Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song is Amos Lee’s fifth studio album. This powerful album is a mix inspired by folksy, bluesy, and even some funky influences. Whatever your mood, there is something to like here. From the title song to “Chill in the Air” you can’t listen to this without big feelings.
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There is a beauty that is uniquely winter, whether it be snow-dusted landscapes or the crystallized branches of exposed trees. Maestro Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was inspired to give voice to the season in the wordless poetry of Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13: “Winter Dreams”. As performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, life is given to swirling winds, hushed silver skies, and the brisk exhilaration of chilled temperatures. Certain movements showcase lush, full melodies that create the ethereal mood evoked in the title, while others invite the instruments to playfully dart back and forth like animal tracks in the snow. Warm your ears with music that will whisk away any lingering grumbles about winter ills.
Enticed by a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the operatic group Il Divo. Wow! What powerful voices and what a full orchestral sound supports this talented quartet of male singers. If you like dramatic, deep music like Andrea Bocelli, but also enjoy pop music, try Il Divo, their first, self-titled album.
Researchers have long acknowledged black influence and culture within popular music…but not until recently has anyone studied black presence in country music. Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music is an erudite, heavily footnoted essay collection that demonstrates how country music is not only “the white man’s blues.”
Amadeus centers around the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 18th century Vienna. It won eight Academy Awards, including that of Best Picture. But you’ve seen Amadeus a thousand times and are dying for another classical music movie…so now what?
Click here for other films that feature classical composers.
No joke, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are friends. They even collaborated on a Southern gothic musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, about two brothers involved in a murder/suicide who haunt an isolated, Mississippi cabin. King wrote the play, Mellencamp wrote the music, and T. Bone Burnett put his haunting, roots rock stamp over the soundtrack, which features a devilish Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and more. Interspersed with dialogue from the play, the soundtrack gathers you into the story of ghost brothers Jack and Andy as they feud, die, and later watch their nephews step onto the same calamitous path of tragic love and family secrets.
Both electric and acoustic strains of the country music scene are showcased in the series soundtracks The Music of Nashville, Volume 1 and Volume 2, and it’s the original songs that make an impact. The best are the sweet yet sultry duets, especially those featuring newcomer Clare Bowen, but there’s something for every mood.
You are leaning at the hotel bar, sipping a cucumber mint concoction, or maybe you are at the casino, dropping a quarter in a slot while making eyes with a certain lithe someone across the aisle. All the while, sleek, sometimes exotic, lounge music plays overhead. Or maybe you are at home and need to escape the norm…
Click here for a taste of the Library’s lounge music collection.
It’s been two years since Hugh Laurie’s first album, but finally rabid fans can get their hands on Dr. Gregory House belting the blues while on piano and guitar, backed by the Copper Bottom Band. In fact, Laurie steps side stage on more than a few of Didn’t It Rain’s thirteen tracks, allowing his band members to shine. As such, the album bends from jazz to blues to R&B, and even dips a few notes into tango. Laurie has a love of the Great American Songbook and it is well on display. The first half of Didn’t It Rain will make you boogie while the second half will calm down enough to play in the background on a September, sweet-tea-sipping stroll.
Gillian Welch is a singer-songwriter with bluegrass and Appalachian influences. Her albums The Harrow and the Harvest, Time (The Revelator), and Hell Among the Yearlings contain dark ballads, deep love, and feel both innovative and old time. If you like the Civil Wars, give Gillian Welch a listen!