Recorded Stuff

Our radio is most fre­quently tuned to FM-​​90 (WABE) if it’s on — in fact, that’s how I get most of my news (well, that and the inter­net, of course). Usu­ally, though, we’re lis­ten­ing to CDs. Some of the ones at hand right now:

  • Every­one who enters my per­sonal space is cur­rently being forced to lis­ten to Gaia Consort’s Gaia Cir­cles CD. Repeat­edly. With occa­sional breaks for Angel and the Hanged Man CD. I expect that we’ll have to acquire The Burn­ing soon, too.
  • While we have sev­eral of the Four Bitchin’ Babes’ CDs now, Gabby Road was the first we got and it’s still my favorite.
  • Every­thing by Mike Ray­burn. Every sin­gle CD he’s released. Heck, I think we need a big­ger CD turntable just so we can leave all of them in it all the time and still be able to lis­ten to other stuff, as well. Mike is one of those artists who is even bet­ter live than on his record­ings, and I think I’ve only missed one appear­ance by him in the Atlanta area in the last three or four years.
  • Her Fab­u­lous Debut by Carla Ulbrich. Carla’s another per­former I love see­ing live, and Katie has really enjoyed her Note­speller. One prob­lem with see­ing Carla live, though, is that she’s always got great new mate­r­ial that she hasn’t yet recorded, and I go away hum­ming half-​​remembered tunes and impa­tient to get them on CD!
  • Any­thing I can find by Rock­apella. I love every­thing they’ve done.
  • The kids absolutely love the Flood CD from They Might Be Giants. I’m no longer cer­tain how TMBG came into the house, although I’ve known about them since read­ing about one of Mer­cedes Lackey’s char­ac­ters dri­ving some­one com­pletely nuts by singing their songs — so of course I had to go find out what these songs sounded like. I did not, how­ever, plan to expose minors to TMBG. Really. It just hap­pened somehow.
  • The pres­ence of Moxy Fru­vous in our house is all Gwen’s fault. Com­pletely. She and Sam were car-​​pooling to work for a time, and she played the ear­worm The King of Spain. Sam couldn’t get it out of his head, so he went off and found the Live Noise CD (which can’t really be played with the kids around unless you have a fast hand on the remote, due to the adult con­tect of the pat­ter between songs) and Bar­gainville.
  • The Book of Secrets has been heard a lot around here for sev­eral years now, along with sev­eral of Loreena McKennitt’s other CDs.
  • Shel­ter: The Best of Con­tem­po­rary Singer-​​Songwriters from Putu­mayo World Music (a com­pi­la­tion, obviously)
  • Feather, Stone & Light, R. Car­los Nakai
  • A dear friend recently intro­duced me to Michael Hedges’s unique acoustic gui­tar work, and I went right out and acquired Ora­cle. Hedges was one of the main forces behind the Wind­ham Hill label before his recent death.
  • Ref­er­ence Point, Acoustic Alchemy — one of sev­eral CDs I have and love from them.
  • The Yearn­ing, Michael Hoppé and Tim Wheater
  • Your Lit­tle Secret, Melissa Ethridge
  • The Wurst of PDQ Bach, from Peter Schick­ele with var­i­ous part­ners in crime (highly rec­om­mended for many a laugh)
  • Cristofori’s Dream, David Lanz
  • Luck of the Draw, Bon­nie Raitt. Yeah, I’ve had it for years and I still love that CD. I’ve per­formed I Can’t Make You Love Me a cou­ple of times, but it’s hard to per­form a song that makes you cry.
  • Open the Win­dow, Elise Witt. I over­heard Ms. Witt talk­ing to the owner of Charis Books when she dropped off some copies of this CD, and she sounded like such a neat per­son I bought one. I haven’t regret­ted it!
  • Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio, Jean-​​Pierre Ram­pal and Claude Bolling. I got the CD after I wore out the cas­sette tape I’ve had since high school. I don’t like Suite II quite as much, although it is pleas­ant and I do lis­ten to it on occasion.
