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Carrie Newcomer

Singer and songwriter Carrie Newcomer has been a mainstay on the contemporary folk scene since the 1990s, known for emotionally intimate songs that explore the personal, the political, and the spiritual with compassion, insight, and wit. Newcomer was born in Dowagiac, Michigan on May 25, 1958 and grew up in the Midwest. While she would eventually receive a degree in visual art and create work in several mediums, she developed a passion for music, and performed with several folk groups in the '80s.

In 1991, she began performing as a solo act, and in 1994, she signed with Philo Records, distributed by the well-respected folk imprint Rounder. Newcomer's first album for Philo, An Angel at My Shoulder, appeared in 1994. The Bird or the Wing followed in 1995, and Newcomer would release 11 albums through the Rounder organization between 1994 and 2010, including the 1999 live set Bare to the Bone. Newcomer has also released two anthologies of her best-known songs -- 2004's Betty's Diner: The Best of Carrie Newcomer and 2012's Kindred Spirits: A Collection -- as well as a collaboration with Indian musicians Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan, and Ayaan Ali Khan, 2011's Everything Is Everywhere. She also participated in a 2007 album of songs inspired by Scott Russell Sanders' short story collection Wilderness Plots, which featured a handful of other Indiana-based songwriters. 2014 saw the release of a new album, A Permeable Life, produced by Paul Mahern, which appeared in conjunction with a book, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays.

In 2016, Newcomer released two albums. The Slender Thread was a collaboration with Scottish guitarist Ian Melrose, recorded for the German audiophile label Stockfish Records. The Slender Thread appeared in early 2016, while in the fall, Newcomer released The Beautiful Not Yet. The album featured several songs initially created for a collaborative project with author Parker J. Parker. Newcomer and Parker worked together to create a presentation that combined of music and spoken word, titled What We Need Is Here: Hope, Hard Times and the Human Possibility.

Offstage, Newcomer is a practicing Quaker, and devotes her energies to a variety of charitable and progressive causes. The first edition of the Bare to the Bone album was released as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood; she performed and taught in India as a cultural ambassador of the American Center in 2009 and 2011, and she donates a portion of the proceeds from her album sales to the Interfaith Hunger Initiative, Literacy Volunteers of America, and the American Friends Service Committee, among others. Newcomer is also an educator who teaches workshops on writing, creativity, and art as an extension of spiritual practice. She is married to lawyer and musician Robert Meitus, a former member of the Dorkestra. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Beautiful Not Yet

