• SPOTLIGHT


    FEATURE ARTICLES

    RARE APPEARANCE:
    THE KRUGER BROTHERS

    Kruger BrothersThe Kruger Brothers are making a rare West Coast appearance at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 7:30pm.

    If you are not familiar with this trio (Jens on banjo, brother Uwe on guitar and Joel Landsberg on bass), get ready for an amazing evening. Sometimes referred to as “new traditional American music,”

    Read more: RARE APPEARANCE: THE KRUGER BROTHERS


    JUDY COLLINS
    ON VALENTINE’S DAY

    AT THE ROSE IN PASADENA - FEBRUARY 14, 2016

    By Ross Altman, PhD.

    Judy CollinsIf you’re looking for something special to do on Valentine’s Day you’ve come to the right place. A new concert venue is coming to Pasadena, sister club to the enormously successful Canyon Club in Agoura and the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. East Side, West Side, All Around the Town—The Rose at Paseo Colorado, 300 E. Colorado Blvd # 101, Pasadena, CA 91101.

    Read more: JUDY COLLINS ON VALENTINE’S DAY


    A DAY AT NAMM 2016 WITH ANNETTE & NOWELL

    By Annette Siegel (Living Tree Music)

    (Ed. Annette and Nowell Siegel run Living Tree Music which specializes in fretted instruments. Nowell is a luthier.)

    NAMM exterior 2 smNAMM 2016 was filled with all the usual glamour and glitz; enough noise to make your ears split (literally). A couple of exhibitors caught our eye.

    Read more: A DAY AT NAMM 2016 WITH ANNETTE & NOWELL


    NAMM Media Preview Day

    Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

    By Becky Nankivell & Michael Frey

    NAMM exterior 1 smWe’re excited to attend another NAMM Show as media representatives for FolkWorks. The National Association of Music Merchants annual 4-day trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center is a giant kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, with something for everyone. This year we thought we’d attend their Media Preview Day – maybe the lines for ID badges would be shorter!

    Read more: NAMM MEDIA PREVIEW DAY


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    January-February 2016

    Talking Blues with Doug MacLeod

    Part One

    By Audrey Coleman

    Doug MacLeodListening to a concert (or set) by Doug MacLeod means confronting the cruel jokes life can play on us, sometimes evoking moaning protests, other times raucous laughter. MacLeod’s guitar playing is gritty and true. Like the sound of his instrument, his voice and storytelling draw from the roots of the blues in the African-American South. The evening before our interview, I had ridden a roller-coaster of emotions listening to this white-skinned, white-haired bluesman at Boulevard Music in Culver City.

    Read more: TALKING BLUES WITH DOUG MACLEOD

    CONCERT REVIEWS

    TOMMY EMMANUEL IN CONCERT

    Pepperdine Smothers Theatre - January 20, 2016

    Certified Guitar Player and a Class Act

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Tommy EmmanuelThe Grand Canyon, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Sphinx, to those and the other 8 Wonders of the World you can add Certified Guitar Player Tommy Emmanuel, who gave a spectacular concert last night (January 20, 2016) at the Pepperdine University Smothers Theatre in Malibu.

    Read more: TOMMY EMMANUEL IN CONCERT


    MARC COHN IN CONCERT

    Pepperdine Smothers Theatre - June 16, 2016

    Reflections on the 25th Anniversary
    Of Walking in Memphis

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Marc CohnSinger-Songwriter Marc Cohn broke through to a national audience 25 years ago with his 1991 hit Walking in Memphis. But before he could walk in Memphis this Cleveland songwriter had to fly there, and thereby hangs a tale. James Taylor no less gave him the idea—to break out of a spell of writer’s block. Taylor told him to “try a geographic,” change his locale, get out of familiar places and habits and shake his mind up so it might be receptive to new experiences and ideas. Marc Cohn was telling this story last night by way of introducing his hit song and how it came to be written.

