Singer Carrie Newcomer comes into our lives and into Dawson at just the right time

By Luanne Fondell
Performing Arts Director

People often ask, “How do you find your artists?” Now that the Arts Association has put together 19 seasons, we can say that sometimes we find the artists, sometimes our audience members find the artists and sometimes, the artists find us.

In the case of Carrie Newcomer and pianist, Gary Walters, performing on November 16, here’s the story: I first heard of Carrie Newcomer from our daughter, Elisabeth. Elisabeth moved home to live with us in 2017 – the last year of my husband’s life. She may not have known it then, but the addition of this artist into our family’s music library would become a source of strength and inspiration in the months ahead.

Room at the Table

Elisabeth had attended one of Carrie’s concerts in Chicago and it made a deep impression on her. She talked about this artist’s kindness and gentle manner, as well as her music and message to the audience to search for the good in each other and make good change in the world. Songs like “I Heard an Owl” or “If Not Now.” She said that there was a time when the audience sang along on “Room at the Table” and it was not the least bit weird.

And so, Carrie Newcomer’s music entered our playlists. In the kitchen, in the car, on our phones, on road trips back and forth to Mayo Clinic. And our favorites emerged: “You Can Do This Hard Thing” and “Sanctuary.” We would get in the car after appointments and my husband would say to me, “Who should we listen to? Neal & Leandra? Peter Ostroushko? Chuck Suchy? Ingrid Michaelson? Carrie Newcomer?” He often called them by first name as if they were close friends. And whether the news from each appointment was good or bad, we returned to these musicians again and again as part of our “driving away” ritual – to celebrate or to be restored or to be comforted.

One day Elisabeth said, “Why don’t you bring Carrie Newcomer to Dawson some time?” I did a little research, mostly out of curiosity, assuming that this Grammy-winning artist, based in Indiana, would be out of our league. Thankfully, I was wrong. The next step was to ask the Arts Association board members to listen to her music and decide whether to add her to our season. The reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Contract signed. Carrie Newcomer scheduled for the 2018-2019 season.

Not so fast

Scandinavian Folk Music Concert & Meal – Oct 5

Dawson-Boyd Arts Association announces its opening concert of the 19th performing arts season at Memorial Auditorium in Dawson – a Scandinavian Folk Music concert during Meander Weekend on Saturday, October 5 at 7:30pm. Featured performers will be Paul and Marikay Dahlin, Art Bjorngjeld, Char and Bruce Bostrom and Ross Sutter. These musicians will present a variety of Scandinavian folk songs, tunes and dances. Ross Sutter is a familiar performer and folk music educator in the west-central Minnesota community playing guitar, button accordion and dulcimer; Art Bjorngjeld plays button accordion and fiddle; Char Bostrom is on fiddle; Bruce Bostrom is on moon harp and various percussion instruments.

Also performing will be Paul Dahlin of Minneapolis, along with his wife Marikay. Paul Dahlin is a premiere Swedish-style fiddler, educator and founder of the American Swedish Institute’s Spelmanslag, or “fiddlers’ team.” He is devoted to the study, preservation and performance of Swedish traditional music.

Prior to the concert, a Swedish meatball meal will be served beginning at 6:00pm in the School Commons. Menu includes: meatballs, mashed potatoes & gravy, salads, Knackebrod, pickled herring, lingon preserves, coffee, beverage and Scandinavian almond cake. Meal tickets are $15 per person. Order Online: Click here!

Scandinavian Folk Music Concert & Meal: Oct 5

Featured performers will be Paul and Marikay Dahlin, Art Bjorngjeld, Char and Bruce Bostrom and Ross Sutter. These musicians will present a variety of Scandinavian folk songs, tunes and dances. Ross Sutter is a familiar performer and folk music educator in the west-central Minnesota community playing guitar, button accordion and dulcimer; Art Bjorngjeld plays button accordion and fiddle; Char Bostrom is on fiddle; Bruce Bostrom is on moon harp and various percussion instruments.

Also performing will be Paul Dahlin of Minneapolis, along with his wife Marikay. Paul Dahlin is a premiere Swedish-style fiddler, educator and founder of the American Swedish Institute’s Spelmanslag, or “fiddlers’ team.” He is devoted to the study, preservation and performance of Swedish traditional music.

Prior to the concert, a Swedish meatball meal will be served beginning at 6:00pm in the School Commons. Menu includes: meatballs, mashed potatoes & gravy, salads, Knackebrod, pickled herring, lingon preserves, coffee, beverage and Scandinavian almond cake.

Sat., Oct. 5, 2019 7:30 p.m.
$15 Adults $5 Student
Order Online: Click here!

Meander Weekend Performance
Meal served prior to the show – Limited seating.

Sponsors: Phil Maus Dawson Area Chamber

An Evening with Carrie Newcomer and Pianist Gary Walters: Nov 16

Sat., Nov. 16, 2019 7:30 p.m.
$15 Adult $5 Students

Sponsors: AGP , Peggy Crosby & Dave Pederson

Carrie Newcomer: songwriter, Grammy-winning performer, recording artist, performer and educator. She has been described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone.  Newcomer has 17 nationally released albums and has released two companion books of poetry and essays, A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays and The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays & Lyrics.

Newcomer’s 2017 PBS Special, An Evening with Carrie Newcomer, earned her a regional Emmy, featuring songs from The Beautiful Not Yet and special commentary. Newcomer tours internationally, performing and presenting workshops and retreats.

Workshop on Nov 17

Carrie Newcomer will be presenting a workshop in Dawson on Sunday, November 17 entitled “The Beautiful Not Yet: Living with Hope in Hard Times.” The workshop, from 1-4pm at Memorial Auditorium lobby, is $20 per person and limited to 30 participants. Pre-registration is required online or by phone at 320-312-2311.