Shooting Straight in the Dark

Shooting Straight in the Dark

by Mary Chapin CarpenterMary Chapin Carpenter


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/24/1990
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074644607727
catalogNumber: 46077
Rank: 47691


  1. Going out Tonight
  2. Right Now
  3. The More Things Change
  4. When She's Gone
  5. Middle Ground
  6. Can't Take Love for Granted
  7. Down at the Twist and Shout
  8. Halley Came to Jackson
  9. What You Didn't Say
  10. You Win Again
  11. The Moon and St. Christopher

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mary Chapin Carpenter   Primary Artist,Acoustic 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,Piano,Keyboards
Mike Cotter   Background Vocals
John Jennings   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,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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