Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pepper and Air.


Hello Keith,

Thanks a lot for your answers, they are always so informative and interesting.

I live outside the United States and have just discovered the artist named Mary Chapin Carpenter with her brilliant latest release "Between Here and Gone." She seems to be unknown in the European part of the world. So I wondered how popular she is in her home country, based on her sales statistics.

Best regards,

St.Petersburg, Russia

Hello Marsel,

Thank you for the compliment. I'm just thrilled that we have readers in Russia. Keep those international letters coming!

Mary Chapin Carpenter has sold more than 7.5 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her biggest selling album in America is 1992's "Come On Come On" (Columbia) which has sold 2.9 million units.

Her most recent effort, "Between Here and Gone," has shifted 93,000 since its release in April. The Columbia Nashville album debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 50 on The Billboard 200.


Hey Keith,

There is a local band here in Hawaii called Pepper, and they have a great single out called "Ashes" that is played constantly on our radio stations. I was wondering if this group has ever had national airplay, as I think they would be quite successful. They are a lot like Sublime, with definite reggae influences, but a nice modern edge. Very surfer-rock.


Sheri P.

Hi Sheri,

For the tracking week ending Sunday, July 18, Pepper's "Ashes" was being played on four radio stations monitored by Broadcast Data Systems. Two are in Hawaii: KPOI and KUCD, both in Honolulu. Two mainland outlets, KEDJ Phoenix and KTCL Denver, are also spinning the cut.

Pepper's most recent album, "In With the Old," has sold 20,000 copies in the United States since it was released in February, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Volcom album peaked at No. 18 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart, No. 34 on the Top Heatseekers tally and No. 14 on the Top Internet Albums list.



I've never written into a service like this but I'm desperate! Is there a site that allows me to find names of music or artists that perform for TV commercials? I have to find the song that Nissan is using to push its new Armada vehicle. It's the bomb, yo!

Ryan "Iggy" DoRemus
Los Angeles

Hi Ryan,

Don't be shy about writing in. We love questions like this. has forums that discuss TV commercials and the music used in them. After consulting with the site, as well as co-workers, we've determined that the song you are hearing is "Surfing on a Rocket" by Air. The track can be found on the group's latest album "Talkie Walkie" (Source/Astralwerks).