best music, continued: Allard, Cassel, Herring & Holley
One good thing about best of lists is that there's time to shine bit of light on those who haven't yet had their due over the year's time. continuing with that idea
*Caroline Herring and Claire Holley Live at Saint Andrews
Caroline Herring (at right) and Claire Holley, both natives of Mississippi, came home for a concert at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson. Original songs from two of folk’s finest tune smiths, plus several gospel style covers. Two women, two guitars, insight and good ideas, spare production: this is how folk music started and continued, through the power of ideas and voices shared.
*Terri Allard Live from Charlottesville
Allard has a wonderful, smoky alto, a great sense of humor, and a way of handling serious stuff with just the right touch of hope. Hope is in fact the name of one the best songs on the disc, which despite being a live album is almost all stuff she has not recorded before, with just a few fan favorites thrown in. Allard’s been called too folk for country and too country for folk, but listeners of those sorts of music will both enjoy this, and as there’s Elvis and NPR in here too, maybe the reach is even broader.
Cassel’s third CD was my pick for best Celtic album of the year, but her fiddling and inventive composing skill shouldn’t be limited only to those who like Celtic music. Grounded in Celtic she is, especially Scots and Cape Breton, but influenced by bluegrass, U2, and Texas swing, all the while maintaining her own voice -- and kicking things off with fiddle tribute to the Red Sox
more to come...