Night & Day — Mary Chapin Carpenter’s list of accomplishments includes five Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two Country Music Association Awards and a recent induction in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Carpenter’s commercial breakthrough came in 1992 with the multi-platinum selling album “Come On Come On,” which featured “I Feel Lucky”, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” and “Passionate Kisses.”
Carpenter is coming to North Tonawanda’s Historic Riviera Theatre on Friday for a special performance with another Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter, Shawn Colvin. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $39 to $44, visit for rivieratheatre.org for more info.
“We’ve known each other for 30 years. We have done a million shows together, traveled the world and opened for each other. We had never done a formal tour and started discussing it two years ago. It was originally supposed to be a few months, but we had so much fun and the audiences have been loving it. The tour has gone on for the better part of the last year and a half and these are the last few shows on the books so it is bitter sweet,” Carpenter said during a recent phone interview.
Fans and critics alike have been giving the show rave reviews for the duo’s unique combination of music and storytelling.
“It’s pretty irreverent, we try and recreate the feeling that we are hanging out in our living room and wild hijinks ensue,” she joked.
Colvin and Carpenter continue to be prolific songwriters, both of them released new albums in 2012, Colvin’s is entitled “All Fall Down” and Carpenter’s “Ashes and Roses.”
Carpenter’s album is her second since overcoming a pulmonary embolism in 2007
“I love writing songs and I love performing them,” she said. “When I came back from my illness I had a renewed appreciation for what I get to do for a living.”
In 2010, after recovering from the embolism, Carpenter released “The Age of Miracles.” It contains some of her most powerful work.
In spite of advances in technology, Carpenter still writes songs the same way she has since the beginning of her storied career.
“I sit at my desk, I have a yellow legal pad and a pencil and an eraser,” she said. “The only thing that has changed are some of the devices I use to record some ideas. We talk about songwriting in our show.”
The yellow legal pad has produced a number of successful songs, songwriter and recognition by an elite group of songwriters, which resulted in her induction to The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, whose previous inductees include Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, and Garth Brooks.
“The Grammy Awards are very important to me, and all of the awards and nominations are special but the songwriters award came out of nowhere,” she said. “The constituency is very narrow, and includes many songwriters that I revere. Being in the same room with them was amazing.”
Carpenter is also known for her interpretations of other artists work, including John Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me,” and one of her most popular hits — “ ‘Passionate Kisses’ is a Lucinda Williams song, but I love singing it and always feel empowered doing so,” she said.
As Carpenter wraps up her tour with Colvin, she is prepping a new release. “I have a new record coming out in January. It’s about as far from country as one can get, it’s a bucket list project.”
In spite of all the touring and venues, Carpenter has vivid memories of the last time she performed in North Tonawanda a little over a year ago.
“I have a beautiful picture of the venue and the last time I was there with my band we had a great time.”
Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.