Music Recommendations

As I mention on the Magazine page, I periodically get an impulse to write verse of some sort. One way this impulse expresses itself is through song lyrics. I wrote the lyrics to the tune "Midsummer Skies" on Patrice O'Neill's fine debut album, Elusive. If you have Real Player, click here and you can hear it sung in Patrice's angelic voice. If you don't have Real Player, you will have to either

1) Go mad wondering just how beautiful Patrice's voice is
2) Click this icon----and get Real Audio for free so you can hear the tune, or

3) Click on her face right now and buy the album. Decisions, decisions...

Say Kay-Lee

Erasers on Pencils

Two albums by Ceili Rain, brainchild of musical genius Bob Halligan, Jr. Pure aural wonderfullness! Don't forget to check out their website!

Pat Metheny Group
Letter from Home
Still Life (Talking)
American Garage
New Chatauqua
Speaking of Now

Pat Metheny: Best jazz guitarist in da woild!

Brandenburg Concertos It was given to J.S. Bach to write God's thoughts in music.

The Master and the Musician

Two acoustic albums by one of my favorite guitarists: Phil Keaggy.

The Wind and the Wheat


A bunch of albums by Canada's best kept secret, Bruce Cockburn. One of the best lyricists and finest musicians in the world.

Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws

Circles in the Stream





Nothing But a Burning Light

Joy Will Find a Way





Sunwheel Dance



Unforgettable, With Love

Take a Look

Jazz and pop standards as they should be sung, by the incomparable Natalie Cole. (I once went biking to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery with my pal Michael and was crestfallen to find that Natalie was going to play there live scant hours after we were supposed to hit the trail for home. So close and yet so far!)

No Boundaries

In My Hands

If one Natalie is good, two is better! Natalie MacMaster is Canada's other best kept secret: a fiddler who will blow you away!


Water from Another Time

John McCutcheon is a swell folk singer who does nice stuff for kids too.

Mail Myself to You

Michael Card is one of the most interesting and intelligent songwriters at work in gospel music

Starkindler: A Celtic Conversation Across Time
Unveiled Hope
Joy in the Journey
Brother to Brother Note: This album was made in collaboration with...
John Michael Talbot (who is another of the best songwriters at work in gospel music).

Cave of the Heart
The John Michael Talbot Collection: A Library Of 35 Favorite Songs

Nickel Creek Amazing debut work from a bunch of wet-behind-the-ears kids!  And don't forget to check out solo work like...

Not All Who Wander are Lost by Chris Thile and...

Let It Fall by Sean Watkins.



Sign Language Great jazz with a New Agey sort of feel from Montreux, a band that sprang out of an exciting live collaboration at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1984.  Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Barbara Higbie and friends make magic on the Live at Montreux album that records the birth of this fine group.

Chiaroscuro Marshall and Anger (founders of the Turtle Island String Quartet) team up to make one of the best albums you've never heard of. (Trivia: Fr. John Adams at Blessed Sacrament parish in Seattle once did a recording with Mike Marshall.)

Various Other Albums I Love (in no particular order)

Indigo Girls I'm more partial to Emily's songs than Amy's but they sure can blend their voices!

A Charlie Brown Christmas It's not Christmas without Vince Guaraldi!

Fire in the Kitchen  The Chieftains play host to a more or less accidental collaboration of some awesomely gifted Canadian musicians.

Hot Dawg A beloved favorite from the irrepressible Dave Grisman!

Morning Dance Spyrogyra takes me right back to college!

Peace in the Puzzle A lovely piece of work from an obscure harpist named Amy Shreve.

Glenn Miller: A Memorial One of the great masters of the Big Band era. I grew up listening to him and he hasn't aged a bit.

The New Nashville Cats Mark O'Connor, I am proud to boast, comes from the area where I live. What can I say? It's the water! Plus, he has (ahem!) a great name!

Shaking the Blues Away Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra were the guys who did the music for Garrison Keillor's show for a while.

At the End of the Evening A lovely Celtic album from Nightnoise that always reminds me of autumn.

Time Out Dave Brubeck's classic is another album I grew up with due to my brother Mike's love of good jazz.

December George Winston's music offends snobs. Tough. I like this album.

Bing Crosby's Gold Records Once cool, then deeply uncool, now back to being cool again!

Stephane Grappelli is Jazz The greatest grandaddy of the jazz violin. At last! A Frenchman we can love!

Light as a Feather Chick Corea and Return to Forever play music that's light as... oh, what's the word I'm looking for?

Also, My Spanish Heart is a happy listen for anybody who likes Spanish-influenced jazz.

Aaron Copland I still can't hear "Fanfare for the Common Man" without being moved.

Benny Goodman A collection of the best from the Man Who Could Not Play a Bad Note!

Scott Joplin Sometimes ragtime just hits the spot!

George Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris" are still great 70 years later.

Guitar Trio: Paco De Lucia, Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin  Fiery and passionate work from three of the world's best guitarists.

Only  Tommy Emmanuel is an amazing finger-picking guitarist from Australia!

Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Vol. 1 and 2 Freberg, along with MAD Magazine exerted a powerful influence on me in my youth. That should tell you something.


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Copyright 2002 - Mark P. Shea