Indiana singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer has written songs from her life with the idea that sharing her experience helps both individuals and community.
These days, she’s finding her words are welcome in a troubled time.
“It feels like a gathering storm, no matter what side you’re on. I think some feel like there’s division and no bridges, but I don’t believe that at all,” she said in a recent phone interview. What she believes in is community and hope. “I write about hope in a way, but not wishful thinking or candy-coated.”
Newcomer returns to Waco, where she’s performed concerts at Baylor University and elsewhere, for a Saturday night concert with pianist Gary Walters at Lake Shore Baptist Church.
The Americana singer-songwriter — Americana with a spiritual thread — and author brings songs from her 17th and latest album, “The Point of Arrival.”
“(It’s) a wonderful combination of musicians and kind of a crossover of roots and classical music,” she said of the album. “We’ll be doing songs from the new album and songs which have become old friends. There’s a lot about personal growth and the process of grief and the gravity of love. We keep coming back to love.”
Love and community, that is. Newcomer’s three-decade career, which has taken her across the country and around the world, has a strong strand of finding the connections that bind people together with a universality informed by her time in India, Kenya and the Middle East.
She’s the recipient of a honorary degree in Music for Social Change from Goshen College and has collaborated with Parker Palmer on such programs as “Healing the Heart of Democracy: A Gathering of Spirits for the Common Good” and “What We Need Is Here: Hope, Hard Times and the Human Possibility.”
What she’s providing these days, she said, is a message that there’s a good in the world that needs encouraging, but is still alive.
“There’s a lot of sorrows to address in this world and I think we’re getting an unbalanced view of human nature right now. There’s a tsunami of information about the worst of human nature,” she said. “There’s a song that goes I can’t change the world, but I can change what’s three feet in front of me. We have tremendous power in how we live on a daily basis — hospitality, generosity, creativity, kindness. Part of what I do musically is to affirm that. I believe kindness is our default.”