From the July 2016 problem of Acoustic Guitar | through JEFFREY PEPPER RODGERS

With a poet’s eye for detail, Mary Chapin Carpenter take away her following step

“Looking ago is not the same as spring forward,” sings mary Chapin Carpenter end the resonant ring of her low-tuned flattop guitar. “You can’t watch what that is that you’re heading towards / every that’s visible is what’s left behind.” Carpenter’s affluent alto traction you in close together she ponders “the desires distilled and also the dreams discarded” and the strangeness that “waking increase alone in the center ages.”

These kinds of soul-searching reflections fill Carpenter’s brand-new album, The things That We room Made Of (Lambent irradiate Records), picking up wherein her last collection of initial songs, Ashes and Roses (2012), left off. (In in between these 2 releases come Songs indigenous the Movie, on which Carpenter sang selections indigenous her ago catalogue v an orchestra.) Carpenter created the song on Ashes and also Roses in the after-effects of divorce, serious illness, and the passing of her father. ~ above The things That We room Made Of, she considers what come next. With graceful melodies and also a poet’s eye for detail, she delivers songs that space emotionally revealing without ever before seeming self-indulgent.

You are watching: Mary chapin carpenter only a dream

Best recognized for such ’90s country-rock hits as “I feel Lucky,” “He thinks He’ll store Her,” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” Carpenter focuses these days on she softer side—contemplative songs played mostly in alternate tunings. On The things That We are Made Of, producer Dave Cobb, who won multiple Grammies this year because that his occupational with Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, adds subtle band support that pipeline the spotlight ~ above Carpenter’s solo troubadour sound.

Nearly 30 years have actually passed since Carpenter released her debut album, Hometown Girl, developed by man Jennings, which began her climb from the clubs and also coffeehouses of Washington, D.C., to the peak of the nation charts. She keenly feeling the loss of Jennings, who passed away last fall, and dedicated the new album come his memory.

At 58, Carpenter lives in a farmhouse in Virginia, wherein I reached her because that this conversation on the recent chapter in she songwriting life.

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