This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Carrie Newcomer


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk, country rock

Status:

Most recent release, The Beautiful Not Yet (2016)

See also:

Carrie Newcomer's site

Wikipedia's Carrie Newcomer entry

Comparisons:

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Cheryl Wheeler. (ishara@blarg.net)

Covers/own material:

Usually own material

General comments:

Carrie's albums explore her philosophy of life and family through some tough times and happy resolutions. Carrie has a knack for creating complex melodies that don't pin you to the wall like a pop jingle—but create permanent grooves in your brain after a few late-night listenings. I think her music is suitably ecto that many of you will discover a new old friend in Carrie Newcomer. Don't assume that "Down-home hoosier folk music" means country, or redneck, or anything the like. Carrie's music is intensely personal, positive (mostly), emotional, and touching. If you're a family type, her music will hit you right where you live. Even if not, I guarantee it'll be a pleasant experience. That warm and versatile voice coupled with her deft songwriting touch will win you over :).
     Carrie started out in her first couple of albums doing folk music with very uneven production; sometimes it sounded very good, and sometimes the arrangements buried her voice and guitar. In the couple of albums previous to My True Name, she has been searching for a balance, which often leaned too heavily toward the big band sound. We've seen her live a few times where the band almost didn't fit on the stage; they made quite a sound, but Carrie's finest moments are just her and the guitar. Of course, we've seen her this way far more often than not, so I'm probably biased....
     Luckily, she's heading back to that mode with the current album, and it showcases the beauty of her songs as they deserve. Catch her live with just the guitar and her incredible voice, and you won't be disappointed.
     As a guitarist she has an amazing command of alternate tunings, finger picking, and percussive accompaniment (tapping or slapping the guitar while playing—a hallmark of such genius players as Michael Hedges). Mostly it gets drowned by the band, but on her solo shows you can watch and be amazed. :-) (Greg Dunn)

Were the Great Mother a folksinger, I think she'd have a voice like Carrie Newcomer's: tender, yet strong and comforting. I haven't been so deeply touched by an artist's music since I first heard Julia Fordham, and believe me, that's a BIG admission coming from the creatrix of the Julia list! (ishara@blarg.net)

Carrie has a beautiful voice. (paul2k@aol.com)

When I saw her live, Carrie Newcomer described herself as a sweet-sounding folksinger who was pissed off. I heard little in her show to distinguish herself from others falling in that category. Still I enjoyed it and she might be worth a listen for any avid Ecto folk fans. (dbx@aa.net)

Recommended first album:

In my opinion none of Carrie's discs are less than excellent, but I slightly prefer The Bird Or The Wing and An Angel At My Shoulder. (Greg Dunn)

The Bird or the Wing. (ishara@blarg.net)

Recordings:


Visions and Dreams

Release info:

1991(?); reissued 1995—Philo—PH1193

Availability:

In the "Folk" section of many U.S. record stores

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folk fans

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Jeff Farias—acoustic bass
Jon Nilsen—guitar
Dan Vonnegut—drums
Dane Clark—drums
Randy Melson—bass
Sandy Williams—guitar, electric guitar
John Cascella—accordion
Michael Graham—tambourine
Susan Denton Staley—harmony vocal
Robert Shannon Meitus—guitar
Lisa Germano—mandolin, violin
Hunt Wiley—accoustic bass
Larry Smeyak—guitar, harmonica
Michael Lewis—piano, guitar, harmony vocal, bell, kalimba, bass drum
Dennis Leas—tabla drums, percussion
Robert Palomo—bass
Peter Conway—harmonica
Kevin Kaiser—percussion

Produced by:

Richard Thomas, Carrie Newcomer, Michael Graham, Robert Meitus

Comments:

The title track states a lot of Carrie's belief system clearly: "Love will lead the way...the old ones are seein' things, and the young ones are dreamin' dreams." (Greg Dunn)

Standouts on this album include the title track, "I Don't Want To Fight Today," "Sounds of the Morning," "Lead Me On," and the hilarious "Right Brain Born (In a Left Brain World)." (Apparently Carrie isn't a techno-geek like so many of us! :) ) (ishara@blarg.net)


An Angel At My Shoulder

Release info:

1994—Philo—PH1163

Availability:

In the "Folk" section of many U.S. record stores

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for folk and country-rock fans

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Susan Denton Staley—harmony vocals
Dane Clark—drums
Randy Melson—bass
Sandy Williams—electric guitar
Jamey Reid—percussion
Jeff Farias—harmony vocal
Jon Nilson—acoustic guitar
Peter Conway—harmonica
Robert Meitus—acoustic guitar
Grey Larsen—concertina, flute, violin
Polina Unamsky—cello
Karl Meyer—violin
April Combs—harmony vocal
Tammy Patrick—harmony vocal

