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Mary Chapin Carpenter in Waterville

Mary Chapin Carpenter Book
Photo by Sharon Buck

If you weren’t there, you missed a great concert last night. Country music star and 5 time Grammy Award winning artist Mary Chapin Carpenter was in concert at the Waterville Opera House. Most of the people there saw her in concert at Sugarloaf back in the summer of 1993. At least, I think it was 1993. It’s been so long I can’t remember. But it’s about time she came back!

It was my very first concert and I remember it being very hot that day. I was in a tank top and shorts. No one told us that when the sun went down at Sugarloaf in August the temperature dropped to 40 degrees. Thankfully, the couple next to us lent us a blanket to huddle under while we watched. We were treated to an incredible show that night with Ricky Skaggs and Hal Ketchum. But for me, it was Mary who stole the show that night. It was that night I decided to be just like her: a positive, strong woman singing amazing stories. It’s just taken me a while to get there.

Back in the early 1990′s, there weren’t many female country artists to look up to. Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd were the only females turning out hits besides Mary. She is the only artist to have won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, which she received from 1992 to 1995.

Last night, not only were her vocals haunting but she was very funny. She said that since her divorce she hadn’t kissed another human being in years. But she has 4 cats and 5 dogs that she kisses daily. Her band was tight. You could see them having fun together and loving what they do. Each musician was featured showing their chops including her lead guitarist, who is from Massachusetts. She also signed a small guitar for a little girl. Pass it on, Mary!

Before the show I wasn’t able to meet her but I was lucky enough to have her sign the book I bought for Anderson before he was born. The song ‘Halley Came to Jackson’ is my 2nd favorite song by her, ‘This Shirt’ being my 1st. Originally a song written by her and recorded on her ‘Shooting Straight in the Dark’ album in 1990, it is about Halley’s Comet and it’s visit to Earth in 1910 and seen by Eudora Welty, a well known America novelist and short story writer in Jackson, Mississippi. I’ve included the song with this post. I hope you will take the time to listen to the beautiful story. Thank you, Mary, for inspiring an 18 year old Sharon.

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