Thursday, October 9, 2008

music: folk vocalists

I share my iTunes folder with another, which exposes me to unexpected music. I'm not a big fan of English-Celtic folk music, but there are some gifted singers in the niche.

Kate Rusby sails vowels out with a beautifully restrained vibrato. Absolutely amazing. There's something about her direct way with a lyric that makes simplicity ache (as opposed to k.d.lang with whom you feel the entire history of pop vocals led to her delivery of a lyric). Listen to “I Wish” off Ten:
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I was a maid again
A maid again I ne'er shall be
For that young farmer lay with me.
She reminds me of Dolly Parton, the way the young voice just walked out of some old hills. This Daily Telegraph reviewer noticed the same.

Niamh Parsons isn't as pure but she has an uncanny ability to break her vibrato like the pipe and whistle she sings with. On a song like “Blackbirds & Thrushes” it's thrilling.

Labels: ,