    Read more: WALKING IN MEMPHIS: MARC COHN IN CONCERT


    Here Comes the Knight: Van Morrison Live

    At the Shrine Auditorium - Friday January 15, 2016

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Van MorrisonForget about Celtic Soul, forget about Irish Mystic, forget about Belfast Cowboy, and above all forget about 1970s soft-rock—all the comfortable hybrids we’ve grown accustomed to using to describe this now-70-year old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. Last night I heard the greatest pure blues singer of my life in downtown Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium

    Read more: HERE COMES THE KNIGHT: VAN MORRISON LIVE


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON DVD

    ARTIST: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON

    LABEL: OLD TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Eric  Suzy Thompson DVDDavid Bragger has filmed this superb 18-cut performance DVD of Berkeley's Eric and Suzy Thompson. The intimacy of the video puts you up close and personal. It's a bit like attending a concert and sitting a foot or two in front of the performers. The extensive liner notes also help you to get inside the tunes and songs. Not many musicians can play such a wide range of genres and maintain such a high level of excellence in each one, but Eric and Suzy are definitely up to the task.

    Read more: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON DVD


    TITLE: INTO THIN HAIR

    ARTIST: THE SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS

    LABEL: NONE

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS - INTO THIN HAIRThe Sunny Mountain Serenaders comprise three great old-time musicians who play very well together. I have known all three for a long time. Mark Campbell is a Virginia fiddler who has won the prestigious fiddle contest at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia. Mac Traynham, who plays banjo and harmonica and sings lead has won both banjo and fiddle at Clifftop. John Schwab has played guitar in many great bands and has written a book on old-time backup guitar. John sings harmony. They offer a generous 18 selections on this, their first CD.

    Read more: SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS - INTO THIN HAIR


    TITLE: SHAKIN' DOWN THE ACORNS

    ARTIST: RED SQUIRREL CHASERS

    LABEL: VIGORTONE

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Red Squirrel Chasers - Shakin Down The AcornsThe Red Squirrel Chasers first formed about a decade ago to play dances. Now, they have combined their formidable talents into this new recording of 16 tunes and songs. The four members of the band are fiddler Stephanie Coleman, mandolinist Jim Collier, guitarist Jim Nelson, and bass player Dedo Norris. All four sing, though Collier and Nelson sing all the leads and most of the harmony. Their musical interests span the genres of old-time music and early bluegrass.

    Read more: RED SQUIRREL CHASERS - SHAKIN' DOWN THE ACORNS


    TITLE: SORROWS AND GLORIES

    ARTIST: RED MOON ROAD

    LABEL: SELF

    RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 11, 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    Sorrows and Glories - Red Moon RoadOne of the most exciting folk groups to come out of Canada in recent years, Red Moon Road brings an irresistible blend of energy, charm, story-telling, and musical virtuosity to their songs that makes you want to hear them again and again. With wonderful melodies punctuated by spot-on harmonies and upbeat rhythms, their second album, Sorrows and Glories, is as refreshingly original as it is inviting; as ideal for careful listening as it is for just driving in your car and not minding the traffic so much.

    Read more: RED MOON ROAD - SORROWS AND GLORIES


    TITLE: HURRY UP AND WAIT

    ARTIST: DUET 2 IT

    LABEL: ET ENT.

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    duet 2 itOnce, when I was at a concert, I overheard someone say (about the artist), “She could sing the telephone book and it would sound amazing.” That’s the kind of voice that Erin Montgomery brings to Duet 2 It. And her abilities are matched, on lead guitar, by her partner, Chris Roullard. Together, in Hurry Up and Wait, this young duo has created a debut album that fairly explodes with talent, vitality, and a sophistication that belies their years.

    Read more: DUET 2 IT - HURRY UP AND WAIT


    everything but ...

    KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD

    Dateline Beverly Hills,

    February 2, 2016:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Merle Haggard's concert with Kris Kristofferson at the Saban Theatre tonight was canceled due to Merle's illness. He is recovering from double pneumonia.

    FolkWorks wishes Merle Haggard a complete, painless, and speedy recovery so that your concert with Kris Kristofferson may be rescheduled later this year.

