musical holiday gift ideas

by Kerry Dexter /
Kerry Dexter's picture
Nov 22, 2008 / 1 comments

Making your list, checking it twice -- whether that’s for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Solstice, or a host and hostess gift for the many gatherings of this season, music is always a good gift, one than will be shared and enjoyed through the year -- and one that's not so expensive, either. It can bring you closer to others' experiences and parts of the world, too.

here are a few ideas for your list

*Beth Nielsen Chapman's Prism: the human family songbook is a two disc set. The first disc is mainly contemporary songs including originals from the American singer and songwriter. The second disc finds her singing hymns in nine languages, from Welsh to Sufi, and considering the musical connections that arise. There’s more about all that here

*Donnell Leahy is the head of a Canadian family band whose music combines flavors of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, German, and other musics. His fiery fiddling is well on display in the dvd Leahy: Live in Gatineau. His brothers and sisters shine too, on songs both serious and funny. The band member parents, who started the group, come in for a turn, and other family members, including Donnell’s wife, top Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, contribute too. There’s a concert video, out takes of that, the band’s music videos, and interviews. For more Cape Breton music straight from the source, also check out Cape Breton Radio Live take 02

*Bill Miller is Native American. Check out his perspective on Christmas onMusic Road: looking toward Christmas: Bill Miller

*Heidi Talbot grew up in Kildare, in Ireland, lived for some time in New York, toured the world as lead singer with the acclaimed group Cherish the Ladies, and now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She brings all those influences into play in her choices of songs for her latest recording, in love +light

*Christine Albert grew up in a household where French was spoken as often as English, and she’s returned to that idea several times in he career as an American folk and country musician. Her latest venture in that direction, Paris, Texafrance includes songs, all sung in French, by Edith Piaf, Charles Tennent, and Jesse Winchester.

*Tish Hinojosa’s parents emigrated from Mexico to San Antonio. Spanish, Mexican, and border influences infuse all her work, including From Texas for a Christmas Night. There are orignal Christmas songs in English and Spanish, a song in Spanish for Chanukah, a re counting of the singer's yearly chats with the famliy Christmas tree, among other things.

Kerry Dexter is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators.
Kerry's credits include VH1, CMT, the folk music magazine Dirty Linen, Strings, and The Encyclopedia of Ireland and the Americas. She also writes about the arts and creative practice at Music Road . You may reacxh her at [email protected].

Comments (1)

Leave a comment