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Mary Chapin Carpenter - Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 9/5/2018

  by Adam Coxon

published: 10 / 5 / 2018

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 9/5/2018


Adam Coxon finds accclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter to be a master of her art at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

It's impossible to explain just how special a Mary Chapin Carpenter concert is unless you've actually witnessed it yourself. The near capacity crowd at the Birmingham Town Hall last night were only too aware of this. Each song was given the most rousing reception imaginable. There is so much love for Ms. Carpenter in the room tonight. The concert has a completely intimate feel about it. Maybe it's a combination of the beautiful surroundings of the Town Hall and the laid back sounds and diary entry like quality of Carpenter's music but there is some kind of magic in the air. Mary is here tonight as part of a tour to promote her latest album, 'Sometimes Just the Sky'. An album which as Mary explains features recently cut re-workings of songs from her back catalogue. She has chosen one song from each of her albums to re-work except the title track of the album which is the only new track featured. You get a sense that the overall sound at the Town Hall could have been a little bit better. Carpenter's voice felt just a little too low in the mix at times meaning that it wasn't always easy to hear her lyrics. That is much to our detriment given that she is one of the finest singer-songwriters of our age. It, however, didn't detract from basking in the greatness of her songs. They're all featured here tonight. Lots of songs from the new album (many of which are already firm fan favourites), songs about the farm that she lives on and a couple of songs about ex-boyfriends thrown in for good measure. With two standing ovations throughout the evening, this really was a complete masterclass from a master of her art.

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