Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

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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