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Before and After

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Album Review

With her rich alto voice and wise, meditative, and lyrically precise songwriting style, Carrie Newcomer has been going her own way along the contemporary music highway for a while now, and Before & After, her 12th album for Rounder Records, continues that journey, and not surprisingly, it seems comfortably her, full of a calm warmth and few regrets. This is an album about how we remember our lives — about the moments we chose to focus on, the little choices that give us consequence as the days fly by, and the moments that remain with us long after they were the now we fussed over back when. And there are beautiful songs here, including the title track, “Before & After,” which is a gorgeous treatise on the choices we make, the languidly unwinding “Stones in the River,” the lovely “If Not Now,” the bright “A Simple Change of Heart,” and the allegorical “Do No Harm,” a wise essay on the pure nature of love that is based on the stories of Scott Russell Sanders. The instrumentation on Before & After is sparse and appropriate, with Newcomer's steady, warm, and unhurried vocals and her marvelously realized and thoughtful songs always at the very center of things. Some musicians want to move us, to make us dance and forget, which is fine, but Newcomer wants us to remember the moments we need to remember and to sway gently to those. This album works. It’s reaffirming.

Biography

Born: 25 May 1958 in Dowagiac, MI

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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....
Full Bio
Before and After, Carrie Newcomer
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