Road Trip Music : Oregon
Oregon has a varied landscape -- high desert, mountain and forest, windswept coast, rugged redwoods. As the Great American Road Trip travels through this part of the Pacific northwest, for a soundtrack we will have the work of two contemporary composers from Oregon, artists whose work is just as distinctive as the changing landscape. One writes cowboy songs, and the other composes fiddle tunes grounded in her love of and work in the music of Scotland.
Joni Harms is a rancher and farmer, living on land her great grandfather worked. Her crops include cattle and Christmas trees, and they also include songs, ones that are filled with stories of the people and land of the contemporary west. Harms has won many awards for her music, and part of her philosophy about it may be hinted at in the tile of her album Let's Put the Western Back in the Country,
which is a good choice for listening on this Oregon trip. If that mention of Christmas trees has got you thinking of the winter holidays, Harms also has a very nice album of western Christmas songs out, as well.
Hanneke Cassel grew up in Port Orford, on the Oregon coast, where at first she took up western swing style fiddling. Taking up her teacher’s challenge to try Scottish style music, Cassel won several national championships in it, and with them came the chance to study in Scotland. “I was hooked,” Cassel says. Now a respected player, composer, and teacher, Cassel’s own work is rooted in Scotland and brings in her own touches of American background as well. On this road trip through her native state, take a listen to For Reasons Unseen.
you may also wish to see
Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis: Calm the Raging Sea
Music Road: road trip music: American west
This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Stop by and see what the Library has in mind to inspire travels across Oregon.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins