Carl Carlton

born on 20/4/1955 in Ihrhove, Ostfriesland, Niedersachsen, Germany

Carl Carlton (German musician)

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Carl Carlton (German musician)

Carl Carlton (born Karl Walter Ahlerich Buskohl, 20 April 1955, Ihrhove, East Frisia, Germany) is a German rock musician, guitarist, composer and producer who has played in top international bands and with many well-known musicians. His collaboration with Robert Palmer culminated in the Grammy nominated album Drive, which was released in 2003. In 2005, Carlton joined Eric Burdon and the Animals. The collaboration resulted in the Grammy nominated album Soul of a Man, which was released in 2006. Carlton has released four albums with his own band, Carl Carlton and the Songdogs.

Carlton, who grew up on a farm in Northern Germany, took off for the Netherlands at the age of 17. There he began playing in what was at the time one of the liveliest European rock and pop scenes. Starting in Groningen, Carlton played in numerous rock bands, including Herman Brood & His Wild Romance, Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers (with whom he recorded a gold record in 1976) and Vitesse. In 1979, he traveled across the Atlantic to become a guitarist for the band Mink DeVille.[1] Also in the 1980s, Carlton played with Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Most notably during this time, Carlton acted as a guitarist, composer and producer for two of Germany's biggest rock stars, Peter Maffay and Udo Lindenberg, with whom he recorded thirteen and six albums, respectively. Of these, eleven singles topped the charts. In the meantime, Carlton married and fathered a child, Max Buskohl, who has since followed in his father's footsteps with his own band, Empty Trash. At the end of the 1980s, Carlton began writing film and television scores, while, in addition, he played guitar for Joe Cocker, Keb Mo, Jimmy Barnes, Eric Burdon, Mother's Finest, Simple Minds and numerous other bands.

Personal projects

In the early 1990s, Carlton and longtime musical partner Bertram Engel, a drummer, formed a band called New Legend, which also included keyboardist Pascal Kravetz and the two Dutch blues rockers Harry DeWinter and Peter Bootsmann. Two CDs were released before the band broke up two years later due to personality conflicts. In 1994, Carlton took up residence in Dublin, which at the time was one of the few pulsating metropolises for music in Europe. In 1999, Carlton again formed a band of his own, Carl Carlton & The Songdogs, which consisted of a multi-national line-up of musicians. In 2001, Carlton convinced Robert Palmer, whom he had worked with previously as one of his guitar players, to record a version of "Milk Cow's Calf Blues" with him as part of a tribute album to Robert Johnson. The resulting compilation, Hellhound On My Trail, was nominated for a Grammy. Its success convinced Palmer and Carlton to co-produce another pure blues album, the Grammy-nominated Drive, in 2003. Drive was also named one of Billboard's Top Ten Blues albums for that year.

Carl Carlton & The Songdogs

The inner circle of the band consists of Carlton, guitarist Moses Mo, bassist Wyzard (of the Atlanta funk group Mother's Finest), and Pascal Kravetz. Temporary Songdogs have included Sonny Landreth, keyboardist Ian McLagan, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson. The band's first album, Revolution Avenue, was recorded at Dockside Studios in Louisiana. A second LP called Love & Respect was released three years later. With more of an international membership than before, the band this time consisted of, in addition to its core members, Robert Palmer, Levon Helm, Sonny Landreth, Jon Smith, The White Trash Horns, Bobby Keys and Xavier Naidoo. Love & Respect was also recorded at Dockside Studios.

Martin Huch, a multi-instrumentalist, was soon hired along with Wayne P. Sheehy for live performances. It was at the end of the Love & Respect tour that Carlton collapsed from exhaustion due to an unrelenting work schedule. The incident was caught live by television cameras. Several weeks later, in the midst of doing PR for the Drive album, Robert Palmer died suddenly. The next Songdogs album, Cahoots & Roots, was released in 2005. Also in 2005, Carlton joined Eric Burdon and The Animals and recorded a blues album called Soul of a Man with Ivan Neville, James "Hutch" Hutchinson, Ricky Fataar, and Mike Finnegan. It too was nominated for a Grammy. Carlton, who in the meantime had given up his second home in Mallorca and taken up residence on the island of Gozo near Malta, began making a fourth album called Songs for the Lost and Brave, whose fifteen tracks explored the many bitter blows dealt to Carlton in recent years. This included a divorce from his second wife. By this time, Zack Alford, a drummer who had played for both Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie, had been added to the band, which was invited by Levon Helm, one of Carlton's closest friends, to record the new album at Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York. One of the album's tracks, a cover of Stephen Stills' "For What Its Worth", included the voices of Carlton's son, Max Buskohl, and Eric Burdon. Carlton and his son also joined together for a track on Klaus Voorman's album, A Sideman's Journey.

