I treated myself to two new CDs this month by two of my favorites: Girlyman and Annie Lennox.
I discovered Girlyman when they opened for one of my all-time favorite singers, Dar Williams. (I'll blog about Dar soon.) Somewhere I read them described as a modern-day "Peter, Paul, and Mary," although they are two women and one man. I'd say they're somewhere between PPM and the Indigo Girls. Gorgeous harmonies, and songs I cannot get out of my head for the life of me! (In a good way, not an annoying one!) When we saw them in concert, I bought both CDs because I fell in love with their music. They just released their third CD this year, "Joyful Sign," and it's just as wonderful as the first two. My favorite song is the title song. Nicholas likes it too! Whenever I put it on the stereo, he gets excited. (But granted he does that for just about any CD or form of music!!)
If you haven't listened to Girlyman and you like folk-rock and gorgeous harmonies, check 'em out! You can listen to samples on their web site. Hey! I just checked their web site and found a wonderful free podcast of Girlyman singing with the Indigo Girls! Fantastic!!
I've long been an Annie Lennox fan, since my days in Japan when our Scottish friend Cath (who matchmaked between me and Mike) introduced me to a number of her favorite musicians. At that time, it was the Eurythmics era, and "Missionary Man" was one of their top hits. Although I loved the Eurythmics, I've enjoyed Annie Lennox's solo efforts even more over the years. Her beautiful voice, combined with her classical music training, result in lovely, and at times haunting (when not rocking!) music.
The highlight of the month I turned 40 (3 years ago this month!) was attending my one and only Annie Lennox concert. Actually, it was Annie Lennox followed by Sting, but Sting paled in comparison. I've been a marginal Sting fan, but after Annie, he was very disappointing. Annie was ELECTRIC! She was such an inspiration, too, for someone turning 40 (I believe that she's now 52, so she's nearly 10 years older than me). She rocked the Rose Garden. Amazing.
She doesn't put out CDs very often, and her latest one was worth waiting for: "Songs of Mass Destruction." It addresses global warming, Iraq, AIDS, religious conflict, global poverty, and gender inequity. As Annie said, "It is a dark album, but the world is a dark place. It's fraught, it's turbulent. Most people's lives are underscored with dramas of all kinds: there's ups, there's downs--the flickering candle. Half the people are drinking or drugging themselves to numb it. A lot of people are in pain."
One of the songs is a feminist anthem, "Sing," with a collaboration of 23 female artists, a sort of postlude to "Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves." It grew out of Annie's involvement and commitment to human rights, specifically the African HIV AIDS crisis.