Recorded Stuff

Our radios are most fre­quent­ly tuned to FM-90 (WABE) if they’re on. That’s how I get most of my news (well, that and the Inter­net, of course). Usu­al­ly, though, we’re lis­ten­ing to Rick­’s iPod or a stream­ing ser­vice. Some of the music I’ve most enjoyed:

  • Rick and I found Joe Crook­ston through a house con­cert. His Fall Down As the Rain is one of my favorite songs in the Rise Again Song­book.
  • I’ve been lis­ten­ing to lots of John Prine late­ly while mourn­ing his loss. He was such an amaz­ing song­writer! The duet of Angel From Mont­gomery that he does with Bon­nie Raitt is one of my favorite songs. Many of his songs dis­play a live­ly sense of humor, while oth­ers are heartwrenching.
  • At some point, every­one who enters my per­son­al space is forced to lis­ten to Gaia Con­sort’s Gaia Cir­cles album. Repeatedly.
  • While I have sev­er­al of the Four Bitchin’ Babes’ CDs, Gab­by Road was the first I got and it’s still my favorite.
  • Every­thing by Mike Ray­burn. Every sin­gle album he’s released. Mike is one of those artists who is even bet­ter live than on his record­ings. He used to come to the Atlanta area every year, but that’s no longer the case. Fid­gety Dig­its and Roman­ti­cal are the two of his albums that I play most often lately.
  • Car­la Ulbrich is anoth­er per­former I love see­ing live. Hap­pi­ly, she comes to town at least once a yar. She spe­cial­izes in nov­el­ty songs.
  • Our kids absolute­ly loved 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 one of their songs. Of course, that meant I had to go find out what these songs sound­ed like.
  • The pres­ence of Moxy Früvous in our house ws all Gwen’s fault. 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 album (which can’t real­ly be played with the kids around unless you have a fast hand on the remote, due to the adult con­tent of the pat­ter between songs) and Bar­gainville.
  • I’ve enjoyed Loreena McKen­nit­t’s album Lost Souls, but keep going back to The Book of Secrets.
  • Shel­ter: The Best of Con­tem­po­rary Singer-Song­writ­ers from Putu­mayo World Music has been one of my favorite albums since its’ release. There are so many Putu­mayo albums that I love, though. I wish they had a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice or some such so that I could just col­lect all of them! If you like World music at all, you need to check them out.
  • Feath­er, Stone & Light by R. Car­los Nakai is always calm­ing to me.
  • A mas­sage ther­a­pist I used to know intro­duced me to The Yearn­ing by Michael Hop­pé and Tim Wheater. It’s haunt­ing­ly lovely.
  • The Wurst of PDQ Bach, from Peter Schick­ele with var­i­ous part­ners in crime (high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for many a laugh)
  • I used to be able to play the theme song from Cristo­fori’s Dream on the piano. All of David Lanz’s music that I’ve heard is beautiful.
  • 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! I also got to take her Singing for Fun class and attend a more advanced week­end work­shop she led. I hope to attend more of her teach­ings in the future.
  • 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” no mat­ter how they sound­ed? For­tu­nate­ly, they sound very, very good. I end­ed up acquir­ing all of their CDs. I saw them in con­cert twice and wish I’d seen more of them.
  • 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 album, though, is a lul­la­by I added to those I sang to Katie (and to her daugh­ter), Every­thing’s Pos­si­ble by Fred Small.
  • While preg­nant with Katie, I acquired four cas­settes of Pamela Balling­ham’s music, order­ing from an ad in the back of Moth­er­ing mag­a­zine. I played them to soothe both of us dur­ing the preg­nan­cy, then con­tin­ued singing the songs to Katie to qui­et her—. Three were called Earth Moth­er Lul­la­bies and the fourth was Voy­age for Dream­ers. It took some doing, but I final­ly found CDs to replace those old, worn-out cas­settes when Katie was pregnant.
  • One of Katie’s favorite sto­ry­books a few years ago was Jen­nifer­’s Rab­bit. The book men­tions that it’s based on the song of the same name by 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. Frank’s 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!)

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