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Lydia McCauley


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

A New Age mix of ethereal, contemporary folk, and traditional elements

Status:

Most recent release, Quieting (2008)

See also:

Lydia McCauley's site

Magnatune's info on Lydia McCauley

Comparisons:

Loreena McKennitt, Kate Price

Covers/own material:

Mostly own, some covers of traditional songs, sometimes co-arranged

General comments:

Lydia McCauley has a nice voice, sometimes a bit Loreena McKennitt like but softer. I think I would rather compare her to Kate Price, probably because her music is more American as well. She mixes traditional and folk elements with Celtic and medieval music. (Marion)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


Sabbath Day's Journey

Release info:

1998—Brimstone Music—BM-1012

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lydia McCauley—vocals, piano, keyboards, synth, Garden Weasel

Guest artists:

Phil Heaven—viola, violin, doumbek
David J. MacVittie—bouzouki, guitar, sitar, doumbek
Frank Olsen—double bass, bass guitar
Larry Knechtel—piano on 2 tracks
Paul Englesberg—concertina, penny whistle
Frank Jackson—alto, soprano and sopranino recorders
Jud Sherwood—drums
Kurt Scherer—bells, Garden Weasel

Produced by:

Lydia McCauley and Kurt Scherer

Comments:

Sabbath Day's Journey is very nice to listen to, it's relaxing and inspiring, contemplative and beautiful. From the opening track "Mother's Heart" comparisons to Loreena McKennitt's music are almost inevitable—more quiet, but also very beautiful and mystic, not unlike Loreena's The mask and mirror. Some songs make me think more of Loreena's ballads like "Skellig" of The book of secrets, but from most other songs the comparison with Loreena is not that obvious. They are more traditional or folk, some are more Celtic or medieval, and somehow to me Lydia's music is more American (like Kate Price, who I also find more American than Celtic).
     In general her music is mostly gentle, quiet, ballads, though there are one or two slightly more up-tempo tracks. There is only one song that I don't like, because it's too much like a plain Christian ballad for my liking: "Burning Bush", telling the story of Moses in a too bland melody. Overall her lyrics are more about the beauty of nature and spirituality in general, sometimes they are a bit new-age but in a good way, contemplative or uplifting. The final song of the album is called "All shall be well", with lyrics inspired by 14th Century mystic Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well / All shall be well / And all manner of things shall be well"—a mantra that I enjoy to sing along to, very inspiring. It leaves me in a good mood after the album has finished, and I find it's a great album to start the day. (Marion)

entrances

Release info:

1999—Brimstone Music—BM-1015

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended if you like this style of music

Group members:

Lydia McCauley—vocals, piano, keyboards

Guest artists:

Frank Olsen—double bass
Frank Jackson—alto, soprano and sopranino recorders
Phil Heaven—viola, doumbek
Brian Cunningham—acoustic guitar
Kurt Scherer—synnths, chimes
Marc Murray—congas, percussion

Produced by:

Kurt Scherer and Lydia McCauley

Comments:

Mostly written by Lydia McCauley herself, these songs are a combination of uplifting, spiritual, contemplative songs with traditional, folk, and world music stylings. The songs are also very pretty and dreamy in tone. Lydia McCauley has a strong, expressive voice, perfect for the style of music she's singing. (sophiagurley@hotmail.com)


Thanks to Marion Kippers and Sophia Gurley for work on this entry.

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