(I recently went through and updated urls - if any are still out of date let me know!mew@REMOVETHISSPAMGUARD.mewsic.com )
You can now buy CDs from these artists through the Amazon.com Associates program by clicking on the links here. It won't cost you more but it does help us slightly. However, please feel free to buy directly from the artist when possible or to support your local music stores!
*Sam Baardman : Sam is one of the best songwriters I have the pleasure to know personally. I covered his excellent song "Hearts and Hands" on my album "Current Obsessions". I love both of his albums "Kicking the Stone Home" and "The Rookery" his second CD. He's from Winnipeg, MB and his career is taking off, discover him before he's the next hot thing!
Les Barker This British poet / musician / parodist writes amazing and funny parodies and poems and some really beautiful serious ones too (though he's much more well known for the funny ones). June Tabor has recorded some of the serious ones. You really need to hear / read his work to believe it - I mean, this is the man who wrote the classic poem/song "Daschunds with erections can't climb stairs". A touching love ballad. Les Barker on Amazon.com (Amazing! There actually is some there)
The Bobs: The Bobs are this amazing acapella group that has to be seen and heard to be believed! They write truly weird and funny songs, they do these magical bizarre covers of songs like "Psycho Killer", "Strawberry Fields" or "Ring of Fire". And they have amazing musicality and skill! The Bobs on Amazon.com
Holly Cole: Holly Cole does amazing covers of songs you thought were so old and moldy you couldn't stand to hear them like 'Que Sera Sera'; But she breathes wonderful new life into them! She's a fantastic singer, backed by a really great trio. I love her interpretations. Check out her web page! (this one didn't work on my Netscape 7.0 - may have to use Internet Exploder)Holly Cole on Amazon.com
*Lui Collins We love this New England singer. she has a lovely warm voice, is a skilled instrumentalist, writes beautiful and funny lyrics, and performs in a way that makes you feel like you're in your best friend's house. She does adult repetoire but also for children. Her kid's album "North of Mars" won and award! See her if you get a chance! Lui Collins on Amazon.com
Heather Dale: I'd heard about this Canadian singer/songwriter but only recently got a chance to hear her in person. Wow! She has a lovely voice, a smile that lights up her face, great stage presence and she writes really interesting songs. All that plus she's really photogenic! Her songs are often (usually??) about the King Arthur legend. Do check her out! NEW!
Einstein's Little Homunculus:First of all they have a great name, secondly they are a celtic group that uses Baritone Saxaphone, and thirdly they do a wonderful musical rendition of the A. A. Milne poem "Disobediance". A talented and sublimely goofy group of musicians from the Boston area - check out their web page, their recordings and if possible see them live!
Fairport Convention: A classic British folk-rock group. Definitely a musical influence for me. Fairport Convention on Amazon.comVance Gilbert Interesting lyrics, nice tunes with a jazzy feeling and a gorgeous voice. All that plus he's a really nice guy. Vance Gilbert on Amazon.com
*Lorraine Lee Hammond : Lorraine Hammond is a fantastic musician who plays mountain dulcimer, harp, banjo, and performs traditional and original music with her husband Bennett. (He's a truly awesome guitarist by the way!) She's also a fine teacher (I speak from experience since I have had the great pleasure of taking mountain dulcimer lessons from her.) Lorraine does things on the mountain dulcimer that are simply magic.
Peter Himmelman I'm not wild about his web site but I like his music. He writes some really interesting lyrics and is amazing in live performance. Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy folkrock. (this one didn't work on my Netscape 7.0 - may have to use Internet Exploder) Peter Himmelman on Amazon.com
The Indigo Girls: I admit it, from the first time I heard those wonderful harmonies and listened to their thoughtful lyrics I was hooked. This is as good a place as any to start web browsing for Amy and Emily info. (this one didn't work on my Netscape 7.0 - may have to use Internet Exploder) The Indigo Girls on Amazon.com
*Kallet Epstein and Cicone don't technically have their own web page but this page is attached to Overall music, which is owned by Ellen Epstein. A wonderful trio! Great blend, wonderful harmonies, terrific rep!! Ed and I love their music, have all their albums and had the honor and delight of opening for them once. All that and really friendly too!
