I have many heroes, in the arts, in sport, everyday people and in my family. It is no secret, that this woman is one of them. In fact, if I had to choose, Mare is my favourite female international country music artist…..particularly as a singer/songwriter.
It is interesting to read reviews about her over the years, with people saying that technically she is not a country music artist, she was just marketed as one. I think that Mare was one of the originators of the Alt. Country genre. My favourite male international country music artist is Kris Kristofferson and they have a fair bit in common, songwriting wise.
People told me early on that neither of them were country music artists, but they remain my favourites. I have seen Mare in concert and I own all of her albums. I own most of Kris’s and I have seen all of his movies and have his gigs on dvd, I just missed out a few times on seeing him LIVE.
This album is collection of songs that Mary has released previously, apart from the title track. When Mary does these types of albums, she very rarely puts on her ‘greatest hits’, she tends to pick her favourite tracks off her albums. I like that. I have always been an album music person. Sometimes, I think singles are not the perfect showcase of an artist’s true talents.
Mary turned 60 early this year, perhaps thinking that it was time to put another compilation together, with 30 years of albums and memorable songs in her old kit bag. One reviewer called them pearls. I think that is a wonderful word for them. Pearls of wisdom too. Mary always has something to say – sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly. All her songs have a purpose, they all tell a story.
The musical arrangements are always spot on, whether they be acoustic tracks or with a full orchestra. This album was recorded in England at Peter Gabriel’s studio. Mary appeals to a broad audience, because she is not easily boxed, wrapped and finished with a bow. She has a message, or many messages and she is not in your face.
Her road hasn’t been easy, especially over the last few years, losing friends, family, dealing with some pretty tough personal issues, but her caramel and chocolate deliveries with that sweet, husky voice are always calming and soothing. An album full of musical memories and thoughtful lyrics.
Hopefully, in another 30 years, Mare will still be singing and writing such wonderful songs, and I’ll be sitting in my rocking chair on a verandah of a log cabin listening to them.
Sing along, clap along, dream along, and think…..as you listen to beautiful harmonies, sweet melodies and words that mean something. There’s only one Mary Chapin Carpenter, and in this life, I am glad that I got to know her.
- Heroes and Heroines
- What Does It Mean To Travel
- I Have A Need For Solitude
- One Small Heart
- The Moon and St. Christopher
- Naked To The Eye
- Rhythm of the Blues
- This is Love
- The Calling
- This Shirt
- Sometimes Just The Sky