Music Near and Far

Two new CDs show the scope of New Hampshire's music scene

Mighty Sam McClain knows a good thing when he sees it and his last CD with Persian songstress Mahsa Vahdat, “Scent of Reunion,” was a good, good thing. So good that it deserved a sequel, which Sam and Vahdat have just released with the returning assistance of Norwegian producer and poet Erik Hillestad. Part two of this collaboration, “A Deeper Tone of Longing,” finds both performers in splendid voice, echoing something unspoken but felt by many in the global tensions between West and Middle East. Poets and songwriters know what appears as hostility between individuals can sometimes be the spark that kindles love. These haunting, bilingual, bi-cultural songs of Mighty Sam and Mahsa Vahdat are the kind of tender breath that might nurture such a spark into a passionate flame of global understanding and affection.

The grand folk tradition of the Shaw Brothers is alive and well in the music of Don Watson. This collection of eight story-songs about the Granite State’s history (“Hannah Dustin,” “Willey Slide”) and predilections (“Pumpkin Pie,” “Autumn’s Song”) is unabashedly sentimental. It’s also so lyrically clever and musically adroit that it’s a bit like a holiday homecoming with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Everett who happen to have brought along their flock of hip and talented nephews for an after-hours jam session. The New Hampshire bona fides are on rich display with numerous references to local sources as varied as Fritz Wetherbee’s droll storytelling and stone wall builder Kevin Gardner’s “Granite Kiss.” Watson, who wrote all the songs with the assistance of co-lyricist Steve Redic, brings the real pathos and sweeping beauty of our state’s past and present to life in this album aptly titled “Welcome Home New Hampshire.”

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Guide to Local Beer in NH's Monadnock, Lakes and North Country Regions
    If you’re a craft beer lover in New Hampshire, then chances are you know all about what’s...
  2. 2016's Best New Restaurants
    New Hampshire is bustling with new restaurants this year. Here's a guide to some notable openings...
  3. Beating the breast cancer odds
    Surviving, heading-off cancer a family affair
  4. Is it Pneumonia?
    How to know when it's more than just a bad cold - and what you should do about it.
  5. Pamela Smart: Innocent or (Still) Guilty?
    After a quarter of a century in prison and the release of all others involved in the murder of...
  6. Redefining Farm-to-Table in Bath
    The Farm at Woods Hill in Bath and Woods Hill Table in Concord, Mass., are a dining enterprise...
  7. Prison Notes from Pam
    Photographer David Mendelsohn carried out correspondence with Pamela Smart in conjunction with...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags