Concert review: Mary Chapin Carpenter at Ruth Eckerd Hall

Carpenter took the stage alone at approximately 8 p.m. with her six-piece band filtering in throughout the beginning of “I’ve Traveled So Far” from her latest release, The Age of Miracles. She followed with another tune from this recording, “I Put My Ring Back On,” then offered up an old favorite, “Passionate Kisses.” Carpenter continued to mix older tunes like “Why Walk When You Can Fly” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me” (from 1994’s Stones in the Road) with new songs from The Age of Miracles. One of the evening’s highlights was Carpenter’s humorous anecdote about re-reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and her search for more information on Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. She went on to complain about the lack of high speed Internet in her area and segued into a tangent about how much she disliked Verizon. Somehow she managed to wind her way back to her original story and played a new song related to her story entitled “Mrs. Hemingway.” Carpenter ended the evening with crowd favorites “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” and “Down at the Twist and Shout,” which brought the audience to its feet.


Mary Chapin Carpenter is one of the most talented Americana/country music artists around and Sunday she reminded us just why she deserved this title. If you missed this show, be sure to catch her on her next stop in the Tampa Bay area.


More photos from the show by Jeff O'Kelley


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In sharp contrast to Friday night’s multimedia/pyrotechnic extravaganza by progressive-rock trio Rush, Sunday evening’s performance by singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter was a great, low-key way to end the weekend. The show was filled with great music and funny stories, making the evening feel more like an intimate coffeehouse set rather than a major event at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall.

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