1. Lean In Toward The Light

2. A Shovel Is A Prayer

3. Cedar Rapids 10 AM

4. The Beautiful Not Yet

5. Three Feet Or So

6. Sanctuary

7. Help In Hard Times

8. The Season Of Mercy

9. You Can Do This Hard Thing

10. Where The Light Comes Down

11. Haunted

12. The Slender Thread

x

Track List: A Permeable Life

1. Every Little Bit Of It

2. The Ten O'Clock Line

3. Writing You A Letter

4. A Light In The Window

5. The Work Of Our Hands

6. Abide

7. Room At The Table

8. Thank You Good Night

9. Forever Ray

10. An Empty Chair

11. Visitation

12. Please Don't Put Me On Hold

x

Track List: Kindred Spirits: A Collection

1. The Speed Of Soul

2. I Believe

3. Breathe In Breathe Out

4. There Is A Tree

5. Geodes

6. The Gathering Of Spirits

8. I Do Not Know Its Name

9. Before And After

10. Betty's Diner

11. Where You Been

12. Angels Unaware

13. Two Toasts

14. Holy As A Day Is Spent

15. If Not Now

16. My True Name

17. A Whole Lot Of Hope

18. A Long Christmas Dinner

x

Track List: Before & After

1. Before And After (Feat. Mary Chapin Carpenter)

2. Ghost Train

3. I Do Not Know Its Name

4. Stones In The River

5. If Not Now

6. A Small Flashlight

7. I Meant To Do My Work Today

8. A Simple Change Of Heart

9. Hush

10. Coy Dogs

11. Do No Harm

12. I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

13. A Crash Of Rhinoceros

x

Track List: The Geography Of Light

1. There Is A Tree

2. The Clean Edge Of Change

3. A Map Of Shadows

4. Geodes

5. Two Toasts

6. Where You Been

7. Biscuits And Butter

8. A Mean Kind Of Justice

9. Leaves Don't Drop (They Just Let Go)

10. You'd Think By Now

11. One Woman And A Shovel

12. Lazarus

13. Throw Me A Line

14. Don't Push Send

x

Track List: Regulars And Refugees

1. Angels Unaware

2. Be True

3. Nothing's Ever Wasted

4. I Fly

5. Alice And Roy

6. Arthur B And Bob

7. Five Years On

8. La Paloma

9. All Saints' Day

10. Below The Waves

11. There Is A Spirit

12. A Coal Red Sky

13. Before The Fall

14. Betty's Diner (Remix)

x

Track List: Betty's Diner - The Best Of Carrie Newcomer

1. Toward The Horizon

2. Betty's Diner

3. Bowling Baby

4. I'll Go Too

5. Bare To The Bone

6. When It's Gone It's Gone

7. Love Is Wide

8. The Gathering Of Spirits

9. Hold On

10. I Should've Known Better

11. The Moon Over Tucson

12. When One Door Closes (Another Door Opens Wide)

13. Threads

14. The Yes Of Yes

15. Only One Shoe

16. Straight To The Point

17. My Father's Only Son

18. Three Women

x

Track List: Gathering Of Spirits

1. Holy As A Day Is Spent

2. Straight To The Point

3. I'll Go Too

4. The Gathering Of Spirits

5. The Fisher King

6. Little Earthquakes

7. There And Back

8. Silver

9. I'm Still Standing

10. I Heard An Owl

11. The Things I've Gone And Done

x

Track List: The Age Of Possibility

1. When It's Gone It's Gone

2. Tornado Alley

3. Threads

4. Love Is Wide

5. All I Know

6. Bare To The Bone

7. Anything With Wings

8. Just Like Downtown

9. Sparrow

10. Seven Dreams

11. It's Not OK

12. One Great Cry

13. This Too Will Pass

x

Track List: My True Name

1. I Should've Known Better

2. When One Door Closes (Another Door Opens Wide)

3. What Kind Of Love Is This

4. This Long

5. The Moon Over Tucson

6. The Razor's Edge

7. Take It Around Again

8. My True Name

9. Something Worth Fighting For

10. Just A Little Hand

11. One Good Turn

12. Close Your Eyes

13. The Length Of My Arms

x

Track List: My Father's Only Son

1. Crazy In Love

2. Tracks

3. These Are The Moments

4. You Can Chose

5. My Father's Only Son

6. I'm Not Thinking Of You

7. Up In The Attic

8. Closer To You

9. Bearing Witness

10. The Madness You Get Used To

11. The Rooms My Mother Made

12. Amelia Almost 13

x

Track List: The Bird Or The Wing

1. Holy Ground

2. The Bird Or The Wing

3. Nomads

4. Tenderly With You

5. The Love Letter

6. The Yes Of Yes

7. Wisdom Is Watching

8. Under Your Skin

9. I'm Not Going To Let You Break My Heart

10. Closer To Home

11. Looking For Something

12. The Prelude

13. Distance

x

Track List: Visions And Dreams

1. Visions And Dreams

2. 1000 Miles Away

3. I'm On Your Side

4. A Whole Lot Of Hope

5. Another Thunder

6. I Don't Want To Fight Today

7. Birds On A Telephone Wire

8. Just What It Is

9. Something True To Believe In

10. Sounds Of The Morning

11. Some Kind Of Grace

12. Lead Me On

13. Right Brain Born (In A Left Brain World)

14. Situations Like Lightning

15. The Boogie Man

x

Track List: An Angel At My Shoulder

1. Only One Shoe

2. Streamline

3. It Goes Both Ways

4. Hold On

5. Love Like An Immigrant

6. An Angel At My Shoulder

7. My Mamma Said It's True

8. In The City

9. Playing With Matches

10. Meet You On Monday

11. Three Women

12. A Safe Place

13. Take One Step

14. Who Have You Been (And Who Are You Now)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
jhcups
Attended a Carrie Newcomer concert at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago...ma g i c . Just a week after the Presidential election disaster, her words helped the audience feel hope and remember that we need to 'believe' Thanks Carrie.
Report as inappropriate
mark.bruce20
SHE ROCKS!
MARK
Report as inappropriate
