Saturday, 17 March 2012

Lovesong: Mary Chapin Carpenter/Gretchen Peters

"It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse-races." 
(Mark Twain)

"The majority have no other reason for their opinions than that they are the fashion." 
(Samuel Johnson)

I was indulging in some verbal sparring recently with a couple of 'virtual' mates about my love of James Grant, but general indifference to Grant's previous band Love and Money.
Tim threw the quotes above at me; love the quotes Tim. Are you still thinking about that book?
We don't always think alike but the interesting thing about folk who are drawn to these blogs is that we generally cut from similar cloth; like minded enough for me to trust their judgements; I know that Tim and Dave Ashley love the L&M stuff, so maybe initially I was too dismissive and have missed out...
Interesting how our tastes can change with time: spinach and Sinatra anyone?
I remember going to see Shawn Colvin supporting May Chapin Carpenter way back.
I loved Colvin; just her and an acoustic, taking us all on and winning hands down.
Carpenter's band was great, she just came over as too earnest and lost me completely. I then saw her on BBC 4 in a songwriting circle with Colvin again, Nancy Griffith and Rosanne Carter. She sang 'The Moon and St Christopher' (posted below) and we (Shawn, Rosanne and me)  were all weeping. It made me go back to her stuff and I now love it; mainly for its earnestness...

It led me on to other female writers of a similar ilk; just this side of saccharine; earnest as hell; but folk who just nail an emotion; translating the unspoken (or unspeakable) mediocrities of everyday life for us. It also got me reading Anne Tyler.
One of those new discoveries for me is Gretchen Peters who writes about domestic scenarios with a keen eye and a strange disinterested passion; removed enough to be moved by those shades of mundanity...
I've posted her song 'Breakfast at Our House'
which always gets me... moist.
It also got me reaching for a quote; this from Oscar Wilde I believe:
"Only a fool cannot change his mind".



  1. Ahhh! Reminds me of our wonderful trip to New Zealand, driving amongst the most spectacular scenery ever seen, listening to Gretchen.

    Happy Days!

  2. Your "American Skin" is showing!
    Peters' latest album is a knock-out. St. Francis, Little World, Natural Disaster, Matador, Camille... hell the whole thing is gorgeous, and very dark. I don't know if this link to Gretchen's channel will fly across the pond, try it: