Carlton has won three Grammy Awards for his performances and compositions, including the theme music for the hit television series, Hill Street Blues (1981). 2009, Carlton joined Steely Dan as guest guitarist for six dates in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. In June 2010 Carlton released Take Your Pick, an album made with Tak Matsumoto. This album won the 2011 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album, Carlton 4th Grammy win. In February 2011 Carlton released "Plays The Sound Of Philadelphia."