    All fans of great country and folk music are on the fighting side of Merle Haggard and send our heartfelt prayers and good wishes to his family for a return to good health.

    Read more: KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 2/6/16


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    1:00pm NATHAN AND JESSE

    Cafe Aroma

    54750 North Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549

    951-659-5212


    fwpick

    3:00pm RATTLE THE KNEE

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 92675

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    6:00pm NATHAN AND JESSE

    Ferro

    25840 Cedar St, Idyllwild, CA 92549

    951-659-0700


    7:00pm TARA BEIER

    Canadian folk singer-songwriter

    Hotel Café

    1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038

    323-461-2040


    7:30pm ELLIS PAUL

    Laura R. Charles Theater, Sweetwater High School

    2900 Highland Ave., National City, CA 91950

    Presented by AMSD Concerts


    fwpick

    8:00pm JIM KWESKIN / HAPPY TRAUM

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 92675

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    8:00pm LAURENCE JUBER

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    8:00pm KEOLA BEAMER and HENRY KAPONO

    Hawaiian guitar concert

    Irvine Barclay Theatre

    4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, CA 92697

    949-854-4646


    fwpick

    8:00pm JAMES LEE STANLEY

    Boulevard Music

    4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230

    310-398-2583


    10:00pm MISS TESS AND THE TALKBACKS

    The Mint

    6010 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

    323-954-9630



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    2:00pm - 5:00pm NORTHRIDGE SONG CIRCLE (SONGMAKERS) first Saturday

    Northridge (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Unlisted, Northridge, CA

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Lisa Reinhardt 818-885-6108 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:00pm ORANGE COUNTY HOOT (SONGMAKERS ) first Saturday

    Orange County (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Home of David Borger and Ann Carroll, Mission Viejo , CA 9269X

    David Borger and Ann Carroll 949-297-8393 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:30pm BLUEGRASS CONCERTS every Saturday

    Me N Eds Pizza Parlor

    4115 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712

    562-421-8908


    6:30pm - 11:00pm SANTA MONICA TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC CLUB first Saturday

    Sha'Arei Am (Santa Monica Synagogue)

    1448 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

    310-453-4276

    April Wayland 310-376-8760 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm FRET HOUSE OPEN MIC (SIGNUP 7:30PM) first Saturday

    Fret House

    309 N. Citrus, Covina, CA 91723-2006

    626-339-7020


    DANCE


    6:00pm - 9:00pm SOLVANG VILLAGE FOLK DANCERS first, second, fourth & fifth Saturday

    Bethania Lutheran Parish Hall

    603 Atterdag Rd., Solvang, CA

    David Heald 805-688-3397


    7:30pm - 11:00pm 1ST SATURDAY BRENTWOOD CONTRADANCE first Saturday

    Brentwood Youth House

    731 So. Bundy Dr., Brentwood, CA

    626-205-2044

    Beata Ponder 310-621-8538 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm VESELO SELO FOLK DANCERS first, third & fifth Saturday

    Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim

    511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

    Kathy Molga 949-573-1585


    PASSINGS

    Andy M. Stewart

    (September 8, 1952- December 27, 2015)

    Silly Wizard
    Andy M Stewart, 2nd from left with members of Silly Wizard..
    Andy M. Stewart, born in Alyth, Perthshire, Scotland, was known as the lead singer in the group Silly Wizard.

    Andy M. Stewart had been left paralyzed from the chest down after a failed operation on his spine in September 2012. He was taken into hospital in early December after suffering a stroke.

    Read more: ANDY M. STEWART


    Al Ard

    (September 19, 1946 - December 18, 2015)

    By Ed Glass and Fron Heller

    Al Ard
    Photo by Leda Shapiro
    Al Ard at Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest in 1998.

    Our friend Al Ard died December 18, 2015 at the age of 69.

    Only rarely did he venture far from Lennox and Inglewood. But staying local never impeded the breadth and depth of his humanity and understanding.

    Al was an unpretentious and completely unselfish mentor to everyone, perhaps most importantly in a spiritual way. He never hesitated to enthusiastically teach others whatever he knew in the realm of music: spoons, rhythm, singing, guitar, harmonica, banjo, or anything else.

