Her voice feels like a soft cloud of mist, settling on a pasture or the way a day dies breathless, slipping into the ocean.

Mary Chapin Carpenter, who won four consecutive Grammys for best country female vocal performance, once made mainstream country radio an erudite and adroit place. Decades later, she remains the same incisive singer/songwriter who attracted progressive Nashville record executives seeking local artists with potential at Washington DC’s legendary acoustic music room the Birchmere.

“I was just doing what I wanted to do,” she recalls in an interview via Zoom from her Virginia home.

Ms. Carpenter will travel to the Vineyard this week to take part in Beach Road Weekend, the three-day music festival that settles into Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven August 25 to 27. She performs on Friday at the festival, sharing a day-long bill with Patti Smith, Caamp, Bon Iver and more. The headliner on August 26 is Mumford & Sons, and Leon Bridges headlines Sunday. In all, over 20 acts will perform throughout the weekend.

Dressed in a white button down shirt, Ms. Carpenter still looks like the young woman whose ambivalence about the high gloss make-up-and-big-hair aesthetics made her stand out in the country music world of her early days.

“I was just this is who I am, this is what I want to do, this is what I feel, this is what I see, what I think.” She pauses, weighing a time she rarely considers. Not quite sighing, she shakes her head and admits, “I was a stubborn lass.”

Ms. Carpenter returned country music to Loretta Lynn’s frankness with a wink and a willingness to get real about the state of women in America as the 20th century drew to a close. Whether the wryly spunky I Feel Lucky or Shut Up and Kiss Me, the Cajun-inflected Down at the Twist & Shout, which featured Louisiana’s Beau Soleil, she understood how to add exuberance to the gears of living an actual life.

Ultimately, leaving the major label grind she found a freedom that allowed the more reflective parts of her writing to come further forward. She still has the power of snark. Her American Stooge from 2020’s The Dirt and the Stars — inspired by Lindsey Graham’s bold-faced confession “I will do whatever it takes to stay relevant” — skewers with truth and laughter.

But those robust commentaries are tempered by the comfort of the gentle voice of solace.

Beguiling songs including It’s Okay To Be Sad, All Broken Hearts Break Differently and Asking For A Friend provide reassurance in the shaky, doubtful moments. Expressing a sense of faith in embracing the darker moments to heal them, Ms. Carpenter is the best friend or wise sibling we deserve, but rarely encounter.

That sense of connection inspired her Songs from Home weekly streaming series during the pandemic’s lockdown. What started in a burst of “what can I do?” became a meaningful community over the 62 weeks she broadcast from her farm.

“You learn how to do it,” she says of the time. “All I had was my phone. I pulled down this water pitcher, and pulled out the duct tape, and duct taped the phone to the pitcher and put it on a shelf. I had my dog and my cat, and I sort of learned how to play a song without distorting the microphone.”

She’s still slightly awed by the response.

“Completely, unexpectedly, it grew a community; like a garden, it grew. I was astonished by the beauty of people sharing what they wanted to share — everything from what did you read this week, movies did you see, to ‘I’m scared, someone in my house has Covid.’ The sharing that went on... and I’ve been saying that I just want to thank people, because this community got me through, too. I am deeply grateful for them showing up week after week after week.”

That connection and community inspired the 26-song, one-girl, one-guitar One Night Lonely, recorded in an empty Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts. The iconic Vienna, Va. amphitheatre, home to Ms. Carpenter’s earliest triumphs, has hosted the most celebrated songwriters from John Prine, Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle to Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez and Bonnie Raitt.

But for one potent evening, the hollow of the space and the songs of her career echoed in a way that demonstrated how deeply someone’s unvarnished humanity can reach.

“[Music] can be like time travel, or it can take us immediately back to some time in our life that is like a touchstone time,” she says. “It can provoke us, makes us feel.”

About her process, she describes a homespun routine. “I sit at my kitchen table and I write songs, and when I hit a roadblock, I get up and take Angus, my dog, out and walk. We go what I call song-walking. I just riff out loud the lyric I’m working on — figure out where to go while I’m out in the field with my dog.”

Marveling about moments in time and places she’s been, she admits to having had no clue at the outset of her career how life would unfold. But she is still here, still making music, still creating compassion and hope amongst life’s snarls, the bits of found beauty and cracked places in the heart.

Earlier this year, she appeared at the 50th anniversary of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. This fall she will receive the Poet’s Award by the Academy of Country Music at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Her touring band includes longtime collaborators John Carroll and alt/jangle-pop producer Don Dixon, plus shared Bonnie Raitt-resource Duke Levine, all world class musicians in their own right.

“Being able to go out and play with wonderful musicians to beautiful audiences, it’s an honor to be an artist,” she says. “The word is bandied about so much these days, it’s like it’s lost its power. There are artists still in the world and it’s a noble profession, even though there’s no guarantee ever that anyone is going to connect with what you do. But if you’re lucky enough that someone does, it’s a privilege, and that’s how I think of it.”

For tickets and more information, visit beachroadweekend.com.