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Folk Monday – Carrie Newcomer

I started the day today listening to Carrie Newcomer’s new album Before & After. Before & After is the 12th solo album for the Indiana native and I think maybe her best work ever! The album has a little of everything and it takes more than one or two listens to take it all in. On the first listen, which actually last week the first song that really stood out to me was “Stones in the River” I just loved the symbolism of the chorus:

today I’ll drop stones into the river,

and the current takes them out into forever,

and the truth is most of us never know,

where are best intentions go,

still I’ll drop another stone.

But on the second, third or fourth listens, I don’t know which song is my favorite. It may be “Ghost Train” with the line “sorrow is a constant companion we learn to walk beside or “If Not Now” which asks, concerning the need for change and the need to help end sorrow, “If not now tell me when” maybe it’s “I Meant to Do My Work Today” which tells about all the things in our lives we meant to do but never got done. Yeah, I really like that last one. Oh, no how about “Do No Harm” which is a story song about John Roth’s attempt to build a peaceable kingdom using the adage “Do No Harm” with the chorus:

Do no harm,

shed no blood,

the only law here is love

Yeah that’s the one, no wait there’s that clever song that ends the album about Adam naming groups of animals “A Crash of Rhinoceros” … a gaggle of geese, a covey of quail. As you can tell I really don’t know which one is my favorite, so you’ll just have to listen and figure it out for yourself! All I know is that Carrie’s voice sounds great throughout the album and her Quaker sensibilities certainly shine through on the entire album. It’s just a great album so give it a try.