    Read more: AL ARD


    GRAMMY NOMINEES

    2015 GRAMMY NOMINEES

    OF INTEREST TO FOLKWORKS READERS

    11. BEST CONTEMPORY INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM

    36. BEST GOSPEL PERFORMANCE SONG

    38. BEST GOSPEL ALBUM

    40. BEST ROOTS GOSPEL ALBUM

    44. BEST TROPICAL LATIN ALBUM

    45. BEST AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE

    46. BEST AMERICAN ROOTS SONG

    47. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM

    48. BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM

    49. BEST BLUES ALBUM

    50. BEST FOLK ALBUM

    51. BEST REGIONAL ROOTS MUSIC ALBUM

    53. BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM

    54. BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM

    66. BEST ALBUM NOTES

    67. BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM

    -->Click for DETAILS

    Read more: 2015 GRAMMY NOMINEES


    BOOK REVIEW

    TITLE: WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.—1937-1941

    AUTHORS: DARRYL HOLTER AND WILLIAM DEVERELL
    FOREWORD BY ED CRAY

    PUBLISHER: ANGEL CITY PRESS (SANTA MONICA, CA)

    PUBLICATION DATE: January 15, 2016

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.1937-1941This account of Woody Guthrie’s pivotal four years in Los Angeles from 1937 to 1941—during which he became the political songwriter who influenced four generations of American folk singers—from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen—will send a seismic shockwave through the standard narrative of the folk revival of the1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. Measured on the Richter Scale, I would put it at a 6.7—in the same territory as the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

    Read more: WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.—1937-1941


CARRIE NEWCOMER
HER LEGACY OF PEACE
THROUGH MUSIC

AN INTERVIEW

By Terry Roland

CARRIE_NEWCOMER.jpg
Photo by Jim McGuire

Carrie Newcomer is not so much a hit maker as she is a legacy-maker. And it's quite a legacy she's been creating; a flow of songs that stream down from her life as a writer, philosopher, peace activist, conservationist and a silence-practicing Quaker. 'Pay attention' she says, and so doing, miracles emerge in an abundance of small ways. Her peace-activism is not about the absence of war, but the presence of a grace everyone can experience each day by practicing what she refers to as 'the greatest law, love.'

Her current tour in support of her new album, Before & After, follows a good will mission to India where she shared her music and participated in the daily life of the people there. As she spoke on the phone from her Indiana home she elaborated on her philosophy and the influences behind her legacy of songs that serve to point her audience toward a deeper appreciation of their everyday lives.

CARRIE NEWCOMER
HER LEGACY OF PEACE THROUGH MUSIC

AN INTERVIEW

By Terry Roland

Carrie Newcomer plays at McCabe's on Friday, March 12 at 8:00pm  

CARRIE_NEWCOMER.jpg
Photo by Bill McGuire

Carrie Newcomer is not so much a hit maker as she is a legacy-maker. And it's quite a legacy she's been creating; a flow of songs that stream down from her life as a writer, philosopher, peace activist, conservationist and a silence-practicing Quaker. 'Pay attention' she says, and so doing, miracles emerge in an abundance of small ways. Her peace-activism is not about the absence of war, but the presence of a grace everyone can experience each day by practicing what she refers to as 'the greatest law, love.'

Her current tour in support of her new album, Before & After, follows a good will mission to India where she shared her music and participated in the daily life of the people there. As she spoke on the phone from her Indiana home she elaborated on her philosophy and the influences behind her legacy of songs that serve to point her audience toward a deeper appreciation of their everyday lives.

TERRY: How did you get started with the music as a career?

CARRIE: I started early on. I didn't come from a musical family. There was a music/arts program in the public school where I was raised. I became a part of wave of musicians and artists during my teenage years. I fell in love with poetry as I learned to pick guitar. I wrote some awful songs, but I was always drawn to the stories in the music. I went for visual arts in college. I got a degree to go along with it. I didn't start out in music even though it was my first love. But, then I began playing at schools, in coffee houses, and bowling alleys.

