Carrie Newcomer - My True Name

My True Name

Carrie Newcomer

Phil CD PH 1223

Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140

A review written for The Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Karen Robinson
(lynn@texas.net)

Carrie Newcomer's new CD is so warm and unclouded that the songs leave you reeling from the depths of emotion she leads you through. The clarity and perfection of MY TRUE NAME is an artist's dream come true. The superb production mixes Carrie's deep vocals with the accompanying instruments in a warm blend reminiscent of a fireplace in winter. The songs are well-written, with an intensity that makes MY TRUE NAME one of the finest CD releases of recent years.

Blending acoustic and electric guitars with a driving percussion serves as a lush backdrop to Carrie Newcomer's flowing vocals in these beautifully crafted melodies. I Should've Known Better starts off with a trip to 'hell and back' on another heartbreak express. She finds hope in the next love with the attitude that, When One Door Closes (Another One Opens Wide). And it's through this door that she dances with a sort of zydeco love in What Kind of Love Is This. After the dance, she settles down for reflection on how hard it is to move on alone in the ballad This Long.

The Moon Over Tuscon addresses the continuing passage of life, with delightful harmonies between Carrie and Moira Smiley on backing vocals. With a stronger beat she looks at surviving the darker sides of life in the mysterious muse of The Razor's Edge. Continuing the mystic edge is the seductive and restless soul in Take It Around Again. My True Name, the title cut, is a piano ballad which centers your soul with a gift of warm and bare emotion. Having your heart in her hand, she ups the ante in Something Worth Fighting For, a high driving song of determination. Backing off a bit, she hits you with a soft hook of give and take in Just a Little Hand. One Good Turn finds her slowing down to look at the progress of a long love in life. A change of pace comes in Close Your Eyes, with an insight into how to get through the ups and downs of daily living. Her parting shot leaves you wanting more with The Length of My Arms, on living within your own imperfections with all your heart.

She's convinced me. The songs give pause, thought for reflection, and warmth to bask in. All done with a loving touch, be it through guitars, vocals or piano. MY TRUE NAME catches the true spirit of a multi-talented songstress whose craft has been honed to perfection with this release.

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz (rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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