Carrie Elkin

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Carrie Elkin
Carrie Elkin.jpg
Background information
Birth nameCarrie Lynn Elkin
Born (1973-10-11) October 11, 1973 (age 45)
Cleveland, Ohio
GenresFolk, country
Occupation(s)vocalist, guitarist, musician, singer-songwriter, composer, lap harpist
Years active1995–present
LabelsRed House Records
Associated actsDanny Schmidt

Carrie Elkin (born October 11, 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio), is a folk/country singer and musician based out of Austin, Texas where she lives with fellow musician and singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt; they married in October 2014. Active since the mid-1990s, she has traveled to and settled in a variety of places, including Cleveland, Athens, Taos, Steamboat Springs, Colorado Springs, and Boston, finally coming to settle in Austin in the summer of 2007. In September 2010 she signed with Red House Records.[1]


Carrie Elkin was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 11, 1973.[2] She began playing the saxophone and singing at her church at a young age. She later competed as a National Champion acro-gymnast. She studied physiology at Ohio University before working as an organic chemist.

When deciding to concentrate on a music career, she embarked on a nomadic lifestyle which lasted for more than a decade. She performed in a variety of clubs and recorded several self-funded albums — starting with her 1996 debut, Simplicity.[3]


She self-released her first album, Simplicity, in 1996. Her second album, Live at the Front Room, was released in 2001. The Waltz arrived in 2004 and The Jeopardy of Circumstance in 2007. Her fifth record, Call It My Garden was released in early 2011 by Red House Records; her first with that label (she originally released the album in 2010). It was produced by Colin Brooks and Danny Schmidt and features Sam Baker, Raina Rose, Robby Hecht, A. J. Roach, Anthony Da Costa, and Storyhill's John Hermanson.[4] The first track, "Jesse Likes Birds" was #1 Song on the FOLKDJ-L radio playlists (a.k.a. "Folk DJ List") for the month of January 2011 — based on 15,346 overall airplays from 157 different radio disc jockeys. It was the #2 Song in February 2011. The album ranked fifth for January 2011 for plays of "Jesse Likes Birds", "Iowa", and "Edge Of The World".[5] It ranked #5 Album again for February 2011 for plays of "Jesse Likes Birds", "Landeth By Sea", and "Guilty Hands" — based on 12596 overall airplays from 149 different DJs.[6]

She appears with Danny Schmidt on his more recent albums. She recorded "Little Drummer Boy" with Danny on the Our Christmas Present (2008) fundraising record for Our Community Place in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The Penny Collector (2017)[edit]

Elkin's first album in six years, The Penny Collector is a follow-up to "twangy, pure country" Call It My Garden (2011). Titled in honor of her father, a lifelong collector of coins, whose "passing informed the narrative woven throughout his daughter's sixth LP," The Penny Collector "exists in the remarkable, forlorn stretch between life and death, equally funereal and filled with quiet joys." Elkin's "enormous, melancholic voice" is the constant.[7]

The recurring motif of nature – the coyotes in the opener, the thrum of cicadas in "Albatross," the mountains of "Niagara" – has Elkin keenly building a backdrop of the minuscule, beautiful moments of being alive, against which her meditations on death are set.

— Libby Webster, The Austin Chronicle


Carrie has performed the national anthem at a Chicago Bulls game and opened for such artists as Jesse Winchester, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Greg Brown.[8] She tours extensively, in the US and UK, often appearing with Danny Schmidt live and on his recordings. They both appear as separate acts at the 2010 Storyhill Fest Midwest. She has been selected to appear at the 7th Annual Rice Festival in Fischer, TX November 2010 and the 24th annual International Folk Alliance Conference February 2011 in Memphis, TN. She appeared on the Bob Harris Country show on BBC Radio 2 August 6, 2009.[9] She sang with Danny Schmidt on the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Show in 2010 (radio hour number 526).[10] Fall 2014 she was playing guitar and accordion and singing with Sam Baker on his 'Say Grace' tour.

In support of her new album, Carrie will be on tour throughout the US and Europe in 2011 and will showcase at the South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) and the International Folk Alliance Conference.[11]

Style and sound[edit]

Carrie is an acoustic guitarist who performs mainly in the folk and country musical genres. She also sings reverential music, similar to gospel; often closing her shows, for example, with a version of "Amazing Grace".

We have never seen a performer so in love with the act of singing. . . Onstage Elkin was simply a force of nature.[12]

With Danny Schmidt at house party in UK
November 30, 2009


Elkin is married to singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt and gave birth to their first child in 2016. They live together in Austin.



Distinctions, honors, and awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome Carrie Elkin to the Red House family!" Red House Records release.
  2. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch( : 16 May 2014), Carrie Lynn Elkin, Residence, Athens, Ohio, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  3. ^ "Carrie Elkin | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  4. ^ Red House Records official website Carrie Elkin biography
  5. ^ "Top Folk Albums, Songs, Artists and Labels of January 2011 (with DJ list)". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  6. ^ "Top Folk Albums, Songs, Artists and Labels of February 2011 (with DJ list)". Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  7. ^ Webster, Libby (14 April 2017). "Carrie Elkin Record Review". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  8. ^ Red House Records official website Carrie Elkin biography
  9. ^ "Bob is joined by American roots singer-songwriter Carrie Elkin" on Bob Harris Country BBC Radio 2 Thursday, August 6, 2009 @ 19:00.
  10. ^ WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Show in 2010.
  11. ^ Red House Records official website Carrie Elkin biography
  12. ^ Maverick Magazine article/review "Carrie Elkin: HAPPY TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF A TREE HUGGING HIPPY" March 2011
  13. ^ Interfaith Dental Clinic homepage.
  14. ^ "Best of 2011, So Far" by Jim Caligiuri in earache!, The Austin Chronicle; July 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "Artists of the Year: 2011" by Laura C. Mallonee, Texas Music Magazine – Winter 2012 (p. 59); confirmed by e-mail from Stewart Ramser ( March 13, 2012.
  16. ^ Storyhill Fest Midwest 2010.
  17. ^ WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Show in 2010 (radio hour number 526).
  18. ^ Our Christmas Present 2008 Our Community Place, Harrisonburg, VA.
  19. ^ "South Padre International Music Festival Schedule". The Monitor. Retrieved 2018-03-06.

External links[edit]