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Mary Chapin Carpenter: Stones in the Road (Columbia)

Eric Weisbard, Spin, December 1994

MARY CHAPIN Carpenter is pure country. I'm talking about the format, of course — Carpenter hasn't an ounce of George Jones in her. But where Rosanne Cash left to wander those adult alternative fields, and Lucinda Williams and Iris DeMent were never given a chance on country radio to begin with, Carpenter won the Country Music Association Female Vocalist Award in both 1992 and '93; her last album, Come On Come On, sold double-platinum and landed seven hits on the radio charts. One of which was a Williams tune, in fact. It's all part of the mission that makes Carpenter, one of Nashville's only open Clinton-Gore supporters in 1992, not to mention the closest thing country has to an confessed feminist, such an interesting artist. She's an infiltrator.

Total word count of piece: 374