Mary Chapin Carpenter has returned with her latest studio album in 3 years. The CD is entitled The Calling and it's released on Zoe/Rounder Records. It's 13 brand new original tracks deal with such topics as the plight of New Orleans evacuees in the song "Houston." And the song "Why Shouldn't We" is a call to political involvement written during the 2004 presidential election campaigns. This CD finds Mary winding her way through spiritual, personal and political struggles during the most recent years of her life.
It's hard to believe that Mary Chapin Carpenter has been recording and touring for nearly 20 years. Over the course of a 10-album recording career that began in the late 80's, Mary Chapin Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards and sold over 13 million records world wide. She has scored 12 top 10 singles, including the 1992 hit "He Thinks He'll Keep Her,"
which was nominated for Record of the Year. Carpenter has accomplished the same level of success as a concert performer, having toured nationally and internationally for nearly two decades. She has also won two Pollstar Country Tour of the Year awards. But it's not just about the music. Mary Chapin Carpenter is also deeply involved in humanitarian causes like performing in support of cancer and AIDS research, as well as performing for our U.S. troops overseas. She is also involved in the Campaign for a Landmine Free World as well as hunger relief efforts. And these are just a few of the things that keep her busy along with her musical career.
Mary Chapin Carpenter's latest CD is entitled The Calling and it's filled with 13 songs that reflect where she is at this stage in her life as well as America and it's recent history. It could be her most topical and energizing album thus far in her career. The vocal and musical style is what you've come to expect from Mary Chapin Carpenter. The vocals are soft, subdued and thought provoking as well as poetic at times. They are wrapped around piano as well as acoustic and electric guitar, drums and bass.
The CD starts off with the title track in 3/4 time called "The Calling." Mary sings about the abuse of the invocation of God, country or some other authority to justify one's actions, while acknowledging the importance of having hope and faith in a higher power, something greater than ourselves, even something we can't see or explain. With lyrics like "Genius or Jesus, maybe he sees us, but who would believe us I can't really say. But whatever the calling, stumbling or falling, we follow it knowing there's no other way." "We're Alright" is a mid-tempo country song about letting go of the world and just being mentally free from everything that holds or weighs you down. With lyrics like "the past is gone, good luck so long" and "no road maps, no sign posts, no north star, no life boats," this is a great song to crank up on a stretch of open road and watch the past disappear in the rear view mirror. "Twilight" is a soft song that makes you wish that you could be in the words that she sings about that quiet time at the end of the day. Finding your way down some old familiar path that leads to a quiet field. Just getting away from everything and finding time to find yourself.
The Calling was recorded and mixed by Chuck Ainlay as well as Mark Knopfler, Sheryl Crow, and Willie Nelson. The CD is co-produced by Matt Rollings as well as Lyle Lovett and Keith Urban. Mary Chapin Carpenter is backed by a band that includes Matt Rollings on piano, John Jennings on bass and acoustic guitar as well as background vocals, Dean Parks on electric guitar, Russ Kunkel on drums, Tom Bukovac on electric guitar, Glenn Worf on bass and Eric Darken on percussion.
- "The Calling"
- "We're All Right"
- "It Must Have Happened"
- "On and On It Goes"
- "Your Life Story"
- "Leaving Song"
- "One with the Song"
- "Closer and Closer Apart"
- "Here I Am"
- "Why Shouldn't We"
- "Bright Morning Star"