David Wilcox + Carrie Newcomer (at The Miracle Theatre) – Tickets – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA – April 7th, 2018

David Wilcox + Carrie Newcomer (at The Miracle Theatre)

David Wilcox + Carrie Newcomer (at The Miracle Theatre)

Saturday April 07, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm


This event is all ages

• Concert will be at The Miracle Theatre 535 8th Street SE, D.C.

David Wilcox
David Wilcox
David Wilcox is a father, a husband, a citizen and a songwriter. He is also a traveler - an adventurer at his core, always on his way somewhere. So how appropriate is it that the career of David Wilcox, celebrated songwriter and creator of more than 18 albums, began with a bike ride through North Carolina when he was just a teenager?

"As my friend and I bicycled the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway we were asking people that we met, 'Where can we find musicians?' because we were traveling light and didn't have our instruments, and they told us about this a hippie school, Warren Wilson College," he says. He spent a week in Asheville, and decided to attend. "There was this cute little music venue, like 150 people max, and that was the perfect size for me. I was playing there every Tuesday and really learned how to make it fresh, not to just play the same set, but how to respond to the crowd and be spontaneous."

It's been that way ever since. Wilcox and his wife Nance Pettit briefly moved away, "but Asheville had its tractor beam on us - it had its gravity. We had to go back." He's called Asheville home ever since, and from his 1987 debut The Nightshift Watchman through his new album blaze, from his years on A&M through running his own show, Wilcox has primarily sought to find a way to stay always in the moment, to never let his art feel like a routine, to never be afraid to take a chance.

For blaze, Wilcox worked with producer Ric Hordinski, following Ric's playful ground rules, designed to insure maximum spontaneity: Don't over-think it; only one vocal take on a song before moving on; listen back the next day.

"Ric's rules made this record a real challenge but also a whole lot of fun. No fixing, no re-taking, just 'Get it right the first time, listen to the drummer, slow down, don't think so hard…' It was like hiking a new trail and seeing a vista for the first time… that surprise as the song changes in the middle of the take and suddenly I understand what the song means and I just go with it. That's where 'blaze' comes from. I'm out there on a trail I don't know but I'm not just bushwhacking. There's a blaze on the trail for me to follow."

This off-the cuff approach didn't just apply to the way Wilcox sang; it changed what he sang about, as Hordinski's approach and the support of bassist Byron House and drummers Joshua Seurkamp and Daniel Joseph Dorff emboldened Wilcox to take chances with both execution and subject.

As Wilcox notes in his liner notes, blaze is a "complex blossom of contradictions that is held together at the center by this blissfully focused state of mind that I first came to know while pedaling across the country." The blossom of this record has petals that go out in different, seemingly contradictory directions. "Working with the bigger sonic choices that this rhythm section brought gave me a broader emotional palette and meant that I could go beyond those introspective, soul-searching songs and actually state some strong opinions." This led to blaze's first single, the driving protest anthem Oil Talkin' To Ya, a rallying cry against environmental neglect. "That song started with just a riff that was fun to play and morphed into a statement about the world." Rather than surrender to the sort of post-apocalyptic, killing-each-other-for-gasoline model of the future that we're used to hearing, Wilcox has painted a positive vision of a society that's gone beyond its destructive habits. It imagines that we really do have other viable choices

Ocean Soul is a straight-up love song, something that's quite unusual for Wilcox. As he says with some amazement, "A real love song where nobody dies! It was terrifying. How can I do that? But it's really a song about seeing the beauty in someone who mostly sees things about themselves that they don't like, while I know that if they could only see themselves from my point of view it would change everything."

From songs like Guilty By Degree and Bail My Boat, where the writer finds himself navigating the shoals of life, through It'll Work On You, where he slyly uses a story about cars to describe the therapy of songwriting, to the haunting finale of Single Candle, the songs on blaze create a path that Wilcox invites you to follow. As Wilcox describers that last song, Single Candle is about Martin Luther King and the words that struck a match and lit a flame that is still bringing light to the world. "This song is my way of making peace with how little each one of us can do. No single match burns for very long, but it is enough."

Wilcox knows that he might have fans who hear this album and think 'This is different, this is strange,'" and he's okay with that. "If you're hearing a performer sing all these songs, you should know not only where he gets his joy and who he loves, but you should know what pisses him off and what frightens him and what runs him off the rails - what takes him apart and what puts him back together. For me, this album is truer in a lot of ways, because it gets to those places where I have not made my peace."