TERRY: Your songs carry a literary feel to them. Also, there are spiritual overtones.

CARRIE: I am a big reader. I love to read books. I love ideas. I love beautifully written language. I always leaned into language and stories. My dad was an educator. For me, reading has really made a difference. Spiritually, I've been a life long seeker. I don't think there are a lot of easy answers. There are really good questions. But, it's the questions that sustain me. Good questions are at the heart of my life. You know, it's the realm of the poets, theologians and mystics. That's how I approach songwriting.

TERRY: Tell me about the new album, Before & After.

CARRIE: It's about finding something extraordinary in an ordinary day. About paying attention. The idea of being in the moment. We live such busy lives. Someone once said we don't remember days, we remember moments. We remember songs.

TERRY: In one song you refer to religious cornflakes. What is that?

CARRIE: (Laughs) It's a metaphor for the packaged religion of today. The superficial. You know, it's like fast-food. It doesn't sustain you for very long. I have a spiritual current running through my work. But it's not exclusive, it's inclusive. I don't want to put the Sacred in a box.

TERRY: You identify yourself as Quaker.

CARRIE: I didn't grow up Quaker. I discovered it later. What drew me in was the silence. I've been attending a silent meeting for over 20 years. It's funny because people will say, ‘you're a woman whose life is in sound!' But, it's a balance. Some of my best language comes out of silence. It is actually really understandable.

TERRY: The silence-meditative place inspires music?

CARRIE: Yes. Taking time to be quiet, to reflect. Being a writer is a very solitary profession. You're alone a lot. You're committed to sitting down and showing up for work. You really have to sit down and be with the practice of writing. It's been said, writers get to live their lives twice. You live it, then you write it. There's a song on the album, I Meant To Do My Work Today. It's about that idea. We're so busy and there are all of these things we need to do. But, there are times when we're called to do nothing. We're a busy culture. Doing is everything. You know, I'm a proponent of doing. I love engaging. But there's a balance between being engaged and being quiet.

TERRY: Some of this sounds a bit like Zen.

CARRIE: I've heard Quakers called Zen-Christians. Some Quakers don't call themselves Christians. But, I've heard the term and it makes sense. There's a place for the contemplative, for the practice of meditation on the simplicity of the moment. You know, the Dali Lama always stops in our little town in southern Indiana. He has a brother who lives there. It's funny to read his itinerary....New York, Chicago, Bloomington, Indiana...(we both laugh). But there's a vibrant Buddhist community in the area.

TERRY: Do you take your songs beyond the spiritual, philosophical themes?

CARRIE: As a student of philosophy and religion there's a lot in the songs about my own exploration. I find wonderful truth there. The songs then become inclusive, compelling. It's a tricky thing to have universal themes. You can't write about world peace all the time. It's just too big to get your arms around. But, you can write about things that happen everyday. I can tell a story with particular human details.

TERRY: That's illustrated in the song, I Do Not Know Its Name, the story about meeting the man on the airport shuttle.

CARRIE: It's a true story. The title comes from the saying....'the name that can be named is not the Tao.' We just experience these moments of transcendence, these moments when we feel larger than ourselves. Maybe it can be found in some formal spiritual practice. But it's there in the little moments. I was on this shuttle early when this wonderful man just started singing and he told me he sang in a gospel choir. He finished the song, the doors opened and I never saw him again. I never forgot it. These are the moments we remember. Life is a series of these moments.

TERRY: How do you deal with conversation with the larger ‘Christian' community?

CARRIE: We talk in metaphor. As soon as you start to talk this way and people take it for something literal, it stops being a metaphor. People take it for something solid. This puts the Sacred into a very small container. I think it's interesting now. There's a spiritual movement everywhere. There's a rumble out there. People are really interested in spiritual conversation. They're not looking for easy answers, but authentic spiritual conversation. They sometimes find their way to my work. Putting ideas into action, making a difference. You know, the greatest law is love, but what does that mean? I had a conversation about this with author, Parker Palmer. He's a Mennonite. I love his work. It was this idea that we may not see the fruit of the seeds we plant but it's no less important to drop the seeds. Like the ripple in water from a small stone. But, this is not always encouraged in our culture. This is in the song, Stones in the River.

