Having released first album "Hometown Girl" in 1987, Mary Chapin Carpenter marks the 25th anniversary of the set with her 12th studio effort, "Ashes and Roses." The collection bows on Billboard's Folk Albums chart at No. 7 and Top Country Albums at No. 16 with 7,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Carpenter says the new album is the "most personal record I've made in the sense that I speak about a lot of things that have happened to me the last five years-among them, losing one of my parents, getting divorced and having a serious illness. It's fairly likely that those were the things I was going to be writing about this time around."
Still, Carpenter, a five-time Grammy Award winner who suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2007, finds hope in the album's lyrics. "I feel like I'm coming out from the other side," she says.
The first single, "Soul Companion," a duet with James Taylor, is gaining support at triple A radio. "It was such a thrill that he wanted to do this," Carpenter says of Taylor. "He's such an icon. This song feels like a gift."