Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Calling is Mary Chapin Carpenter's Zoë/Rounder Records debut and features 13 brand new songs. The album was recorded with keyboard virtuoso Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban) with whom Carpenter co-produced her critically-acclaimed previous CD Between & Here & Gone. The CD features all new original songs.
Dirty Linen (p.p.44) - "[D]ecidedly lyric driven....Snippets of intensely inspirational words will pop out at you....Carpenter's songwriting chops are stronger than ever."
No Depression (p.120) - "Carpenter continues to bring a philosophical and literary approach to her blend of folk, country and rock."
Personnel: Mary Chapin Carpenter (guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Tom Bukovac (electric guitar); Matt Rollings (accordion, piano); Glenn Worf (bass instrument); Dean Parks (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar); John Jennings (electric guitar, baritone guitar, dulcimer, background vocals); Eric Darken (vibraphone, percussion); Russ Kunkel (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Chuck Ainlay.
Recording information: The Sound Kitchen, Franklin, TN.
Photographer: Traci Goudie.
Although Mary Chapin Carpenter was initially marketed as a country artist, the Princeton, New Jersey, native was always just a little too academic for the Nashville crowd. Since signing with Rounder Records' pop-oriented imprint, Zoe, she has been less restricted by genre labels, and THE CALLING is one of her most wide-ranging and eclectic records yet. Many parts of THE CALLING flirt with straightforward pop-rock in the manner of vintage Sheryl Crow, particularly "It Must Have Happened," the Tom Petty-like "Your Life Story," and "We're All Right." Elsewhere, Carpenter's trademark folkie ballads are represented by the tender "On and On It Goes" and "Twilight," while the delicate "Bright Morning Star" almost edges into quiet neo-psychedelia.