Way back when, well 1992, I got a free CD on a magazine – probably Q which I read avidly at the time – and listening to it in the car on he way home from work only one track made a lasting impression.
It was I Feel Lucky by Mary Chapin-Carpenter and I played it over and over. I also laughed when Danny Baker played it on what I’m guessing would still have been his morning Radio 5 show and commented on the growl she emits close to the end.
If Danny likes it, I thought, there must be something in it.
So when the parent album it came off was favourably reviewed I took the plunge, even though at that time fairly folky, semi-country female singer songwriters weren’t my thing.
But they are now, and the reason they are is almost entirely down to the impact Mary and her Come On Come On album had.
Within a couple of years and with the help of CMT on cable TV you couldn’t move for the likes of Mary, Trisha Yearwood, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Bogguss and the then sparkly newcomer Shania Twain.
But over the years their visibility has gradually faded from the mainstream which is a huge shame.
However, every couple of years she comes back to do a few UK shows one of which this time round was at Liverpool Philharmonic.
Last time out Gill and I had seen her backed by Manchester Camerata which was a magical evening, but at the Phil it was a more traditional arrangement of pianist and guitar/mandolin player supporting her in a show that was quietly understated and reflective in common with much of her material.
Her voice continues to carry stories of small town hopes, dreams and disappointments in a way that makes you believe every word and when it drops to barely a whisper it’s like it’s just for you.
The standing ovation at the end was richly deserved after she had worked her way through an outstanding back catalogue plus a few songs from her new album, The Things That We Are Made Of.