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With hits like “Passionate Kisses,” “I Feel Lucky,” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” Mary Chapin Carpenter has won five Grammys® (with 18 nominations), two Country Music Association Awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. She is one of only 15 female members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Over the course of her acclaimed career, Carpenter has sold more than 16 million records. In 2020, she recorded two albums: The Dirt And The Stars, released in August 2020, and One Night Lonely, recorded live without an audience at the legendary Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Virginia during the COVID-19 shutdown and nominated for the 2022 Grammy® for Best Folk Album. 

The New York Times describes her music as “an unclassifiable hybrid of pop, folk and country that she performs in the low, steady voice of someone confiding her thoughts in a journal,” adding that her voice is “made to engage in hushed heart-to-heart all-night conversations about things that really matter.” And Salt Lake Magazine describes her “emotionally intelligent country music” as “sometimes boisterous and fun and other times introspective and socially-conscious … a great blend of smart and sassy.” 

Of The Dirt And The Stars—produced by Ethan Johns (Ray LaMontagne, Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon) and recorded entirely live at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England—Carpenter quotes the writer Margaret Renkl. “‘We are all in the process of becoming.’ That doesn’t stop at a certain age,” Carpenter says. “To be always a student of art and music and life, as she says, that, to me, is what makes life worth living. The songs are very personal and they’re difficult in some ways—and definitely come from places of pain and self-illumination, but also places of joy, discovery, and the rewards of self- knowledge. They arrived from looking outward as much as inward, speaking to life changes, growing older, politics, compassion, #MeToo, heartbreak, empathy, the power of memory, time and place. There are many themes, but they all come back to that initial truth that we are all constantly ‘becoming’ through art and expression.” 

Emily Barker 

Emily Barker is an award-winning singer-songwriter, best known as the writer and performer of the theme to the hugely successful PBS Masterpiece crime drama Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Barker has released music as a solo artist, as well as with various bands and collaborations, including The Red Clay Halo, Frank Turner, Vena Portae, Marry Waterson, and Applewood Road and has written for film. Her latest album—A Dark Murmuration of Words—was recorded in a converted chapel in the Welsh countryside. Lyrically probing, by turns both dark and optimistic, Barker searches for meaning through the deafening clamor of fake news and algorithmically filtered conversation, delivering a timely exploration of the grand themes of our age through the lens of what it means to return “home.” On its release, A Dark Murmuration of Words hit number 1 on the official Americana Album chart in the UK and has garnered widespread acclaim. NPR Music called the album “one of the most literate and probing folk albums of the year,” while Mojo described it as “an album of spare, striking beauty” in a four-star review. 


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts | Virginia G. Piper Theater
7380 E 2nd St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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