Saturday, May 15, 2010

Currently listening to : Natalie Merchant Leave Your Sleep

"Her voice is not only superb in terms of range & timbre, but in her ability to express emotion, which she has to a rare degree. Her songwriting displays depth & a complex musicality that doesn’t stand in the way of immediacy".
John Hayes (Robert Frost's Banjo)
Natalie Merchant has always been one of the more interesting musicians around. From her time as lead singer for 10,000 Maniacs through her solo career, Merchant has been a musician who has always defied convention and pursued her own unique musical vision. I admire her immensely for that.

Her 2003 CD The House Carpenter's Daughter was a unique collection of traditional and contemporary American folk songs, including the deeply political song Which Side are You On.

Her new CD continues in the vein of defying musical convention. Leave Your Sleep is a 2 CD collection in which she puts the lyrics of well known and lesser known 19th and 20th century poets into song.

There are a couple of excellent reviews of the CD here and here. They have links to You Tube versions of her songs, including a stunning live version of her song Motherland, sung by Natalie Merchant and blind students at a concert at the Perkins Blind School.

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