Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Road Trip Music visits Pennsylvania

From Lake Erie to the Poconos, from the Alleghenies to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is filled with variety and change. That’s part of what songwriter Anne Hills gets at on a song she calls, reasonably enough, Pennsylvania. It’s on her latest album, Points of View, which includes a dozen more songs filled with description and insight, some arising from Hills’ concern with social justice (she’s a social worker as well as a musician) and others from the lighter side of life.

You’ve met Matt Heaton along the music road before. A guitarist, singer, and songwriter, he plays contemporary and traditional Irish music in a duo with his wife, Shannon. He’s based in Massachusetts these days, but is originally from Pennsylvania, and got his start in music there.

Irene Kelley has moved away from her native Pennsylvania, too. She headed for Nashville, where she’s recorded several well respected albums which mix country and folk, and has seen her songs recorded by bluegrass award winner Claire Lynch and top country star Alan Jackson, among others. Her most recent album is called Thunderbird.

Then there’s Solas. That band is credited with bringing fresh energy and new ideas into Irish music when they started off in 1996. They’ve recorded almost all their albums in Philadelphia. One recording which gives a full flavor of the exciting music they make is Reunion: A Decade of Solas which also includes a dvd of a reunion concert they gave, in Philadelphia. They have a new release out, also, called Turning Tide.

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. This week, the Library considers reflections on a Pittsburgh childhood of a well known writer. For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins

you may also wish to see

Music Road: Long Time Courting: road trip visits New Hampshire

Music Road: winter turning to spring

UpTake Travel Gem

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

I need a birthday gift for my nephew in April. Think I'll go with Solas. Thanks for bringing this collection of songs to my attention.

11:29 AM  

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