Produced by:

Carrie Newcomer and Michael Graham

Comments:

This is the next album to get after you've bought The Bird or the Wing. Many of the songs have a country-rock sound (e.g. "Streamline," "Playing With Matches") and all are standouts. Carrie sings about her spirituality in songs like "Hold On," the title track, and "Three Women," but she doesn't preach—she shares her faith in a way people of any belief can relate to. (ishara@blarg.net)

There are so many great songs on this CD I hardly know where to start. From the guarded cheerfulness of "Only One Shoe" to the bleak endurance of "Hold On"; from the chilling remonstration of "Playing With Matches" to the wholesome self-humor of "My Mamma Said It's True", Carrie reaches emotional highs and lows that speak volumes of her life and family. I cannot listen to "Love Like an Immigrant", the story of her family's lineage and life in America, without tears leaking down my face. Nor can I hear the bright, pop-oriented "Take One Step" without remembering the wonderful performance at the Vogue two years ago that lit my face with a happy smile. The vocal performances, especially on "Hold On", "Streamline" and "Playing With Matches", are among Carrie's best. This is a powerful, emotionally-charged set of songs from the heart of a strong and intelligent Midwestern woman. (Greg Dunn)


The Bird or the Wing

Release info:

1995—Philo—PH1183

Availability:

In the "Folk" section of most U.S. record stores

Ecto priority:

Absolute Must Have for folk and country-rock fans

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Susan Denton Staley—harmony vocal
Dane Clark—drums, gonzo percussion
Randy Melson—bass
Robert Meitus—electric guitar, mandolin, harmony vocal, mandola
Bill Baker—accordion, piano
Jennifer Kimball—harmony vocal, vocal
Jeff Farias—harmony vocal, acoustic bass
Emmie Rose Newcomer—harmony vocal
Dan Vonnegut—drums
Jamey Reid—percussion
Chris Wagoner—violin
Michael Clark—pedal steel
Bill Mallers—Hammond B-3 organ
Sandy Williams—electric guitar
Jon Nilsen—lead guitar
Mary Gaines—cello

Produced by:

Michael Graham and Robert Meitus

Comments:

This is one of my all-time Desert Island Discs! The songs are like a spiritually-minded friend's poems set to music, with beautiful lyrics about the holiness of the earth ("Holy Ground"), a life well-lived as a way of praying ("The Yes of Yes," which features Jennifer Kimball's heartbreaking backing vocals), and the connections we make as human beings ("Nomads": "We're like waves out on the water, we touch then move away/Living in a circle not a line)." The loveliness of voice and lyric on this album moved me to tears. (ishara@blarg.net)

Plenty of singable tunes here, yet the good lines are filled with meaning. No mindless AM pop throwaways on this album. The Bird Or the Wing is a superbly enjoyable album, free of jarring dissonance or blaring instrumentation. It continues Carrie's tradition of meaningful lyrics and memorable tunes, and if you like it at all it will probably spend many days in your CD player. If you liked her previous efforts, this will probably find a place in your heart right next to them. (Greg Dunn)

It's your basic folk/pop/rock album. Down-home hoosier folk music. Not your ordinary woman-with-guitar, but rather full-featured productions with groovy instrumentation, including accordion, strings, hammond organ, mandolin, pedal steel, and so forth. Lots of fiddle (it *is* from Indiana, after all). Mostly acoustic. Carrie's got a very pleasant voice. The duet with Jennifer Kimball, "The Yes of Yes", is lovely. I hear Robert Shannon Meitus' touch all over this album. Ahhh. (burka@jeffrey.net)


My Father's Only Son

Release info:

1996—Philo—PH 1203

Availability:

In the "Folk" section of many record stores

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folk and country-rock fans

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Robert Meitus—acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, vocal
Jason Wilber—electric guitar, mandolin, Dobro, lap-steel, electric sitar
Jamey Reid—drums, percussion
Jack Helsley—electric bass, acoustic bass
David Brykalski Wierhake—accordion, piano, Hammond B-3 organ
Jennifer Kimball—vocals
Susan Denton Staley—vocals

Produced by:

Mark Williams and Robert Meitus

Comments:

Standouts here include "Tracks," "These Are The Moments," and the poignant "Up in the Attic." Not another The Bird or the Wing, but still, as Carrie sings in "Bearing Witness," the songs "bear witness to a journey that's been well traveled so far." (ishara@blarg.net)

