Carrie Newcomer has a very distinct voice, one that you either like or don't like. Even if you are in the latter category, remember that the same has been said of folks like Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello and give Newcomer the props she deserves as a songwriter. Not that she's Dylan. She's actually pretty well lined up with Mary Chapin Carpenter, as she does come up with some pretty stunning lyrical turns. Hers is the world of truly grounded reality, of day-to-day simple beauty, of honesty in thought, word, and deed. Somehow that's not surprising, considering she calls Indiana her home. Her talent lies in how she transforms those small things into poetry that reveals the hidden depths therein. Newcomer calls upon her listeners to join her in the revelry as she gets straight to the point and lives her "life like it don't get much better." The reason behind this is quite simply put: "Most of our prisons are of our own makin'." It's a kinder, gentler take on "just do it." As for the musicianship on The Gathering of Spirits, it lacks nothing, with Alison Krauss harmonizing with her usual twangy soul on the title track.
AllMusic Review by Kelly McCartney