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Shooting Straight in the Dark

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mike DeGagne
Although Mary Chapin Carpenter's second album yielded two Top Ten hits, it was the release of 1990's Shooting Straight in the Dark that confirmed her talents as an artist who could easily stage a crossover without relinquishing her country roots. With an even stronger infusion of folk and pop, Carpenter opened herself up to a wider market, taking the Cajun-tinged "Down at the Twist and Shout" with the help of Beausoleil to number two on the country charts, a song that also netted her a Grammy for best country vocal performance by a female. Both "You Win Again" and Gene Vincent's "Right Now" were also released as singles, expanding Carpenter's exposure even more so, but the...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mike DeGagne
Although Mary Chapin Carpenter's second album yielded two Top Ten hits, it was the release of 1990's Shooting Straight in the Dark that confirmed her talents as an artist who could easily stage a crossover without relinquishing her country roots. With an even stronger infusion of folk and pop, Carpenter opened herself up to a wider market, taking the Cajun-tinged "Down at the Twist and Shout" with the help of Beausoleil to number two on the country charts, a song that also netted her a Grammy for best country vocal performance by a female. Both "You Win Again" and Gene Vincent's "Right Now" were also released as singles, expanding Carpenter's exposure even more so, but the other tracks from the album also reveal her lyrical strength and attentive songwriting prowess. "Halley Came to Jackson" is a wonderful tale about a small town's fascination with and misconception about Halley's comet back in 1910, while tracks such as "What You Didn't Say" and "When She's Gone" are also fresh-sounding country efforts that shine a light on her delicate but hearty singing style. Carpenter gets some help from Shawn Colvin on a few of the cuts and, because their collaboration worked so well, she and a number of other artists appeared on her next album and on 1994's Stones in the Road, expanding her material to an even greater extent. Shooting Straight in the Dark was indeed a breakthrough album for Carpenter, not only in a commercial sense but at a personal level as well, and its progressive repercussions helped in making 1992's Come on Come On an even stronger effort, spawning a myriad of hit singles.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/1990
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • UPC: 074644607727
  • Catalog Number: 46077
  • Sales rank: 137,504

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mary Chapin Carpenter Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Michael Doucet Fiddle, Vocals, Voices
Shawn Colvin Vocals, Background Vocals
Don Dixon Bass, Background Vocals
Marti Jones Vocals, Background Vocals
Matt Rollings Piano
John McCutcheon Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer
Jimmy Breaux Accordion, Voices
Peter Bonta Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards
Mike Cotter Background Vocals
John Jennings Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Voices, Vocal Harmony
Robbie Magruder Drums
Mark O'Connor Fiddle, Violin
David Palmer Drums
Herb Pedersen Background Vocals
Rico Petrucelli Bass
Vince Santoro Drums
Jon Carroll Piano, Background Vocals
Billy Ware Percussion, Voices
Technical Credits
Mary Chapin Carpenter Producer
Jim DeMain Engineer
John Jennings Composer, Producer
Bill Johnson Art Direction
John Ewards Jennings Composer
Bob Dawson Engineer
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