Tuesday, September 22, 2009

work of autumn: music

The angle of light has been turning toward autumn where I am in recent days. The shadows in evening are long, the rim of light around the leaves and the people walking down the road has a golden cast, and every so often there’s a cool edge to the breeze. Mist hangs longer over the lake as the natural world gathers in for harvest time.

Autumn is traditionally a time of harvest. It also marks a time of change, from the flourishing of summer to bringing that growth in and sorting it to savor. It’s a time of building bridges, too, between the open spaces of summer and the quiet, interior reflection which winter often brings. A lovely season, with many changes within itself, from these first bright days through rain and wind and gorgeous turning leaves to grey days and the peace and questions found along the paths of autumn. Here are three fine musical companions for these journeys:

The Return Journey is the latest solo album from guitarist and composer Bill Cooley. His Irish music loving side comes to the front on Gang Forward, and Morning Poem is a reflective solo guitar piece perfect for these autumn days. The whole album is, actually. The music contains references to folk, jazz, country, and bluegrass.

Claire Lynch just keeps on getting better and better. Through the music on her latest release, Whatcha Gonna Do, Lynch walks in the light and shadow of life with grace and thoughtfulness and dashes of humor - and she’s a singer with a lovely soprano who really knows how to serve whatever song she’s singing, be that based in bluegrass or swing, folk or country. She’s also building her skills as a writer. Two of my favorite songs here are Highway, which Lynch wrote with Irene Kelley, and Face to Face, which she wrote with Donna Ulisse. Every song on the record is a keeper, though.

There is light and shadow on Matt and Shannon Heaton’s recording Lovers' Well, too. They’ve looked into Irish tradition -- and a bit further -- for songs and tunes which invite listeners to consider the kaleidoscope of emotion that two people bring with them and go through as they learn to love each other. There are lovers parted, lovers just finding each other, lovers reunited and lovers' questions. Songs and tunes alike unfold these stories in music that makes a fine companion for the season of change and turning leaves.

you may also want to see

Music Road: now playing: Kathy Mattea: Coal you’ll find Bill Cooley’s work on this fine record, too

Music Road: season of change: music for autumn

autumn music: harvest home, crossing bridges

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Sheryl Kraft said...

Your description of Autumn - and of this music - makes it all so tempting. And this is from someone who mourns the passing of summer each year... Thanks for the suggestions!

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Frugal Kiwi said...

With such a lyrical post, I wonder if you are a songwriter yourself.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Alexandra said...

Thank you for these suggestions.

Your description of autumn felt like music and rang so true as I listened to leaves blowing across the yard outside my window.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Lovely writing, thanks.

11:18 AM  

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