Friday Recs:

I’ve been thinking about ways to talk about things I like – books, music, websites, whatever – that’s at least loosely related to the topics I talk about here, so I’ve decided to do a once a week post (as you might guess, on Fridays) with something I like and why I like it.

The question, of course, is where to start. There’s a lot of stuff I like.

One of the things that’s been on regular replay on my iTunes recently is Heather Dale (currently her latest release, The Gabriel Hounds, downloadable from her website at http://heatherdale.com (you can also order songbooks and CDs from her). Some of her albums are also in iTunes.

Dale’s music is rooted in the Celtic folk tradition, with a lot of other additions (a bit of blues, a bit of jazz, etc.). The overall emphasis is on interesting stories, and on music that enhances and expands them.

The most recent album has several songs I like, but the ones that got me hooked on her music are on her Road to Santiago album. “Sedna” is a song about the Inuit ocean goddess (hey, I’m true to form about water deities), with a particularly earwormy-in-the-best-way tune. Another track on that album, “Medusa” is a fascinating take on self-image. I’m also quite fond of the title track: my mother’s did the Santiago pilgrimage a few years ago, and I find the history and culture behind it absolutely fascinating.

I’ll also note that while a lot of Arthurian material sometimes puts my teeth on edge, Dale’s doesn’t: her takes are not always mine, but I often come away with some new thought about an interaction from them. When money permits, I definitely plan to pick up the songbooks.

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