Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin at The Sheldon 10/4/13

I had some pretty awesome seats to see these ladies tonight at the Sheldon.


I’ve seen Mary Chapin Carpenter once before but I’d never seen Shawn Colvin before tonight despite the fact that she’s from my hometown of Carbondale, IL. There’s not many celebrities that hail from Carbondale (Laurie Metcalf aka Jackie from Roseanne is another); most celebrities associated with Carbondale went to SIU (like Jenny and Melissa McCarthy). Shawn actually went to my junior high and high school. Besides that, all I know of her is “Sunny Came Home”.

After tonight I’d like to get to know her music more. She was fantastic. She has a higher pitched piercing tone that perfectly complimented MCC’s deeper rich voice. Shawn and MCC came on stage together shortly after 8pm.


MCC said they’ve known each other for 30 years (since birth, dead panned Shawn) and they’ve spent a lot of time in living rooms together playing music and telling stories. They wanted this evening to reflect what that’s like for them. But not exactly like what it’s like for them, because MCC said that would entail being covered in dogs and cats and being in pajamas by 4pm. (I can relate!)

They’d sing songs together, then one would sing solo and the other would sit back and listen.


This is Shawn singing “Polaroids”, a song I’ve never heard but I thought was so strikingly beautiful that I’m going to have to obtain it one way or another. After she finished MCC said Shawn first played this for her in a hotel in Nashville they both happened to be at and she knew it was a masterpiece.


MCC whispering lyrics to Shawn as she sings a verse of “The Hard Way”.

In addition to sounding great, these women were really funny. MCC talked about the perils of aging–a good looking younger cashier she could tell wanted to say something to her; turns out he wanted to tell her his grandma loved her. And she said she’s hot all the time. This elicited a very loud cheer from the crowd, most of whom were at least twenty years older than me and likely experiencing menopause right then.

Shawn talked about Taylor Swift emailing her when her tour went through Austin. (Add Shawn to the list of celebrities I just found out live in Austin; I recently found out Sandra Bullock does. I’m hoping my cousin Kirsten, who just moved there, becomes BFFs with them.) Anyway, apparently Taylor admires Shawn a lot and wanted her to sing “Sunny Came Home” with her on stage, which Shawn was happy to do. But she was a little out of her element with the giant crowd and the fact she had to squat on a riser that lifted her through the stage. She ended up practicing the squat all afternoon and everything worked out fine.


Speaking of “Sunny Came Home” (pictured above), apparently it’s a murder ballad (Shawn’s words). I guess I haven’t paid much attention to the lyrics, cause I thought it was a nice little ditty about someone coming home. MCC said something similar about knowing it was about murder but still finding it lovely to listen to.

MCC and Shawn Colvin reminded me a bit of the Indigo Girls in how well their voices fit together; like puzzle pieces. Their chemistry made their long friendship evident.



Shawn’s new Facebook profile photo?



Two and a half hours later it was over. Way past pajama time, but well worth it.


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