*Talis Kimberley : Talis is a talented singer and multi-instrumentalist, a fantastic songwriter, and a dear friend. She's from England but do check out her web page. She does make it to the U.S. sometimes and is well worth seeing. Her lyrics have a strong fantasy element and a fair amount of "Goth appeal" they sort of remind me of Neil Gaiman and Flash Girls.
Emma Kirkby: One of my vocal heros. When I was a fresh young music major I knew I wanted to study voice but also knew I did not want to sound operatic. I've always hated the heavy vibrato sound that is typical of opera singers prefering a more natural tone. So I discovered early music and found out I loved it. Emma Kirkby is a soprano who has this amazing, pure, beautiful voice with magical control. I've had the pleasure of attending a master class with her and she is also one of the nicest and most encouraging and approachable people you could want to meet. I particularly recommend her album "Feather of God" the music of Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, as a starting point but I love all her albums. Our favorite recording of the Handle Messiah features her as soprano soloist. If you think you don't like classical singing - check her out. Emma Kirkby on Amazon.com
Gwen Knighton: Gwen is a fantastic wirestrung celtic harp player, writes some really interesting beautiful songs, and is a wonderful person. (No offense to the artist who did the otherwise lovely cover art but she's also much more beautiful) You should check out her album "Box of Fairies". She also was a member of Three Weird Sisters and played and sang on some of their recordings before moving to England. Gwen Knighton on Amazon.com
Christine Lavin: Christine has this amazing ability to write both very funny songs and songs that are hard hitting and emotional. (sometimes both at once!) Besides that she's a great role model for a folk musician because she's managed to become quite succesful and is still just so darned nice! Christine Lavin on Amazon.com
Ookla the Mok If any group of musicians I actually know personally has the ability to "make it big" I won't be surprised if it's these guys. The write clever, witty, well crafted songs, have a warm stage presence, and gee, they're even cute. Stylistically they remind me a little bit of "They Might Be Giants". Definitely rock, lots of fun, you can even dance to it. :-)
*Steve Macdonald I've been remiss in leaving Steve off this list. Not only is he a good friend, he's a wonderful musician. He has an incredibly strong rhythm guitar style and writes and performs songs that really reach out and command your attention. Plus he's a lot of fun to jam with. And gosh, his new web site is spiffy looking!
The Pentangle: I often say that if I *had* to pick one group that I would love to go back in time and sing with - it would be this one. Mainly because they were incredibly talented and diverse. They are still around and I still love their music - Jacqui Mcshee is one of those singers I consider it a huge compliment to be compared to - however their early work, especially as recorded on the two CD live set "Sweet Child" is what really thrills me - everything from early music to blues to jazz to folk and even a tinge of rock. I love this group. The Pentangle on Amazon.com
*Maddy Prior How did I manage to miss this page? Maddy Prior is a favorite of both Ed and I. I love the old Steeleye Span stuff but I also love the work she did with June Tabor as "Silly Sisters", and the work she does with The Carnival Band and her solo recordings. She has a really lovely and unique voice. We learned the song "Deep in the Darkest Night" from her wonderful album "Year." This page also has lyrics for all the songs! NEW! Maddy Prior on Amazon.com
Puzzle Box: Some friends of mine who are a fairly new band. They're good and getting better!
*Pete Seeger: I listened to my mom's Pete Seeger records when I was growing up and we used to sing songs from the Pete Seeger songbooks with my sister, I sang them at camp, and eventually I went to every Pete Seeger concert I could manage. I think he was one of my earliest role models as a musician because he always managed to get a whole audience of people singing along. (I couldn't find a web page for him but this Unitarians page has a bio - let me know if you have a better link). Pete Seeger on Amazon.com
*Fred Small : Fred Small is a very inspiring songwriter. I've enjoyed singing his songs for many years now and it was a wonderful treat to open for him. He also happens to be a Unitarian Minister at the Littleton UU Church in Massachusetts.   Fred Small on Amazon.com
Tom Smith If you like parodies you must check out this guy's music! His writing reminds me of Christine Lavin in that it can be wickedly funny one minute and touching, disturbing or sad the next. He's well worth seeing live. (I say that not just because he's an old friend!)
