The Sunday Preview: Nights out with an urban cowgirl

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The Independent Culture
A PRIME example of country music's continuing renaissance, Mary-Chapin Carpenter arrives here with a platinum album, Come On Come On, and a new single, 'Passionate Kisses', which would be a huge pop hit in a better world. In fact, she is no more strictly a country artist than, say, Bonnie Raitt is a blues singer. Born in New Jersey in 1958, Carpenter gained a reputation in the Washington DC folk scene which brought her to the ears of Columbia Records' Nashville division. Four albums on, she's up there with George Strait and Clint Black, imbuing country music with urban sophistication, humour and a Raitt-like brand of womanly wisdom. Her rich voice is a perfect vehicle for intelligent songs about the usual things: men, women, America. (Glasgow Pavilion, 041-332 1846, 11 Feb; Dublin Olympia, 010 353 177 1020, 12 Feb; Victoria Palace, 071-834 1317, 14 Feb, returns only.)

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