You come and go baby

Apparently (or to me at least) it’s difficult to write a daily blog. Not because I don’t have enough material to write about because I do but it’s about that thing called life. I was sick earlier this week. I had to work. I had a meeting one night. And then last night I attended a Dancing With the Stars benefit for our local educational foundation. So, after a break of a few days, here I am back in the swing of it. Or so I say.

The item that I posted is a promotional stand-up for a record store. I believe I got it from someone selling memorabilia in Tennessee. I have another stand-up kickin’ around but it’s black instead of white and that’s what made this one a nice addition to my collection. Because Come On Come On’s primary color was black.

Since I hadn’t been on my computer much at home, I forgot that I had put COCO in the CD drive. In case you were wondering, yes, I do have MCC’s songs on my hard drive but for some reason not this one. Call me old school if you’d like. As I started listening to it earlier this afternoon, the thought occurred to me that this album is still relevant 20 years later. For example, when she sings, “Everything we got, we got the hard way,” I imagine that the listener knows exactly what she means as they got something that they’ve wanted the hard way.

Then came He Thinks He’ll Keep Her. I listened to that on auto-pilot, something that happens I suppose after listening to the same songs on an album for 20 years, 240 months, 1040 weeks. You get my point. Then came the third track: Rhythm of the Blues.

I got “stuck” on it. ROTB was never released as a single but she’s performed it during at least 2 tours that I remember. I remember the first time that I heard this song. Before she even began singing, the melody reminded me immediately of Rosanne Cash. (Rosanne Cash is one of the 3 singer-songwriters that I adore.  Mary Chapin Carpenter is as you know the first, and Shawn Colvin is number 2.) Though it sounds somber, I find it uplifting and encouraging especially when she sings:

I want a place to call my own

where you have never been

This is a person who is ready to move on in life and stand on their own two feet. With Rhythm of the Blues, Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote a song that sounded as good as if Rosanne Cash herself penned it. Then again, maybe better.

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck

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Is it live or is it Memorex?

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Besides collecting numerous pieces of Mary Chapin Carpenter memorabilia and since first and foremost, it’s all about the music, I’m grateful to have seen her several times over the years. The first concert of hers that I ever attended was in May of 1992 in Springfield, Massachusetts. I will never forget it for several reasons which I’ll relate later.

In reality I have seen Mary Chapin Carpenter more than just several times but many times over and amazingly fewer times than other fans. I haven’t counted all my ticket stubs lately but I can say for a certainty that I have seen her at least 50 times. I saw her 3 times alone just last year – first in Charlotte, North Carolina, then Atlanta, Georgia and finally in Fall River, Massachusetts.

When I first began seeing her in concert, it was definitely about the concert itself but as the years go on and as I meet fellow fans, getting to the concert itself and making friends with fans from all over the U.S. has been the real fun. It’s ironic that today’s post is about going to her concerts when I did in fact miss her in concert this weekend and she was pretty close to home for me.

Mary Chapin Carpenter performed in Baltimore, Maryland at the first ever WOW -Women of the World – Festival. It was a one-of-a-kind performance for her and I’m sorry that I missed it. But I am grateful for the many other times that I have seen her in concert over the years and I know that I will see her this year during the summer.

I mentioned that the first time I saw her in concert was very memorable to me. The first being that it was at an outdoor music festival AND it was raining throughout the day. I suppose that it was better than getting a sunburn. And the second memory was that it was a country music festival where normally the artists will meet with fans and sign autographs. But not Mary Chapin Carpenter. She finished her set, hopped on the bus, and the bus zipped right on out of there. It would be nearly 6 years later when I finally got her autograph. The most memorable part about her concert that day though? I was behind 2 tall, bearded guys that seemed to enjoy a gallon of orange juice between them. So much so that they were swaying to the music even when the music wasn’t playing anymore.

The next time I saw MCC in concert, I was inside, nice and dry with no one standing up in front of me. Though, I love to tell the story of my first time seeing her in concert. I don’t really remember what she sang but I was so happy to be there. And everyone should always be that lucky.

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck 

 

I take my chances

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The final single, from Come On Come On, was I Take My Chances, co-written by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Don Schlitz. It was released in mid-1994 nearly 2 years after COCO first came out. It did as well as He Thinks He’ll Keep Her as it reached number 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart and it did that well without a video to accompany it to boot.

I think the song did so well because it was a commentary on, well, taking chances. Not the kind of chance like, “I’ll just take the chance that I might get wet because I don’t want to bring my umbrella even though it’s supposed to rain” chance. But the kind of chance that makes our heart beat faster because we’re trying something that is out of our comfort zone.

For someone like me that sometimes has a difficult time with that, it helps me feel brave enough to try something that I might not ordinarily do.  For those people that already have the courage to take their chances (and sometimes in spades, pun intended), the lyrics just cemented what they already know and do almost naturally.

See if you agree:

I take my chances every chance I get

I take my chances

I don’t cling to remorse or regret

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck