Mary Chapin Carpenter is still touring behind her most recent studio album, 2010′s ‘The Age of Miracles,’ but she’s already thinking about where her songwriting muse might lead her next.

In fact, she says she’s written a handful of new material for her next album — and she’s even taken the opportunity to debut some of the songs on the road.

“You know, it’s really great to be able to road test songs when you have that chance,” Carpenter explained to Taste of Country. “The audiences are so great and welcoming and people are interested in hearing the new songs. It gives me a chance to get a sense of how something feels.”

Even with that feeling, though, it takes the comfort of home for Carpenter to really understand where the songs are taking her. “I envy people who can write anywhere, and I know artists that do have that power of concentration, who can wall off the world and find energy and solitude,” she admitted. “When I’m out [on tour] going place to place [writing isn't feasible]. I wait until I get home. I need to feel the pencil touching the paper, need to erase, and that’s something I can’t do on the computer. It’s slow, writing.”

Whenever Carpenter’s next record comes together, it sounds like it’ll have to wait for awhile after she gets off the road. Her current string of tour dates extends through an October 23 appearance at Austin City Limits.

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