Carrie Newcomer made me cry

I think she does that to lots of people. And they say thank you and are willing to pay for the experience.

I started in the second song, Betty's Diner, about the pastoral care of a late night diner waitress. And I wished I had brought a bigger handkerchief before the night was through.

Chris and I went to her concert at the Freight and Salvage coffeehouse last night in Berkeley. We met up with half a dozen other Quakers, some of whom are regulars at the Freight, but all of whom had come to hear this special Quaker singer-songwriter from Indiana. We may have been the only ones who got the Quaker jokes, but at least we laughed loudly.

We were able to trace the links among us - I first heard Carrie's music when Lisa gave us a mix cd with a couple of Carrie's songs, Chris found a link online about the concert, and sent an email to me, and then to the Bay Area Quaker google list, which Tom set up, and Lisa made an announcement to her meeting where Laura reminded them that Carrie donates part of her proceeds to the AFSC, and then Laura and Lisa invited Darcy and Rachel to come too, and we invited a bunch of people from our meeting, and Neil took us up on it. You following all that? Nevermind.

Her songwriting is amazing. The song, "Where You Been," is a haunting tune about the prophets among us. (You can hear a clip on her site, just click on the playlist at the top. But I'll warn you, the website is slow, and it hangs up my computer while it's loading.)
Brother, where you been?
Hold on if you can.
Just do your best and
Then, say Amen.
The music was beautiful, not technically perfect performance-wise, but well suited to her deep alto voice, with Carrie on guitar and Gary Walters on piano. The uptempo songs, like the one about the bowling alley queen, were funny too.

She also has a new website, set up to accompany one of her funny songs, "Don't Push Send," because people started sending her their excruciating tales of email embarrassment. You can post your own stories as well.

So if you get the chance, let Carrie make you cry too.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carrie Newcomer and I share some Meeting history--although not overlapping. And I've eaten in the diner (now gone) that inspired "Betty's Diner."

She's a fine singer. My niece was 5 or 6 when she first heard Carrie Newcomer sing, and her response was: Carrie Newcomer sings the truth!


3/31/2008 4:46 PM  
Blogger Chris M. said...

... and Lisa gave us the CD because of my post, "Personal Quaker Playlist. Thank you, Lisa!

Thank you, Robin, for going with me. I had damp eyes, too.

3/31/2008 6:25 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Lots and lots of truth!

Chris - thank you, I looked for that post to link to it, but I couldn't remember exactly what it was called and I couldn't find it.

3/31/2008 6:54 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

She'll be in Oregon next week!

3/31/2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Friendly Mama said...

I've been a fan of Carrie's since waaaay back when she was with a folk group called Stone Soup. I'd see 'em play around Indiana (where I'm originally from) every chance I got 20+ years ago. I saw her perform solo 6 or 7 years ago.

A year or so ago I was trying to find the lyrics to one of her Stone Soup songs when I discovered, much to my delight, that she is Quaker!

I'm on her email list so I'm keeping my eyes out for any Nashville gigs. I'm glad y'all saw her and enjoyed it. I've got her newest CD and like it a lot.

4/02/2008 8:59 PM  

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