TERRY: Are there any other themes running through Before and After?

CARRIE: The title song is about moments that have changed me. They could be large or they could be very small moments. Once a friend read me a Mary Oliver poem over breakfast. I was never the same. Sometimes, it's just a friend who sits down with you. And I think, ‘how did she know what I needed most was someone to sit down and say it'll be okay?' The song Before and After is also about forgiveness, which begins with self-forgiveness. We have to give up all hope that we can ever change the past. Nothing can change what has happened. You get this loop in your head, how things might have turned out different. It takes forgiveness to step beyond that. I forgive myself, then I can forgive others. So, the songs on this album are universal themes written in a personal way.

TERRY: One of the most engaging songs on the album is Do No Harm.

CARRIE: It was inspired by a story by Scott Russell Sanders. It's from a collection of short stories, Wilderness Plots: Tales About the Settlement of the American Land taken from stories and incidents he encountered. It's funny, tragic, bewildering. This particular story was called Savages. He had read about this part of the country that was being settled by a man from the east. He was establishing a Utopian society where native Americans and white settlers could live and work together. It worked for ten years. Eventually, others came and it ended. But, the song is about trying to hold the balance with the best of our human nature. We've seen the worst, but we're quite capable of the best. We can achieve this. There is a violent side to human nature and those who don't get the idea of the greatest law, love. Look what happened in this story. We hold the tension between the worst and the very best of our nature.

TERRY: Tell me about your influences.

CARRIE: I have to say I was inspired early on by the singing poets with beautiful, interesting lyrics and poetry. Early on it was Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. That vein of songwriter and they still come out with amazing writing. Also, high on my influences list is a local songwriting group in Bloomington. There are five of us. We bring songs to the group. We give each other challenges. We push our edges. I've been part of this group for 8 years now. It's really a wonderful experience. One of the members is Krista Detor. She's so good. A good writer and singer. She sings harmony on Do No Harm. She has this beautiful low voice in the tenor range. Like Mary Chapin. It's so fun to sing with her. You don't usually hear two women with low voices. Singing together, we strike this sound. It works quite well.

TERRY: Who influences the ideas that come out of your songs?

CARRIE: Authors like Russell Sanders. I've worked with Barbara Kingsolver. Also Philip Gulley. I've really admired their work. It all works together.

TERRY: I heard you called If Not Now your first real folk song.

CARRIE: (laughs) Well, it's my first sing-along. It's a group song in the spirit of We Shall Overcome. It was written for a specific purpose. But, I hope it wouldn't be for just one thing but would reach across to all kinds of issues that need our attention, like health care. When do we start taking care of the least of these. When do we give our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters full legal rights? It can be used in a variety of ways. It's a song of hope.

TERRY: From the album, you have some really fine musicians featured.

CARRIE: Yes. There's Gary Walters on piano. He's worked with me for five or six years now. He's a wonderful pianist. He's with me on the album tour. I occasionally work with a band. A cellist and violinist. I love the musicians on this new album. They are a great combination of musicians. They're elegant players. Everyone on this album is masters of their instruments. It's not about how many notes they play, but that the right notes are placed perfectly, uncluttered. It's all about the song. That's what makes this work.

TERRY: There's a phrase which seems to sum up a lot of your philosophy. It's on the album, something about the center.

CARRIE: Yes. If holy is a sphere that cannot be rendered, / There is no middle place because all of it is center. It's inspired by a concept in physics.

TERRY: It strikes me as the inclusive/universal theme you've emphasized on Before and After and much of your previous work. I look forward to hearing the songs live. See you at McCabe's on March 12!

Terry Roland is an English teacher, freelance writer, occasional poet, songwriter and folk and country enthusiast. The music has been in his blood since being raised in Texas. He came to California where he was taught to say ‘dude' at an early age.