*Bill Staines is from New Hampshire. He has been called the "Woody Guthrie of our generation". I love many of his songs that have become "folk standards" like "Roseville Fair" and "River". He also happens to have a warm baritone voice, a nice sense of humor and has recorded children's albums that are unique in that they contain a lot of "old classics" like "Home on the Range", "The Ashgrove" and "Grandfather's Clock" but they are done so well that you can enjoy listening to them. They don't become irritating. I highly recommend these if you are a parent! Bill Staines on Amazon.com
*Trout Fishing In America This duo is one of my favorites. They do perform "adult" music also but what hooked me is their children's music. I do a lot of children's concerts and I hate "cutesy" kid's music. These guys have mastered the art of entertaining both children and adults. They will make you roll in the aisles with their live humor. Songs like 18 wheels on a big rig (sung in roman numerals no less!) and "Mine" have to be heard. Check these guys out - even if you don't have children! Trout Fishing In America on Amazon.com
Don White Well, he's a fabulous performer with a background in stand up comedy (which shows). Like Christine Lavin he can make you laugh your head off one second then sniffle helplessly the next. I especially love his funny songs about parenting like "Wean Scene". New! Don White at Amazon.com
Lark In The Morning: At least two cool sounding stores, a summer music camp I'd love to go to someday, and a web page with a LOT of neat instruments!
Bear Meadow Dulcimers: I'll be getting one of thse gorgeous dulcimers soon after saving up for several years. Lorraine Hammond plays one. They are truly works of art. Really. Also the maker, Dwain Wilder, is a lovely person and a real inspiration. Note - NEW! Dwain now has an apprenticeship program for luthiers! Wow.
Jeremy Seeger Dulcimers: Having gushed about Dwain's dulcimers I feel it is only fair to tell you about these fine dulcimers. My first dulcimer was a Washburn. Factory made and didn't cost me much but really a decent instrument. When I finally upgraded it was a Jeremy Seeger. I now play a really lovely one. It has a very sweet and warm tone. Jeremy is also a very nice guy (maybe it's a rule that dulcimer makers have to be nice?) and his instruments are very reasonably priced for the quality. If you're looking for a first dulcimer this is a great place to look! NEW!
Von Huene Workshop"The von Huene Workshop, Inc., founded in 1960 by Friedrich and Ingeborg von Huene, makes, sells, and repairs historical woodwinds. The Early Music Shop of New England is a retail store and mail-order division of the von Huene Workshop that sells music, accessories and instruments by all makers of historical woodwinds, strings and keyboards." We used to live close enough to this lovely store for it to be a temptation. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area and they do mail order too. It's especially fun to read the detailed descriptions of the instruments for sale on the web site. NEW!
Saunder's RecordersWhen we were staying in Bristol this store just happened to be right around the corner from our host. It is a lovely little store! The proprieter was very kind and patient with our questions. He even showed us how to tune our recorder by drilling a tiny hole in it. He even let us try the contrabass! Anyway, if you are in England and like recorders this is worth checking out. NEW!
Making Music for the Joy of It:... I love this book. I love it so much that you can buy it by clicking on the image of it! It's a book every "amateur" musician should have (the author points out that "amateur" means "lover") but I think even semi-pro and pro musicians will benefit from it. Delightful to read and crammed full of useful advice.
The Muses Muse : My friend Jodi Krangle has set up this web site which is chock full of useful information and resources and networking ideas for songwriters. She even has exclusive interviews with all sorts of songwriters and industry professionals. Lots of great information and nice touches like links to an online rhyming dictionary! If you're a songwriter (aspiring or otherwise) check this out!!
Dirty Linen: Not only is this magazine jam packed with information and reviews about folk music and folk/rock/world beat/? music, they also have a really delightful sense of humor! Their April Fools issue is-not-to-be-missed!
Folk Alliance: Growing all the time! A sort of professional organization for folk artists, they apparently have wonderful conventions. I'm really hoping to make one soon! A useful resource. They also have a "friends of" index which lists venues, artists etc.
An organization that promotes the sharing of filk music. My quick definition
of "filk" is music shared by members of the Science Fiction Fan community,
especially but not exclusively music about Science, SF, Fantasy, Technology,
Space... For more info check out this page.
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