Seemingly every married or soon-to-be-married couple has a proposal story. Some are silly and cute, others hopelessly romantic. For singer-songwriters Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt, getting hitched in October, it was a very public moment that almost didn't work.
What: Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt
Where: UU Coffeehouse, 2701 Heyward St.
When: Saturday, May 24, 8 p.m.
More Info: uucoffeehouse
“Danny was playing his official showcase at [South by Southwest] last year, and for the last song of his set, he played one I'd never heard before,” Elkin recalls. “He wanted me to be on stage with him, so he handed me a harmonica, which I don't really know how to play; through the first half of the song I was so concerned about playing well that I wasn't listening to the words and didn't realize what he was asking.”
Schmidt had to nudge her and whisper, “Listen,” before she clued in to the question he was valiantly attempting to ask in front of a live audience.
“Kiss Me Now” is the song he was singing, and it appears on the couple's brand new duo album For Keeps. With circular, self-deprecating sentimentalism, Schmidt asks, “Am I still the man you want / Now that I'm the man you know? / Kiss me now but answer me tomorrow.”
Elkin said yes, of course. She and Schmidt have separate careers but tour together more now than they do apart, a practice that came from simply wanting to spend more time together. The impetus for the new studio album, though, came from time spent apart.
“I came to the UU Coffeehouse there in Columbia with Storyhill and a local fan asked if I would sing Danny's ‘Company of Friends,’” Elkin recalls. “I sang it with the guys in Storyhill that night and just continued to sing it at my shows.”
“As soon as I heard her do it, it made sense,” Schmidt adds. “It was a stepping stone for us to do the record together.”
Elkin's take on the rousing community anthem is more raw and joyous, stripping away the melancholy inherent in Schmidt's original in favor of full-throated happiness.
On the album, Schmidt returns the favor by singing Elkin's gentle waltz-time ode “Swing From a Note,” a song that she had retired from her own shows but one that Schmidt still liked.
“He brought it back to life,” Elkin admits. “There are some songs you write that go on a record, but they are not ones you perform often. I love that Danny sings that one now.”
But while each has adopted some of the others’ material, being together on tour hasn't really changed any routines when it comes to their individual writing — though they do make use of the extra set of ears.
“I have ideas when I'm traveling, but songwriting is a solitary process for me,” Schmidt says. “I come home and lock myself in a room.”
“I haven't written differently,” Elkin offers for her part, “but I've included Danny in my process more. I throw ideas off him to see what he thinks, and he's good at helping me make my ideas more concrete instead of my usual stream-of-consciousness, abstract style.”
On the new album Elkin and Schmidt are intertwined throughout, though the songs tend to alternate from his to hers, an intentional arrangement. Elkin's elfin vocal presence fits Schmidt's post-Dylan intensity better than it has a right to, and they shave the rough edges off each other when they harmonize together.
“The album is a reflection of how our live shows are,” Elkin says. “We'll song-swap one after another, so that's how we picked the song order.”
For now, Elkin and Schmidt are committed to being together on the stage as well as off it, but the first part of that the deal isn’t an until-death-do-us-part proposition.
“We're going to keep playing together at least through the cycle of this new record,” Elkin says. “The horizon may have solo projects coming up, so we'll still sing with each other some but probably do mostly solo shows then. It's nice to be able to do both. It gives us a balance in our touring world.”
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.