Shawn Colvin is no stranger to the Central Coast.
In 2014, she played the Monterey Jazz Festival as part of an all-star group paying tribute to the late, great singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, closing the set with an incandescent version of Nyro’s generational anthem, “And When I Die.’’
“It was a huge honor to sing at Monterey,’’ Colvin, best known for her 1996 hit and Grammy Award-winning tune, “Sunny Came Home,’’ recalls via email. “I was quite nervous, given the iconic vocalists who have graced that stage. Laura Nyro was deeply important to me growing up, and Billy Childs’ reimagining of her work is something I think she would have appreciated.’’
Local fans are sure to appreciate the opportunity to see Colvin and her friend and fellow iconic songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Golden State Theatre Dec. 7. It’s an elaborate gig, suitable to both performers’ lengthy and illustrious careers, with VIP seats available in the first ten rows.
But the real treat will be to see the two women in action again – they previously toured together in 2013 – as they work their way through their repertoire. Carpenter’s hits include her cover of Lucinda William’s classic “Passionate Kisses,’’ and the cutting ditty, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” along with standards ranging from the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel to veteran folkie Greg Brown.
“We do plenty of our own tunes – about equal parts covers and originals,” Colvin says. “Our audiences expect the songs on our albums, but we like to think we deliver a bit of a surprise with some old favorites.’’
It’s also the 30th anniversary of Colvin’s first solo album, “Steady On,’’ which included signature tunes “Diamond in the Rough,” “Shotgun Down The Avalanche’’ and “Ricochet In Time,’’ which she is re-releasing in an acoustic edition.
“My concerts are mostly just me and my guitar, so it seemed like a natural way to celebrate the anniversary,’’ she adds. Both women have been through painful episodes – Colvin’s struggles with alcoholism, and Carpenter with health issues and divorce. But they have successfully sublimated sorrow into song.
Is a Carpenter/Colvin album in the works, following in the footsteps of songbirds like Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt? “Making a duet album is something we can’t help but consider,” Colvin allows. “Dovetailing our schedules to make it happen is another matter! I sure hope we can.”
MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER AND SHAWN COLVIN Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Saturday, Dec. 7, 8 pm. $66-$99; $175 VIP seating. 831-649-1070. goldenstatetheatre.com