Saturday evening was the reason all of you who host venues, home concerts, song swaps, etc., do what you do. And I thank you for it. Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin were the reason we’re blessed with evenings like we were able to experience last night. Thanks to them, Susan M, all the volunteers at the Labyrinth Cafe, and the strawberries who gave their lives to provide a Valentine’s weekend feast for us.
Two sets of incredible music, give-and-take from and between the duo, a palette of lovely and lusty and longing songs from two of the best around. They said they don’t do many presentations together, but you would not know it from last night. There’s something unique with their personal and professional chemistry, so I hope there are other audiences who get this kind of blessing. You get more than the two of them as they share their banter, stories, disputes, challenges, triumphs.
Voices. That’s one of the remarkable things here. So distinct. Not two voices that you’d pick out of a line-up to do time together, but how wrong you’d be. We were treated to beautiful solos, then spot on harmonies, and, again, something more than just the sum of the parts. A powerful confluence of charisma and charm, enhanced by the personal and joined nature of their journey together. Carrie’s voice just takes you away. I was glad to hear her go a capella and unmiked on an audience-accompanied version of “Amazing Grace”. Chilling, it was. And her version of “Iowa” came awfully close to out-Dar’ing Dar Williams’ own. Danny informed us her newest CD, Call It My Garden, is #1 on some folk/DJ list. Her voice is being heard. Good.
Danny’s also got a new CD, Man of Many Moons. He shared some songs from it, a new one, and lots from a library of great tunes. There’s something about the way he puts words together, where rhythm and rhyme become part of the stories he tells. You’re often treated to a perfect twist, an unexpected turn, a surprise that brings a smile to your face. There’s not a voice like his, and listening to his was one of the gifts of the evening.
So, thank you to them and to everyone gathered for this splended evening. Danny and Carrie ARE the reason God gives us nights like this.