"Toast To Freedom"

In 2011, Carlton and Larry Campbell wrote Toast To Freedom, a commemorative song to celebrate Amnesty International´s 50th Anniversary. Carl Carlton & the Songdogs backed up more than 50 internationally renowned musicians, who contributed to the song in Levon Helm´s studio The Barn in Woodstock, among them Kris Kristofferson, Warren Haynes, Donald Fagen, Keb Mo, Rosanne Cash, Carly Simon, Marianne Faithfull, Jimmy Barnes, Jane Birkin, Eric Burdon, Levon Helm and many others. "Toast to Freedom" was produced by Bob Clearmountain and released by Amnesty International on May 3, 2012.


Since the late 1990s, Carlton has endorsed the guitars of the German manufacturer Duesenberg Guitars, which in collaboration with the guitarist has developed the C.C. Signature model. Carlton also endorses THC-Amps, Larson Bros. acoustic guitars and T.Rex effects pedals.

Here in alphabetical order is a selection of projects and bands for which Carlton has played guitar:

  • Alannah Myles
  • Amanda Marshall
  • Carl Carlton & the Songdogs
  • Damien Dempsey
  • Ellen Foley
  • Eric Burdon & the Animals
  • Fun Lovin Criminals
  • Herman Brood & His Wild Romance
  • Hollander
  • Jimmy Barnes
  • Joe Cocker
  • Keb Mo
  • Klaus Voormann
  • Long Tall Ernie & the Shakers
  • Manfred Mann's Earthband
  • Mink DeVille
  • Mothers Finest
  • New Legend
  • New Raiders of the Lost Corvette
  • Nina Hagen
  • Paul Young
  • Peter Maffay Band
  • Robert Palmer
  • Simple Minds
  • Stephan Remmler & die Steher
  • Tony Sarnos All Americans
  • Udo Lindenbergs Panik-Orchester
  • Vitesse
  • Wolfgang Niedeckens Leopardefell-Band
  • Yah Yahs

Production work

Carlton has been a producer for many artists and projects. These include:

  • Madness
  • Max Buskohl/Empty Trash
  • Peter Maffay
  • Robert Palmer
  • Tabaluga & Lilli (Musical)
  • Tabaluga & the Magic Jadestone (Musical)
  • The Dead 60s
  • Udo Lindenberg
  • Yothu Yindi

Film scores and musical compositions

  • Damals in der DDR (A Documentary Film Series)
  • Der Joker (Director: Peter Patzak)
  • Killing Blue (Director: Peter Patzak)
  • Napoleon (Documentary TV Series)
  • Neues vom Wixxer (Film)
  • Swansong - the Story of Occi Burne (Film)
  • Tabaluga & Lilli (Musical)
  • Tabaluga & the Magic Jadestone (Musical)


Carl Carlton & the Songdogs


  • 2001 - Revolution Avenue (also as an LP with 2 Bonus Tracks)
  • 2003 - Love & Respect (also as a Digipak with 1 Bonus Track)
  • 2004 - CaHoots & Roots - Live from Planet Zod (Live Double CD)
  • 2008 - Songs for the Lost and Brave


  • 2001 - "Coming Home"
  • 2003 - "Days of Magic"
  • 2004 - "Instant Karma"
  • 2008 - "For What Its Worth" (with Max Buskohl & Eric Burdon)

Prizes and nominations

Grammy Nominations:

  • Hellhound on my Trail Songs of Robert Johnson (Sampler, 2001)
  • Drive (Robert Palmer, 2003)
  • Soul of a Man (Eric Burdon, 2006)

IFTA Nomination (Irish Film and Television Awards):

  • Swansong - the Story of Occi Burne (2009)

Grimme Television Prize:

  • Damals in der DDR (2005)


  1. [1]

External links

This page was last modified 21.03.2014 02:30:49

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