Carrie Newcomer did a wonderful show at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley

On 3/31/08, Robin & I got a babysitter and went to see Carrie Newcomer, Hoosier Quaker singer-songwriter, at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. It was a long day, because San Francisco Meeting had its now-customary fifth Sunday extended, unprogrammed meeting for worship from 9:30 am to noon. More about that another time, perhaps.

Carrie was wonderful! She played acoustic guitar and parlor guitar, and Gary Walters played grand piano. She played mostly songs from her new album, The Geography of Light. Her voice is strong and beautiful, with a range that goes way low and relatively high. Her words tell stories in a way that’s emotional and deep, yet not maudlin.

Robin has already given her perspective over here. I was crying at pretty much the same places Robin was, so 'nuff said.

Here’s the set list based on my notes:
  1. Leaves Don’t Drop (They Just Let Go)
  2. Betty’s Diner
  3. Geodes
  4. Two Toasts (cowritten with Parker Palmer)
  5. Don’t Push Send (if you haven’t clicked through to this site from Robin’s blog, you should do it here! www.dontpushsend.com
  6. There Is a Tree
  7. A Mean Kind of Justice
  8. Biscuits and Butter
  9. Bowling Alley Queen
  10. Be True (featured on the compilation, "Out of the Extraordinary")
  11. The Clean Edge of Change
  12. Silver
  13. Where You Been
  14. Gathering of Spirits (very moving that half the crowd was singing along with this)
  15. One Woman with a Shovel
  16. (Song about the names for animal groups, as given in the OED – e.g., "exaltation" of larks) (Nine Year Old will love this one if we can get a copy of the lyrics!)
  17. Bare to the Bone

"Bare to the Bone" was the first Carrie Newcomer song I ever heard, as far as I know. (Maybe I heard something on one of the folk music programs I listen to on KALW-FM, but if so, I didn’t notice, and they likely didn’t say she’s a Quaker.) Lisa H. of the long-dormant Rooted and Grounded in Love listed it first on her "personal Quaker playlist" in response to my own post of that name, and that’s where Robin & I first heard it. It’s a beautiful piece, "Here I stand without a message… /Bare to the bone." The nightmare of every unprogrammed Friend!

Oh, and in my opinion, her Quaker jokes were not as funny as her folk-music jokes. We rowdy West Coast Quakers were happy to hoot and holler at them, anyway!

Finally, in the interests of full disclosure, I received a free copy of her new CD in the mail today. I’m not writing this because of that fact. I’m writing this because I really liked the show, and because I’ve now listened to the CD three times tonight – it really is that good! It’s interesting to hear the fuller sound of the band as compared to the bare-to-the-bone acoustic-guitar-and-piano of the show. Both versions are nice.

PS Be sure to check out the current home page of Quaker Books, where Carrie is featured on "What’s New" as of 4/1/08.


Anonymous said...

You take notes at a concert?!

Chris M. said...

When it's a folk show at the Freight and Salvage, sure!

It's not like there's a mosh pit for all the Quaker heshers... :)