sorrow. It shapes her vocal tone and cries. She’s smoke billowing into a room. Sadness plays the part of a femme fatale. She’s creeping around the corner waiting to strike.” Thomas Mooney Wide Open Country
"(About 'Sad' from the upcoming release "Carousel") A mid-tempo honky-tonk number built on pedal steel, fiddle, and a self-aware take on the hard luck heartbreak that often finds its way into such songs." Brittney Mckenna American Songwriter
"The ongoing battle over the soul of country music seems like a necessary activity that tends to overstate the danger that commercialism poses. Time and time again, country music has demonstrated its ability to absorb folk, rock, country-rock, schlock, disco, patriotism and regionalism, and young singers continue to discover new ways to syncretize the music of Williams and Wells with pop without pandering to the let’s-save-country ideologues.
Hailing from ostentatious Austin, Texas, singer Carson McHone is a young country singer who expresses herself through the form while avoiding the formalism that etiolates the work of many country purists. In other words, she controls an aching break into her head voice that marks her as a stone country vocalist, and her 2015 album Goodluck Man brims with tunes that evoke the spirit of early-’70s country without wandering off into retro. McHone has been working on a new album in Nashville with Spoon producer Mike McCarthy — let’s hope it’s commercial as hell."
- Edd Hurt Nashville Scene
"I’ve seen documentaries about it and I’ve heard lots of people talk of it so I have some idea of what Country Western involves- heart and soul. I didn’t realise there was a third ingredient to the biggest selling music genre in the USA. That ingredient is guts. That’s the American ‘outback’ term fo’ it, but since this article is for British publication we’ll go with the more genteel translation of courage. And I saw courage first hand, when I became a roadie, for Carson McHone."
"This is the story of a woman evolving. Which sometimes can come with a lot of pushback. Country music fans tend to like things in small, edible bites. There’s no doubt that McHone is beautiful, or that she can play well, or that she can write a good song. But now, she’s ready to prove that she has something to say."
-Dive Star Bar Rachel Hurley
"In a city full of transplants, McHone is a rare Austin native, having first hit the barroom stages of her hometown at 16 years old. "People call us unicorns," she says of her local roots. On her still-untitled follow-up to 2015's Goodluck Man, though, McHone looks beyond the Lone Star State, taking inspiration from the road – where she plays more than 150 shows a year – as well as the Tennessee capital. Recorded in Nashville with longtime Spoon producer Mike McCarthy, the new album promises to be fuller and fresher-sounding, leaving throwback honky-tonk music to McHone's contemporaries and, instead, fully embracing the modern."
"Carson McHone’s 2015 debut full-length, Goodluck Man, established the native singer-songwriter as one of the capital’s rising country stars, but she’s got broader sights set for her follow-up. She began working with producer Mike McCarthy almost two years ago when he still lived here, and recently finished recording at his new Nashville studio. It breathed new life into these songs, which pushed in all kinds of different directions. It doesn’t sound like throwback country, because I didn’t want to make that kind of record. Yet it’s not a departure, really. I think it just sounds a little more mature.”
- Doug Freeman Austin Chronicle
Margaret Moser of the Austin Chronicle credits the songwriting of the six original tracks on McHone's 2013 EP with a "curve-ball edge…songs such as 'Pale Blues' resonating with the confidence of a veteran" - Austin Chronicle Margaret Moser
Under the X in Texas host, Ted Branson of KOOP Radio, assures, "Carson McHone is a breath of fresh air in a town full of Texas songwriters who all try for the sound she was born with and presents confidently in an easy, natural way."
In 2014, Carson sang on "Chick Singer Badass Rockin" on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s new CD. Of the delivery, he said, “… I wanted a woman Keith Richards sloppy rock thing and she went there like she was him before the blood transfusion…plus she writes songs like her life depends on it…”