Best new music of 2011

Thought I’d get an early handle on my best-of-the-year list this time around. I’ve blogged surprisingly little about music in 2011. That doesn’t mean that I listened any less, or less attentively. In fact, audio-wise, it was just this past … [read more]

Sinéad Lohan

Listening to: Sinéad Lohan

Sometimes, you just connect with a CD — immediately, powerfully, viscerally. That’s how I reacted when I first heard Sinéad Lohan’s No Mermaid, a 1998 disc that few people heard and fewer bought (her Wikipedia entry claims that No Mermaid … [read more]

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen a lucky man this Christmas

Leonard Cohen in 2008 by Rama. This Christmas, music took a strange turn towards the democratic, at least in the UK. And it did so in a fairly unexpected way: not in iTunes or because consumers voted with their credit … [read more]

Oliver Schroer

Oliver Schroer dies at 52

Sad news this morning on CBC Radio 1: Toronto fiddler Oliver Schroer died from leukemia on July 3, 2008. I had only recently discovered Oliver’s music and blogged about it at length. Sensitive obits from here and here.

Oliver Schroer playing

Listening to: Oliver Schroer, Camino

The medieval concept and practice of pilgrimages stretching over months or even years – to Jerusalem, Rome or Santiago de Compostela – sits uneasily with today’s package tours and motorised travel. For the original pilgrims, though the destination (both physical … [read more]

Dave Matthews Live at Radio City

Listening to: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City

Dave Matthews, particularly with the Dave Matthews Band, isn’t recognized enough for his songcraft. It gets lost under the weight of popular perception about Dave’s music, live shows and achievements: touring jam band, incredible musicianship, big sound, long shows, lots … [read more]

Tina Malia The Silent Awakening

Listening to: Tina Malia, The Silent Awakening

Tina Malia is a singer-songwriter from California who writes and performs beautiful songs at the nexus of folk, world music and new age. This post reviews her latest album, “The Silent Awakening.”