Carrie Elkin (from the album The Penny Collector)
The old adage of ‘penny for your thoughts’ collects new change for Carrie Elkin on her latest album release. She is The Penny Collector as the songs play in a dream-like state of words and music. The catalyst, and the muse, for The Penny Collector is the tumultuous year that preceded the album’s recording. In a short space of time. Carrie Elkin lost her father and after working towards a family for a while, discovered she was pregnant. Death and life were part of her journey as she became caretaker for her father until his death and gave birth to her daughter with husband Danny Schmidt. Both ends of the human spectrum are borders for the emotions and the stories that fill the jar for The Penny Collector. Her mind wanders through the past and the future as Carrie Elkin bids goodbye to her dad in song, tenderly recalling the past (“New Mexico”), as she takes audio notes to help guide the young life of her daughter by hinting at her own experiences (“Live Wire”).
There is power in the whispered delivery that Carrie Elkin offers for Paul Simon’s “American Tune”. Optimism in the face of adversity speaks loudly as the song gently rises up triumphantly. She partners the words of “Lamp of the Body”, taking the tale based on the Book of Matthew with the spiritual ‘This Little Light of Mine”, backing her own vocal with male and female counterparts to give the mash-up added heft. Carrie Elkin quietly delivers the pain (“Crying Out”), and the promises (“Albatross”) as the music around her stories ebbs and flows. The sound for The Penny Collector consistently drifts across the surface of the album, massing its chords and rhythm like storm clouds as they majestically move in the sky for “Niagara”, pounding out a beat for the decades to pass in “Always on the Run”, and picking out notes as “My Brother Said” rumbles underneath. Carrie is the guide for The Penny Collector, carefully scribing feelings, magically making her own history a universal answer as she burns a candle on for graceful goodbyes in the Country Folk of “And Then the Birds Came” and whirls memories around as she spins a lifetime with “Tilt-a-Whirl”.