With blaze, David Wilcox has stayed true to himself, and artistically alive no matter what, leaving only the path ahead and the trail to blaze.
Carrie Newcomer
Carrie Newcomer
Carrie Newcomer conversational, introspective songwriting that celebrates and savors the ordinary, yet sacred, moments of our lives

"To my mind - a writer's mind- Carrie Newcomer is much more than a musician. She's a poet, storyteller, snake-charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace. All this, and she comes with a voice that declares, 'Sit down here a minute and listen.' Who could ask for more?"
— Barbara Kingsolver (Author, The Poisonwood Bible)

"Carrie Newcomer - a great gift to humanity. Her music - a great gift to our souls."
— Jill Bolte Taylor (Author, My Stroke of Insight)

"I love Carrie Newcomer. She writes and sings about what is most personal to her and in doing so she speaks to the wider world. Her song 'Geodes' will make you catch your breath with its wisdom and beauty."
— Mary Chapin Carpenter

Carrie Newcomer's music has always explored the intersection of the spiritual and the daily, the sacred and the ordinary. Over the course of her career she has become a prominent voice for progressive spirituality, social justice and interfaith dialogue. Her ability for sharp observation of the world lead the Dallas Morning News to rave, "She's the kind of artist whose music makes you stop, think and then say, 'that is so true.'"

She has been described as "a soaring songstress" by Billboard, a "prairie mystic" by the Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone has declared that Newcomer "asks all the right questions." Author Barbara Kingsolver wrote, "She's a poet, storyteller, snake-charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace."

In 2012, Rounder Records released a new compilation of Carrie Newcomer music entitled Kindred Spirits: A Collection. This collection draws from Newcomer's catalogue of 12 Rounder Records releases. It also includes two previously unreleased songs, two songs from her special hunger benefit project (Everything Is Everywhere), as well as two currently unavailable live recordings.

"I am one of a growing number of people who don't want to put the sacred in such a small container," says Newcomer. "I am disturbed that one very narrowly focused and extremely political brand of Christianity being called the 'religious voice.' There are wide communities of spiritual people who believe that walking this world in love and compassion is about feeding the hungry, providing for the poor or sick, caring for our elders, making sure that the table of love includes and welcomes everyone, educating our children and young people, honoring our beautiful and interconnected planet. These communities believe that women are equal spiritual beings, and that the highest and most honorable work is creating a less violent, more just and kind world. Isn't a life of compassion bigger than a catch phrase or sound byte? Isn't love wider and deeper than fear?" Speaking more to this point, she shares, "If a spiritual leader is teaching hate, it is not spiritual message, it is political message."

On the topic of sacramental living Newcomer says, "We don't live days, we live moments. In an ever-accelerating world that does not encourage reflection, presence has become a personal choice and decision. We will have to decide if our response to a limited amount of time is to speed up and never really be present, or to slow down to the speed of soul and savor what is momentary and now."

"Part of my work as a writer is to put into language and music moments of wonder that have no words." The result is her latest release, Kindred Spirits: A Collection — a resonant soundtrack for a world that is both sacred and ordinary, reflective and forward thinking.

Prior albums include the critically acclaimed Before and After, The Geography of Light, Regulars & Refugees, The Age of Possibility, The Gathering of Spirits and The Betty's Diner Collection. She has toured extensively throughout U.S. and Europe, and she has also toured with Alison Krauss. In 2003, Nickel Creek recorded Newcomer's song, I Should've Known Better, on their Grammy-winning album This Side. She was listed as one of "the 50 most influential folk musicians of the past 50 years" by Chicago's WFMT. In 2010, Carrie Newcomer was honored by the Indiana State Senate and House along with the cast of Wilderness Plots for special achievement in the arts.

In the fall of 2009 and again in 2011, Carrie was invited to tour India as a cultural ambassador for the American Embassy. As a result of her time there, in 2011 she released her fifteenth album; Everything is Everywhere, a collaboration with master of the Indian classical sarod, Amjad Ali Khan. A beautifully created fusion of east and west, the songs were written to address what is unique and fascinating about our cultural differences and yet reach into the common human thread that pulls between us. "In a time when we are encouraged to fear difference or diversity, Everything Is Everywhere was created as an alternative to fear and an affirmation of creative and compassionate engagement," shares Newcomer.

In June 2012 she visited and performed in Kenya at the AMPATH public health program and the Umoja Project school and sustainability program (in part supported by IHI). In Africa she performed in primary and secondary schools, performed at spiritual gatherings, visited homes and met with guardian and educational groups. She also performed at the Sally Test Children's Center, Neema School for children living with HIV and the Eldoret School for Children with Disabilities, all as a large public concert at AMPATH/Moi Hospital.

In 2011 and 2012, Carrie joined Parker J. Palmer for a special collaboration called "Healing The Heart of Democracy: A Gathering of Spirits for the Common Good," based on his book Healing the Heart of Democracy. This collaboration was designed to create a new political conversation and reclaim our common narrative.

Throughout her career, she has created several presentations and PBS specials and worked extensively with beloved authors, scientists and progressive theologians, including Barbara Kingsolver, Jill Bolte Taylor (Transformative Stories), Phillip Gulley (Home and Habitat), Marcus Borg, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren and Scott Russell Sanders (Wilderness Plots, Myths, Miracles, Lyrics and Lies, Four Friends).

Carrie nationally and internationally facilitates workshops and presents keynotes on the topics of songwriting, spirituality and vocation at colleges, universities, and spiritual communities, retreat centers. Newcomer, a Quaker, cuts across secular and spiritual boundaries. In recent years, she has emerged as a respected and recognized artistic voice for the progressive spiritual community.
Venue Information:
Jammin Java
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA, 22180