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I’ve never been very good at describing my musical taste. “Eclectic” makes it sound more interesting than it is. The fact that I very rarely listen to the radio or read music magazines or websites means I’m not exactly on the cutting edge of what’s happening. So let’s call it “varied” instead.

In my iTunes, I have music ranging from what my mother used to listen to, like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger Whitaker, to slightly hipper music I’ve picked up recently from friends and, I almost hate to admit, movies and TV shows. 

I always used to say the only music I don’t like is country and opera. And then songs by people like Ben Heppner and Inva Mula-Tchako found their way into my musical mix, as did a whole slew of what I must insist on calling alt-country, because admitting I like country is a step beyond my comfort level.

Here’s two, from my continuing adventures with YouTube:


Iris Dement, “Our Town”

This song was on the last episode of Northern Exposure, though I didn’t take much notice at the time. Dement was a favourite on CKUA, the rare radio station I did listen to, and she became a favourite of mine through repetition – that voice eventually overcame my prejudice against the twang of the music.



Gillian Welch, “Revelator”

Gillian Welch was another singer I encountered thanks to CKUA. Thee sparse video and sparse musical arrangement showcases another haunting voice.



With songs like these, it seems ridiculous to distance myself from country music. Except it’s alt-country. Really.