In 2007 the 22-year-old fiddler, singer, and songwriter Kendel Carson issued her first album on Chip Taylor's Train Wreck label. ."...Carson's debut CD, Rearview Mirror Tears, marks the emergence of a big new talent on today's vast country-rock scene," noted David J. Cantor at Sound Stage. Rearview Mirror Tears, however, only represented the latest incarnation of a lifelong commitment to music. Born in Canada, Carson studied the fiddle and was performing by the age of three with the Victoria Symphony. She also became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. At the age of nine she performed with the BC Fiddle Orchestra, gaining the experience she would later need in the Paperboys, Outlaw Social, and Kid Carson (also her brother).
In 2004, Carson's talent came to the attention of Chip Taylor, a veteran singer/songwriter who had worked hard in recent years to help the careers of singers like Carrie Rodriguez. Carson and Taylor met at Canmore Festival where she played a fiddle workshop with Rodriguez. While Taylor initially invited Carson to New York City to write material and record demos, the two decided to enter the studio after only a few days. After several days in the studio, highlighted by good vibes and inspiration, they had laid down the foundation of a rootsy album primarily constructed from Carson's vocals and Taylor's songs. "Carson handles Taylor's material adeptly," Jerome Clark would later write in Rambles. "Her voice is a young one, yet a rich one, calling up melancholy or humor, good or bad times, regret or hope, as the occasion warrants."
In 2007, Carson's career in music reached a new plateau with the release of Rearview Mirror Tears. "Carson captures the essence of each song with a voice that is angelic one minute and sassy the next; there's vulnerability and confidence and plenty of mystery -- making Rearview Mirror Tears one of the most impressive debuts to be released so far this year," wrote Wade Tatangelo in Creative Loafing. The album's vocal arrangements were filled out by Rodriguez and Taylor, and the instrumental backdrop was enriched by guitarist John Platania and drummer Dan Rieser.
Carson's profile continued to climb in the spring and summer of 2007 as Rearview Mirror Tears entered the Americana radio chart at 39 and rose to number ten in July. Also in the summer of 2007, Carson and Taylor toured Sweden and Norway, making an appearance at the Down on the Farm Festival. Carson also planned for the debut of her video for "I Like Trucks." Carson's list of influences includes Lucinda Williams, the Band, Emmylou Harris, and Ryan Adams. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.