07 January 2008

Enthusiasms (14) ~ Natalie Merchant

I have been listening lately to these two remarkable records by Natalie Merchant; not only does Merchant have an extremely affecting, indeed arresting, voice, she has a very refined sense of phrasing, that is equally impressive regardless of whether she is singing an original or an arrangement of some traditional folk tune. And Merchant apparently has a keen eye for talented musicians ~ witness the superb, subtle guitarist Jennifer Turner on Tigerlily (1995). Unfortunately, this very strong review from The New York Times of her recent concerts in NYC suggests that, despite having a pile of new songs, she has no recording contract nor a viable independent mechanism for getting the work out.

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