The lasting impression of the show remains Merchant’s unparalleled vocal prowess and her grounded approach to putting her music out there for audiences. As always, there’s a quiet intensity to her performances, one that stems from the mature subject matter of the songs she sings.
Natalie Merchant recently broke a seven-year silence with her rapturous, albeit lengthy, double album Leave Your Sleep. The offering was met by many fans with resistance, and at some level ambivalence. It had been almost ten years since a fully Natalie Merchant-penned album, so while she wasn’t digging up and reviving older folk songs (as was done on 2003’s The House Carpenter’s Daughter), Leave Your Sleep is comprised of 26 songs whose lyrics come from 19th and 20th Century poetry, all dealing with or written by children.
Believe it or not, the Cowboy Junkies have been together and making music for almost twenty years. The band from Toronto, which features siblings, vocalist Margo Timmins, guitarist and songwriter Michael Timmins, and drummer Peter Timmins, along with bassist Alan Anton, just won