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 (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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