This is one very fine album. Highly highly recommended. I was wowed by the title song and the closer ("Amelia Almost 13") at a live show, and they are standout tracks for me on the album. Anyone who likes folk-tinged music at all should check this out. The songwriting is stellar, and the singing is warm, full and inviting. One of my favorite recent purchases. (neal)


My True Name

Release info:

1998—Philo—PH 1223

Availability:

In the "Folk" section of many record stores

Ecto priority:

Recommended for folk and country-rock fans

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Jamey Reid—drums, percussion
Jeff Hedback—bass
Jason Wilber—electric guitar, baritone guitar, Dobro, mandolin, acoustic guitar
Mike Read—Wurlitzer organ, keyboard, B-3 organ
Donald Lawrence—backing vocals
Arnetta M Crooms—backing vocals
Sharla Reed—backing vocals
Keith Skooglund—banjo, electric guitar, baritone guitar
Slats Klug—piano, accordion
Lauren Robert—backing vocals
Sara Caswell—violin
Moira Smiley—backing vocals
Moe Z MD—backing vocals
David Weber—finger snaps
Mark Williams—finger snaps

Produced by:

Mark Williams, Carrie Newcomer

Comments:

Quite country-ish. (Riphug@aol.com)

Well...not as countryish as her previous effort, My Father's Only Son in my opinion. Some of Carrie's musicians bring along that twangy sort of fullness that most people associate with country music; listen carefully to the melody and (if audible) her guitar work, and you'll see that she's still firmly in the area between folk and pop. :-) I only mention this because I happen not to be a "modern" country music fan, but I love Carrie's work. I don't want other similarly-inclined listeners to be unnecessarily dissuaded from trying her albums. :-). Carrie just keeps turning out finely-honed, honest, lovely songs. (Greg Dunn)


Bare to the Bone

Release info:

1999—Philo—PH 9901

Availability:

Widely available.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of solid, heartfelt folk.

Group members:

Carrie Newcomer—guitar, vocals

Guest artists:

Dan Lodge-Rigal—piano
Beth Lodge-Rigal—vocals
Keith Skooglund—vocals, guitar
Robert Meitus—guitar

Produced by:

Carrie Newcomer

Comments:

An excellent live album, featuring solo and small band versions of songs from throughout Carrie's career. It's also a benefit for Planned Parenthood. (3/03, neal)

Further info:

Carrie Newcomer was formerly in an Indiana band named Stone Soup, which had at least two releases, Long Fields (from 1984), and October Nights.

She appears on the collaborative album Wilderness Plots (2007) with Tim Grimm, Krista Detor, Tom Roznowski and Michael White.


Thanks to Neal Copperman and Marisa Wood for work on this entry.

Why the ads?


Artists from
USA

521 - 560 of 797 entries

<<  10-An  An-Ba  Ba-Bo  Bo-Ca  Ca-Cr  Cu-Ed  El-Fu  Ga-Ha  Ha-In  In-Ke  Ki-Lo  Lo-Mc  Mc-Na  Na-Pa  Pa-Re  Rh-Sh  Sh-St  St-Tw  Tw-We  We-Zu  >>

Click the bullet for speed (drop the menu) or the name for convenience (keep the menu)


>
Nina Nastasia

>
Meshell Ndegeocello

>
Holly Near

>
nearLY

>
Loey Nelson

>
Amy X Neuburg

>
Neutral Milk Hotel

>
Carrie Newcomer

>
Joanna Newsom

>
Kaitlyn ni Donovan

>
Stevie Nicks

>
Nerissa & Katryna Nields

>
The Nields

>
Niyaz

>
Carol Noonan

>
Larry Norman

>
North Elementary

>
Nov. 9th

>
Heather Nova

>
November Project

>
Marianne Nowottny

>
Laura Nyro

>
Laura Nyro & Labelle

>
Margot O'Breslin

>
Diana Obscura

>
Nicole Ockmond

>
October Project

>
OHO

>
Once Blue

>
One Single Breath

>
Only on Tuesdays

>
OP8

>
Opium Den

>
Joan Osborne

>
Over The Rhine

>
Judith Owen

>
Mimi Page

>
Pale Nudes

>
Amanda Palmer

>
Lisa Papineau

<<  10-An  An-Ba  Ba-Bo  Bo-Ca  Ca-Cr  Cu-Ed  El-Fu  Ga-Ha  Ha-In  In-Ke  Ki-Lo  Lo-Mc  Mc-Na  Na-Pa  Pa-Re  Rh-Sh  Sh-St  St-Tw  Tw-We  We-Zu  >>


Other Countries...
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-09-14 18:22:53.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.