For a brand new parent, Carrie Elkin looked remarkably when we recently sat down with her in an East Austin coffee joint to catch up. Energetic, gracious and happy, much more so than yours truly, who arrived disheveled and a little late.
The recent birth of Maizy, daughter of Elkin and songwriter husband Danny Schmidt, is one bookend of the inspiration for her new album, The Penny Collector, to be introduced at a Cactus Cafe release party on March 10th at 8:00 p.m.
At the other bookend of life’s emotional spectrum, Carrie’s father Richard Elkin died in 2015 after an extended illness. The end of one life and the birth of another, the departing of a loved one and the arrival of another, is the fragile thread of life explored in The Penny Collector.
Carrie’s songs trade in gorgeous introspection punctuated by insistent joy. Her music is heartening, unafraid, unwilling to let life’s twists and turns pull her down. It gives us strength for the road ahead.
We discussed Carrie’s journey from her roots in Ohio, to the time spent in upstate New York and tiny Talpa, New Mexico, and ultimately to her career as a singer-songwriter operating out of Austin. Like most artists, Carrie’s message comes from deep curiosity and consequent experience, lessons learned and wisdom earned.
The new album is a return to her own writing after a period of touring with Danny and their friend and collaborator, the great Sam Baker. Over the years she has performed with many of the great ones, including Baker, Jesse Winchester and Greg Brown. Danny and Maizy will ride along with Carrie for her upcoming tour this spring and summer in support of The Penny Collector, when they will head to the east and midwest, then across the pond to The Netherlands, Scotland and England. Check her website for a full schedule, and get yourself out to a performance. Maizy will be watching!