Acclaimed singer-songwriter, fierce animal lover, and long-time activist, Mary Chapin Carpenter‘s (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace) new album, The Age of Miracles, is a testament that she has indeed traveled so far, as her first song,”We Traveled So Far,” says. Mary Chapin Carpenter is also a long-time activist, she has been a dedicated supporter of organizations including Noah’s Wish, Campaign for a Landmine-Free World, Artists Against Hunger and Poverty, and other organizations.
In 2007, Mary Chapin suffered and survived a pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening artery blockage in the lung, and The Age of Miracles can be viewed as an acknowledgement of her resilience, determination and grace.
“Certainly a large part of it was almost like a narrative of coming out of that experience,” she said in an interview with Caitlin King of the Associated Press.
Released to both critical and commercial acclaim, The Age of Miracles debuted at #28 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Folk chart. The album cover art is a gorgeous portrait by Laszlo Kubinyi. Featured guests on her latest release include Vince Gill on “I Put My Ring Back On” and Alison Krauss on “I Was a Bird.” Mary Chapin is hitting the road again for the first time in three years this summer.
Mary Chapin Carpenter’s music is so poetic, pure and graceful, with her charm and storytelling evident throughout. “Zephyr” is my favorite track with lyrics: “I tried to be constant just like a star / I tried to be steady and yar / But the storms keep breaking over my head / I’m aching for blue skies instead”. A good ole-fashioned country song in “I Put My Ring Back On” about giving a relationship another go. “Holding Up The Sky” poetically and tenderly expresses her experience battling her health concerns, and feeling helplessness, scared and wanting to be free from pain.
In a recent interview with theboot.com, Mary says “4 June 1989″ was inspired from the protests of Tiananmen Square and came from her reading Chen Guang’s story in the New York Times. Mary Chapin is considered a vicarious reader, “Mrs. Hemingway” was also inspired after she read, A Movable Feast, and studying Hadley Richardson Hemingway, who was married to author Ernest Hemingway.
The somber “I Have A Need For Solitude” is self-explanatory and falls into the reflective mood of the album. “What You Look For” is full of optimism, a sense of universal, open-ended spirituality of hope, and one of the best songs on The Age of Miracles with the lyrics, “Send it out into the Universe / A humble plea, a wish, a broken verse / Be a seed that lands inside the cracks / Seek the sun and it shines back.”
And if any album should define the brilliance, consistency and artistry of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s work, this should be one of those albums. Mary Chapin Carpenter has such a gift for leaving you contemplating life and remembering her music. The Age of Miracles places the importance of staying committed to living life to the fullest, in-between the sunset and the dawn.