Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt Sell Out

Betrothed songwriters ready a wild weekend at Wyldwood

Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt, when two strum as one
Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt, when two strum as one

Is it fair to call Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt Austin’s first family of folk music? I’m not talking A Mighty Wind kind of folk, but music for the people presented in an intimate and endearing way. Between their national fan base and the fact that they sold out this weekend’s Wyldwood Shows house concert weeks ago, the answer’s an unqualified yes.

On the road Elkin and Schmidt, who got engaged to one another during South by Southwest, play lots of house concerts – shows that pit an artist inside an individual’s home for an intimate set served in a living room or over dinner. A hot trend that garnered hypes of press several years ago, house concerts are now popular almost worldwide. Few maintain the mystique of the Wyldwood shows, which can accommodate 200 people in a lush backyard setting for what amounts to a near festival-like atmosphere.

“It’s one of my favorites,” Elkin said of the long-running series. “But there are so many different types. Some are run like a club and happen once a month. It really ranges from tiny intimate private shows up to those that are about 75 or 100 people.

“It’s really sweet, and they are the bread and butter of our existence because so many of the Cactus Cafe type venues have closed. If you want to go on tour and play every night, the house concerts can fill up the whole [run]. We’re really lucky. It’s so refreshing to go to a venue and get a home cooked meal. The idea has also taken off in England. It’s not that big but we’ve done a few there. You learn so much more about a place, much more than just showing up at a club and playing.”

Elkin’s released her last record, Call It My Garden, in 2011, so I wondered if there’s anything new on the horizon.

“Danny and I are doing a duo recording,” she responded. “We started that a year ago, but we’ve only got two songs completed. We really want to complete that one, and then we’re planning on doing solo records again. It’s an intense album year. We’re just not sure about the timing of it all.”

Saturday’s show will be a song swap, something the two have orchestrated many times. With Schmidt considered one of the most exciting new folk artists of the past 10 years and Elkin equally charming, expect a collaborative effort with plenty of backyard fireworks. This, of course, led me to ask about their wedding plans.

“October 18, 2014. We just decided that this week,” she laughed. “I told Danny that we had to come up with it because everyone was asking about it and I needed something to say.”

Elkin and Schmidt’s Saturday show at Wyldwood is sold out.

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Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt, Wyldwood, Call It In My Garden

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