Music is one of the miracles in my life. It moves me, it opens me up, it swallows me whole; with music I can say things that I can’t possibly articulate, and reach depths and heights I can’t even dream of otherwise. In the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes we say, “The living tradition we share draws from many sources.” Music is one of mine; here are some of my favorites.
- Emma’s Revolution
–Pat Humphries and Sandy O make accessible, unapologetically political music in a folk/rock mix that gets their audiences on their feet and singing. If you need a song for a rally or a requiem for a mountain, they are your group.
- David Wilcox
— David writes and sings from life, sometimes “trying to cram all this theology into three minutes” and sometimes making fun, making a statement, or just wandering where his muse takes him.
- Carrie Newcomer
— a Society of Friends (Quaker) singer-songwriting with a beautiful, lyrical style.
- Nanci Griffith
— A lot of my friends dismiss all country music out of hand. I encourage you to give Nanci a second glance–she walks the folk-country line with an elegant and graceful hand.
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
— while we’re on the subject of unfairly rejected country music, check this one out. Her music has an edgy attitude and a soft underbelly, perfect to shore you up when the going gets rough.
- Cindy Kallet
–With fluid guitar technique and poetic lyrics, Cindy sings her way into hearts across the country from her Downeast Maine home.
- Stan Rogers
— before his death, Canadian musician Stan Rogers gave us a body of work that sustains a tremendous following, even today. His traditional-style writing about the Canadian experience is beautiful, complex, honest, and true.
- James Keelaghan
— an intense Canadian musician heavily influenced by traditional music.
- Peter Mayer
–singer songwriter whose “Blue Boat Home” is included in the new UUA hymnal supplement, Singing the Journey
- LJ Booth
— LJ’s jazzy harmonies and gentle, easy style will have you laughing at yourself, smiling at your memories of elementary school, and ready to change the world before you know it.
- John McCutcheon
— from explicitly religious to explicitly political, from gentle to furious, McCutcheon sings up and down the range of possibilities. He plays a mean hammered dulcimer, too.
- Patricia Kaas..and in English…
— folk-pop-rock from France and followed around the world; love songs, political songs, and a fantastic voice.
- Four Shadow
–I went to college with one of these guys, but that’s not why I like them. A cappella became a minor obsession of mine in college and now I can’t stay away. Four Shadow is funny and fun and clean with tight harmonies and an amazing beatbox. They’re changing basses at the moment, but I have faith that they will continue to be fantastic.
- Francis Cabrel
–Another francophone singer/songwriter in the folk-pop genre. He does an amazing rendition of James Taylor’s “The Millworker”, among many others.
- Sweet Honey in the Rock
–What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Sweet Honey is the a cappella group to end all a cappella groups. They have been around for over twenty years. They sing everything from Seven Day Kiss to gospel. They sing with a sign interpreter. And they have some unbelievable voices.