Carrie Newcomer recently did a concert at my church. She is fabulous, delightful and incredibly talented! And we share interests in gardens, too! Thank you, Carrie!
Report as inappropriate
Don't ever let the chance to see her live go bye... I saw her at Mc Cabes in Santa Monica a few years back... Magic, and so beautiful in it's simplicity.. . A rare moment in a world to busy to listen.
Report as inappropriate
First heard her on Mountain Stage a number of years ago. Love all of her music - an incredible writer who has touched my heart.
Report as inappropriate
New to me. Thanks Pandora!
Report as inappropriate
I saw Carrie Newcomer at the McDaniel college Common Ground on the Hill music festival in Westminster Maryland many years ago. I have been a fan ever since. I wish she would return to the festival again. Carrie speaks to the heart and to the sacred of the everyday.
Report as inappropriate
sfguy2005
I discovered Carrie Newcomer in the early 1990s in Bloomington, IN. Her music spoke to my heart and soul and has enriched my life. Sometimes after a concert the audience would move the chairs and get up and dance. I will never forget the night when Carrie asked me to dance. Bare to the Bone is one of my favorite album. She is an amazing artist.
Report as inappropriate
deborahkiser
Her biography fails to mention that she was selected as Folk Artist of the Year recently, just after The Geography of Light was released (yet another profound, moving compilation! ) Seeing her live is an unforgettabl e experience that should not be missed...
Report as inappropriate
deborahkiser
I have been an avid fan of Carrie's since her early days playing with Stone Soup in local coffee shops around Purdue University. She was amazing way back then, and somehow keeps getting better and better, when there seems to be no room left for improvement! Beautiful music, balanced with profound, poetic words that touch your soul. She opens your eyes to the beauty hidden in seemingly simple, ordinary things that surround us every day.
Report as inappropriate
Carrie's not only the most amazing songwriter I know, but in my small experience is a woman of depth and spirit. I'd never miss a chance to hear her!
Report as inappropriate
diggerdoc105 4
Carrie is much like her own song GEODES. Her innocuous manner and somewhat clumsy stage patter would give no hint of the depth within. Thirty years ago she performed every weekend in a little pizza place across from my house, and even then she was something special. When she starts into one of her songs I always think, Where did she get that wisdom? I think she has the talent to have gone quite abit further, but she has chosen to stay connected to her small town roots. Good for her!
Report as inappropriate
I had to chance to see Carrie perform live for the first time, awesome performance!
Report as inappropriate
Sounds very much like Kathy Mattea
Report as inappropriate
I love Betty's Diner.
Report as inappropriate
knittingwith c l a s s 2
Just did catch her live in Sitka, Alaska. It was a fabulous evening! Thanks.
Report as inappropriate
jlprestine
I'm proud to say "I knew Carrie when..." having grown up as best friends in Elkhart, IN. Carrie is as real as they get. She was a kind, gentle soul then, and she is still today. Catch her live if you can!
Report as inappropriate
I'm a big fan of "The Age of Possibility, " a CD I may one day wear out.
Report as inappropriate
Every now and then an artist comes along who lends words and music to the deep places in the heart. Carrie Newcomer is one of these. Her music resounds with insight, and touches chords within me that I can not give voice. Thank you Carrie.
Report as inappropriate
Carrie Newcomer has delivered me back to the joy I found in music when I was much younger. Lyrics, carried on melody that takes you out of your life for just a few moments of grace. Leaves you with something to think about, cry over and finally smile. She makes you a better person.
Report as inappropriate
I am so glad to have found Carrie Newcomer! I have never been disappointed in any of her songs, and maybe the best thing for me is that I feel like in Carrie I have found my own voice. She writes, sings, and says so much of what I believe. God bless Carrie!



Report as inappropriate
I met Carrie Newcomer at a conference last year. She is an amazing person as well as a wonderful musician. If you have a chance to see her live you should totally take it!
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful voice and wonderful lyrics.
Report as inappropriate
very mellow and pleasant
Report as inappropriate
fori0
I love Carrie's music and I agree that Gathering of Spirits marked a positive shift in her music.
Report as inappropriate
Carrie Rocks! Musically, lyrically, soulfully. Unfortunatel y this site needs t be updated: she has a new album called the Geography of Light that includes some great tunes including "don't push send" which talks about the awful things that can happen via email. even has a site where you can share your own stories :) If you ever get a chance to hear her live GO. www.carriene w c o m e r . c o m and myspace too
Report as inappropriate
Carrie's singing really catches me.
Report as inappropriate
oatess
lovely voice

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