Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Autumn & Thanksgiving listening

pumpkins austin copyright kerry dexter

As autumn’s gathering in unfolds across the northern hemisphere and the season of Thanksgiving approaches in the United States, here are two quite different ways to approach this time through music.

Though stories vary as to just what happened and when, and just what was on the menu people, too, who had arrived from Europe to find new homes and members of Native tribes already living on the land joined to celebrate that early Thanksgiving. Since that times, connections and relations among the peoples have not always been as cordial. Joanne Shenandoah, who is of the Oneida-Iroquois Confederacy of New York state joins with Michael Bucher. of the Cherokee people, are both well respected songwriters and singers on their own. They’ve teamed up for Bitter Tears Sacred Ground, an album in which they offer original songs as well as giving the nod to three songwriters who explored the connections and disconnections of Native American life, Johnny Cash, Peter LaFarge, and Floyd Westerman. The musicians’ original songs and those of other times find connection, a connection only emphasized by Shenandoah’s singing of The Star Spangled Banner, which is offered almost as a lullabye.

It was thinking about passing along songs to her daughter, songs her parents had sung to her, that got Robin Spielberg started on what became her album Sea to Shining Sea: A Tapestry of American Music. Spielberg is a classically trained pianist and composer with many awards and albums to her credit. For this project, she did include several original pieces, but most of her selections are from the melting pot of popular American song. Let Me Call You Sweetheart, The Water Is Wide, Home on the Range, and Oh Shenandoah are just a few of the well loved songs that take on a fresh sparkle in Spielberg's thoughtful arrangements. Her guests include her daughter, Valerie Spielberg Kosson, on bells and marimba, Catherine Bent on cello, Kate Macleod on fiddle and guitar, Nancy Rumble on oboe and English horn, and Paul Henle on percussion.

here is another pair of recordings well suited for your autumn and Thanksgiving listening autumn & Thanksgiving listening, continued
suggestions for winter listening and holiday gifts to come as well, along with reflections on music and the season of Advent ahead here along the music road.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: autumn: music for memory, and for dance

Music Road: Top 5 Favorite Music Road Trips

Music Road: holiday gift list: music of Canada

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