An Evening In Singer-Songwriter Heaven

I had never seen Mary Chapin Carpenter perform despite wanting to see her, so I was thrilled when her show was announced for the Lowell Summer Music Series this year. I grew even more excited about the show when I read that Rose Cousins would open the show.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Even though a brief unexpected shower occurred a few minutes before MCC was to take the stage, the audience’s spirits were not dampened by the ten-minute delay waiting for the rain to end.

For some reason my brain told me that MCC is a folk singer; I could not have been more mistaken because her style is country-based. Yes, there is a folk influence as well as a blues influence, but she is firmly rooted in country music.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Admittedly, the only song I know of MCC’s is ‘Passionate Kisses’ which she performed quite early in the set and which had many of her fans on their feet. This tour is supporting her recent release, The Things That We Are Made Of, and the setlist consisted of many if not all the songs on that album.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

MCC did not have to try very hard to relate to the audience; she had us enthralled from the first stories she told. She spoke of being amazed and honored that people showed up before 6:30 am when her tour bus (the “rolling tenement”) pulled up to the park. She also spoke of touring the city during the day which endeared her to our hearts. I am not a Lowellian (?) like many members of the audience, but I greatly appreciate when an artist takes the time to experience even a small part of this interesting city.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

She has a fantastic band supporting her, some of whom have been with her for many years and others who are relative newcomers. Don Dixon on bass, Nate Barnes on drums, John Carroll on keyboards, and Johnny Duke on guitar comprise the band.

Don Dixon

Don Dixon

John Carroll

John Carroll

Nate Barnes' purple drum kit (I could not get a shot of him, unfortunately)

Nate Barnes’ purple drum kit (I could not get a shot of him, unfortunately)

Johnny Duke, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Johnny Duke, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Some of the songs from the new album which I know she played were ‘Oh Rosetta’ about an imaginary conversation with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, ‘Note on a Windshield’, and the title song.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

There was a group of ten enthusiastic women sitting near me, and when MCC sang ‘I Feel Lucky’ it seemed she was playing directly to this group and they appreciated it!

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

As I mentioned above, Rose Cousins opened the show. I have seen her perform several times (and also kicked her during her Kickstarter campaign for her upcoming album), and thoroughly enjoy her music and style.

Rose Cousins

Rose Cousins

She has a dry wit that the audience loved. Rose, who is on part of MCC’s tour, also spoke of seeing a bit of Lowell during her brief stay. She asked the audience to name some famous Lowellians, and I named Jack Kerouac (my favorite author). Rose looked at me and appeared surprised at that. I am not sure that she knew Ed McMahon (Rose is from Prince Edward Island, so it is understandable that she would not know him) when people yelled his name.

Rose Cousins

Rose Cousins

For MCC’s encore, she brought Rose to the stage to sing with her. That was a wonderful way to end the evening. Rose’s harmonies blended well with MCC’s lead vocals, and everyone on stage grinned through all three songs.

Encore

Encore

Rose Cousins, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Rose Cousins, Mary Chapin Carpenter

I enjoyed this show more than I was expecting, and that is what live music is all about. Take a chance and see someone you don’t already know. You will probably be surprised and pleased you did.

Thanks to Tim Carter for the use of his photos (in addition to some of mine).

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on June 19, 2016, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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