What’s happened to Mary Chapin Carpenter? Didn’t she get married?
—Betsy T., Texas
The 46-year-old singer-songwriter married contractor Tim Smith in 2002. Carpenter’s new disc, Between Here and Gone, is her first CD of new material in three years, and like Norah Jones’ efforts, has been hailed as pop music for adults. Two songs, Elysium and River, concern her marriage, which surprised no one more than Carpenter herself. “The day I met my husband, we took a drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains,” she recalls. “We came out into the Shenandoah Valley, and it was nearly spring, and it felt like the most perfect day. It sounds corny, but I just knew he was my soul mate.” Last year, Carpenter toured with songwriting peers Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Dar Williams. This year, she’ll do solo concerts, though she says her life is so idyllic that she hates to leave her home in south-central Virginia.