Tuesday, January 11, 2011

artists of the decade

Music is both timeless and immediate, bound in time and yet connecting beyond it. It is a solitary pursuit and a communal one, at the same time, an art that crosses and lasts through seasons, and years, and decades. At its best, it is a continuing conversation.

Here is a nod to those whose conversations I have particularly enjoyed through these last ten years. Wisdom and grace, fire, courage, creativity, humor, great musicality, and sense of spirit, place, and heritage are part of the work of each artist here.

There will be further articles about each of these artists here along the music road as this year unfolds. I hope you will come along for those.
fire in ireland pjs 8 copyright kerry dexter
I've included links to stories about several of the artists here. Including links to all would pose problems with internet search engines. However, taking a tip from our road trip partner at A Traveler's Library, I encourage you to place their names in the search box up there on the right to find stories here on Music Road about these artists, and to stay tuned for what is to come.

Thanks for the music, and thanks for the listening. Here’s to continuing these conversations as this new decade begins.

Music Road artists of the decade are

*Cathie Ryan -- a graceful and thoughtful singer and songwriter, who draws on her Irish and American heritage
*Carrie Newcomer wisdom, grace, and mystery seen through daily life
*Kathy Mattea hope and humor expressed through country and folk music
*Natalie MacMaster the heart and spirit of Atlantic Canada to the heart of the world
behind the scenes, *John Doyle and *John McCusker offer creative and engaging support to many gifted musicians, and are well able to step into the spotlight each on their own, as well
*Matt and Shannon Heaton Irish and American music though voice and instrument with energy and taste
*Christine Albert and Chris Gage draw together the roots of Americana and Texas music, with a dash of Albert’s French heritage too
*Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas engaging and creative conversation between fiddle and cello
*Gretchen Peters character songs and personal songs with consistent heart and intelligence, from unexpected angles
*Hanneke Cassel Scottish fiddle with energy, fire and a touch of grace -- and just a touch of other lands too
*Altan taking the local ground of the northwest of Ireland to the local ground of the world
*Hilary Hahn within the disciplines of classical style, great creativity
*Alison Brown jazz bluegrass folk fusion
*Terri Allard songs of hope, faith, and family from the heartland
*Mark O’Connor new American music which brings classical, folk, and jazz into conversation in the same piece

projects of the decade
*Dual Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh explore connections between stories and melodies in Scottish Gaelic and Irish
*The Darwin Song project eight songwriters collaborate to write songs inspired by the life of scientist Charles Darwin
*Wilderness Plots five songwriters tell of connections of people, place, and history in the Ohio Valley

you may also wish to see
Best Music, 2010
New Year's Eve

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi said...

Great list. I especially love the Darwin Project.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Alexandra said...

Thanks for sharing the music with us. Love your blog! We need music in our lives.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous NoPotCooking said...

Thank for this comprehensive list which certainly gives me some searching to do so I can find some new-to-me music!

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Wow! You musical smarty pants. It takes an incredible depth of knowledge to be able to say with such conviction that you're naming music of the decade. Very neat.

I should hire you to load my iPod. :o)

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Jane Boursaw said...

As a fiddle player, I always love reading your blog and learning about new-to-me musicians, Kerry. Such a great list!

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...

Thanks for these suggestions, Kerry. I'm always searching for new and unexpected music. You really know your stuff!

8:06 AM  
Blogger MyKidsEatSquid said...

Cool to see Kathy Mattea on your list. I think she has the most amazing voice.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Casey@Good. Food. Stories. said...

Really digging what I've heard from Alison Brown so far - the banjo is simultaneously motivating and soothing while I sit here writing.

10:01 PM  
Blogger mjr said...

When I read your blog I am reminded of all the amazing music to discover!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Susan Johnston said...

This gives me lots of musicians to check out on Pandora. Thanks!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Kris Bordessa said...

I love that you're introducing me (and so many others!) to musicians that I might not otherwise have found.

5:43 PM  
Blogger jcreaturetravel said...

I love checking out new music and new artists. Thanks for the great list. A great way to start the New Year, for sure.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Donna Hull said...

Thanks for introducing artists that are new to me. I enjoy checking out new music. Happy listening!

10:29 AM  

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