We were right in front of the stage this time, instead of our regular table that's in the front row but slightly to the left. We suffered through it, though it meant we had to talk with the band.
Carrie just released a new record and it's arguably her best so far. She's a great songwriter, an incredibly skilled fiddler and after starting her career (after a stint at Berklee College of course, studying with Matt Glaser) with that jaw-dropping string of records with Chip Taylor, she's just taking off as a solo artist. Carrie's got a distinctly Texas style of fiddling to my ear, but she's so incredibly powerful and loud and produces such true tones that she becomes a unique musician while playing in a traditional idiom.
Luke was looking dapper with a hat and suspenders, but then Carrie came out and upped the elegance level just a bit :) ... she was wearing a flouncy, sexy brown print dress, had her curls done very tightly, was sporting a whole cosmetics counter's worth of makeup, and had on these huge, shiny, black high-heel shoes. As we learned quickly, these shoes were not just for looking good, they were stomping shoes, and she shook the whole stage stamping out the beat while she almost busted her fiddle with her powerful strokes. On one song I was amazed that her bow was holding up to her abuse ... and then on the last lead it suddenly gave out and shed a quarter of its stings. She just smiled and picked up a new bow. Speaking of bows, don't stand too close to her while she's doing a song; a few times I thought we (in the front table) were going to get whacked over the head with it the same way a nun uses a ruler to whack students who aren't paying sufficient attention. Needless to say, I paid rapt attention.
They did a number of songs from the new record, opening with Devil In Mind and then the swing-tinted Lake Harriet, complete with finger-snaps. They later did Brooklyn, Sad Joy, and I Cry For Love from it also. Carrie mostly stuck to the fiddle, but also showed her talent on tenor guitar on a few songs and on her glittering mandobird. Luke switched between his acoustic guitar and a beautiful Gibson electric, and also played a tune on lap steel. They did her early Seven Angels On A Bicycle (which had said clearly that she was going to have great post-Chip career), 50s French Movie, Merle's Today I Started Loving You Again, She Ain't Me, and eventually closed with Never Going To Be Your Bride. Great stuff!
Could barely make it out of Passim with the crowd buying CDs for her to sign. Another great but cramped concert at that small venue! Here are some pictures from our close seats (more pictures here):
There've been questions as to why I chose this picture (above), which is not one of the best. It's because it shows all 5 of Carrie's instruments (top to bottom): her voice, her tenor guitar, her fiddle (resting in its case), her mandobird, and her right shoe.