Letters

Letters 09-19-2026

81 Concerns The “81 on East Bay” proposed development on Peninsula Township is primitive and outdated in not having central water and sewage systems that a modern and updated zoning code would call for. The streets in the development, being in a snowbelt area, will probably be dedicated to the county. The school system will feel an impact as will police and fire services...

Common Core Truths I just read an article from the Associated Press regarding both presidential candidates and their stances on education. The author was under the impression that Common Core was developed by the states and adopted; not so. Governors did not get together to create national standards and nor should they. The folks who wrote these national “standards” were test company employees, none of whom ever taught K-12...

Disruption Ahead I would like to respond to the comments from W.D. Bushey in the September 12 issue regarding his hypothetical bee sting scenario. While I do not disagree with the premise, I would like to let you know there is hope for an alternative Epinephrine very soon. Pending approval by the FDA there may very soon be an inhalable form at a much lower cost...

Solutions For Old Mission In a recent article, Peninsula Township Supervisor Manigold responded to complaints that proposed developments are priced out of reach for working families with the retort that the township can’t do much about that. But the township’s zoning has a big role in shaping the type of new housing on OMP, while current zoning, which favors single-family homes on large lots, is partly to blame for consistently highpriced new homes...

Real World Voting This letter is in response to A.J. Fasel from Traverse City, who wrote that since there are many things that require identification, such as fishing, opening a bank account, etc., being able to vote should require identification as well. The problem with this viewpoint is that being able to vote is a right. It’s a right guaranteed by our Constitution. It’s more important that buying alcohol or cigarettes, more important than over-the-counter-medications or any of the other things he mentioned...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Mary Chapin Carpenter
. . . .

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Kristi Kates - July 11th, 2011
Carpenter’s Composure: A Musical Balancing Act
By Kristi Kates
 Mary Chapin Carpenter was in San Jose, California at the time of this
interview. And yes, she’s on tour. But that doesn’t mean Ms. Carpenter
isn’t up for a little fun in between all of those rehearsals, gigs, and,
well, interviews like these.
“We have a day off today,” she says by phone, “and I went to the movies
this afternoon with some bandmates to see Super 8 - it was a really great
summer film,” Carpenter enthuses.
It’s all about balance for the singer-songwriter, who cut her musical
teeth in the Washington DC area before signing a deal with Columbia
Records in the late ’80s. She didn’t truly ‘hit the road,’ in the touring
sense of the word, until later; but she says that she’s been fortunate to
have tuned-in supportive audiences for much of her journey to date.
That journey will include a performance this Friday, July 15 in Traverse
City’s Opera House.

CLIMBING ON THE BUS
“Well, in the late ’80s, I was still a local DC songwriter,” she explains,
“I really began touring in the ’90s. That being said, it is such a
privilege to be able to still maintain a touring life, to make records, to
play out - I find out audiences to be sophisticated and generous in their
responses, and, ultimately, it is the connection I feel with them every
night that keeps us wanting to still climb on the bus and spend so much
time away from home.”
With such a positive attitude, one might think that Carpenter would’ve hit
the ground running after being signed. But marketing uncertainties at
Columbia left things moving slowly at first; Carpenter’s first album,
Hometown Girl, got airplay, but - against Carpenter’s wishes - more
interest in her music was generated once the label began promoting her as
a country music performer.

MORE THAN COUNTRY
Subsequent albums proved she was more than ‘just’ that, though. Carpenter
has musically experimented with everything from guitar effects to sitars,
and has included sound elements from folk and country right on through to
rock, although Carpenter herself has stayed away from the visual trappings
that accompany the genres, keeping her look simple and personal and
avoiding any country-music cliches (think big boots and big hair.)
Throughout the ’90s and the ’00s, she collaborated with the likes of Cyndi
Lauper, Dolly Parton, and Shawn Colvin, while her own songs were recorded
by such peers as Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna Judd; her own cover of John
Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me” would see success as a chart hit, adding to
Carpenter’s roster of successes and awards that would grow to include five
Grammy Awards.

MIRACLES OF MUSIC
Today, she’s promoting her latest album, The Age of Miracles, which was
released in April of this year; her studio work is another facet of her
life in which she works to keep the teeter-totter level and the
accomplishments steady.
“Working in the studio is always a combination of intense focus and
intermittent hilarity,” she chuckles, “you work feverishly to fulfill your
visions for the songs, and hopefully it always balances out.”
The challenge, Carpenter says, is to “serve the songs” themselves - “to
get what you want from them in a recording,” she explains.
“If we walk out of there feeling good,” Carpenter continues, “then we have
met the challenge.”
Her Traverse City audience will likely be challenged a bit by her setlist
for her upcoming show at the TC Opera House, as Carpenter says she plans
to draw from albums both old and new to comprise what fans will hear
during her performance.
“I play a healthy mix,” she says, “and some new, new songs for my next
recording. We are really looking forward to coming to Traverse City,” she
continues, “it is so beautiful up there, and I know the venue to be
intimate and charming. A week into this tour, the response has already
been tremendously gratifying.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter will be performing at the City Opera House in
Traverse City on Friday, July 15 at
8:00 p.m. Tickets and more info via
www.cityoperahouse.org.

 
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