  • Old, New, Bor­rowed & Blue from the Saf­fire – The Uppity Blues Women — this is another one for which I owe thanks to Charis Books. I saw the CD on their shelves and grabbed it – how could I resist a group that calls itself “The Uppity Blues Women” now mat­ter how they sounded? For­tu­nately, they sound very, very good – I have all their CDs now. Sam and I have seen them in con­cert twice, and I don’t plan to miss any of their con­cert dates that are within dri­ving distance.
  • Life Blood, Joanne Shenan­doah (with Peter Kater)
  • Women of the World: Celtic, another one from Putu­mayo World Music. Katie heard the first song, Against the Wind (per­formed by Máire Bren­nan of Clan­nad) play­ing in a record store and loved it, so we got the CD. We have Women of the World: Celtic II as well, and while it’s good, none of the songs stick in my mind quite as much as Brennan’s cut or Nancy McCallion’s On We Go on the first volume.
  • Women’s Work is also from Putu­mayo World Music. It intro­duced me to Ani DiFranco, which would have been worth the cost of the CD even if the rest of it wasn’t as mar­velous as it is.
  • Three, The Flir­ta­tions. This con­tains the fun­ni­est ver­sion of the old song Fun, Fun, Fun that you will ever hear! They also do a ver­sion of Carly Simon’s Life is Eter­nal that I like even bet­ter than her own, as well as a lovely vocal arrange­ment of On Chil­dren from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. One of my favorite songs on this CD, though, is a lul­laby I added to those I sing to Katie, Everything’s Pos­si­ble by Fred Small.
  • There are four cas­settes I’ve almost worn out and need to replace. I got them when I was preg­nant with Katie seven years ago, played them to soothe both of us dur­ing the preg­nancy, sang the songs to Katie to quiet her – and we both still love the tapes and singing the songs together. They’re the three vol­umes of Pamala Ballingham’s Earth Mother Lul­la­bies, and another tape she did called Voy­age for Dream­ers. Unfor­tu­nately I can’t find all of them on CD – the “best” of the selec­tions from the three tapes have been col­lected on a CD, but if Voy­age for Dream­ers is on CD I can’t find it.
  • One of Katie’s favorite sto­ry­books a few years ago was Jennifer’s Rab­bit. The book men­tions that it’s from the song of the same name by some guy named Tom Pax­ton, so I set out try­ing to find a record­ing and ended up with The Very Best of Tom Pax­ton. It’s a won­der­ful CD by a won­der­ful songwriter.
  • I have a bunch of Man­hat­tan Trans­fer CDs – all older ones, as I don’t like their newer sound nearly so much (after 1983 isn’t really “newer” any­more, though, is it?) Still, I’d love to see them per­form live some­time, but for now I set­tle for singing their songs when­ever I have the oppor­tu­nity to do so, and lis­ten­ing to them at home. Janis Siegel, the alto from the group, has done sev­eral solo CDs, as well. One of them, At Home is another of the CDs that you can gen­er­ally find either in my CD player or soon to be played. Small Day Tomor­row is a mar­velous song – the woman makes me want to be an alto! Man­hat­tan Trans­fer does a ver­sion of the song Pop­si­cle Toes, which was writ­ten by…
  • Michael Franks, whose Sleep­ing Gypsy was the first jazz album I ever owned. My father worked for a com­pany owned by a won­der­ful man named Michael Franke, and a sales­man look­ing to curry favor gave Mr. Franke the album. He didn’t want it, so Daddy took it home to me — and I was hooked. Franks voice is the sex­i­est I’ve ever heard, and has to be the clos­est a human can come to being as sul­try as a well-​​played sax­o­phone (lis­ten to Tell Me All About it from the Pas­sion­fruit album if you doubt me!)
  • Rock My Coun­try by Cindy Lou Har­ring­ton and Show­down recently joined the playlist here in our home. We saw them at Fiddler’s Green and really enjoyed the show. It seems that we should just go ahead and plan to buy at least one CD every month when we go to Fiddler’s Green, because we almost always love the acts that play there.

Last updated Jan­u­ary 3, 2001

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