Carrie Newcomer at Jammin' Java
by Gerry Hendershot
Carrie Newcomer, poet/singer/songwriter is appearing at Jammin' Java in Vienna VA on December 9 as part of her nationwide tour promoting her newest CD, "The Beautiful Not Yet." There are links to three of the songs on that page. Details of Newcomer's appearance at Jammin' Java can be found here.
A couple of years ago, on the recommendation of Ashley Goff, Minster for Spiritual Formation at the Church of the Pilgrims, I drove to Bethlehem PA for a poetry workshop and a concert by Carrie Newcomer. Bethlehem was settled by Moravians, an early German Protestant denomination, in the 18th C., and is still home to the Moravian Seminary and Moravian College, where Newcomer performed.
Newcomer is herself an adherent to a small religious denomination, although one better known than the Moravians. She is a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends), which is an important part of her professional and personal life. She has toured in other countries for the State Department, and has often collaborated with the well-known Quaker educator and spiritual writer, Parker Palmer.
In my visit to Moravian College, I was charmed by Newcomer, both in a 2-hour afternoon poetry workshop, and her evening performance of her songs, accompanied by her own guitar and a keyboard player. He poems and song lyrics are gentle, but face squarely the brokenness of the world.
Here is an excerpt from a song she wrote for a collaborative performance with Parker Palmer:
Help in Hard Times (excerpt)
I'm inspired and troubled by the stories I have heard.
In the blue light of evening all boundaries get blurred.
And I believe in something better, and that love's the final word,
And that there's still something whole and sacred in this world.
I can't tell you it will all turn out fine,
But I know there's help in hard times.