I'm really into the latest project Casey Stratton has put out on his web site -- a collection of traditional folk songs called The Sun Is Burning. He released it last week on St. Patrick's Day -- which is fitting because the bulk of it is Irish folk songs (although there is a French one thrown in for good measure.)
Funny thing is I wouldn't have suspected that I would like it as much as I do, traditional Irish folk music is not something that I normally listen to. It helps a lot that Casey does a fantastic job interpreting these songs -- the production isn't fancy at all, but that actually helps a lot. These are folk songs after all, they don't really fit fancy arrangements or state-of-the-art production.
I had to laugh when I started listening to the song "The Ash Grove" because I swore that I knew the tune from somewhere, but just couldn't place it. As it turns out, it's the tune to the old Lutheran hymn "Sent Forth By God's Blessing" -- the lyrics of which you can't find anywhere on the web because apparently us Lutherans are sticklers for copyright. But it's a great interpretation of the song. It's been fun investigating the origins of these songs that I previously hadn't been exposed to.
And on the other end of the Casey spectrum, I found his techno-ambient cover of New Order's "Regret" on iTunes. Yay--because I was about to spring for the whole Blue Order: A Tribute To New Order CD just to get that one track. Glad I didn't have to. "Regret" is probably my favorite New Order track, and I just love Casey's version of it.
Buy: The Sun Is Burning by Casey Stratton
Buy: "Regret" by Casey Stratton from Blue Order: A Tribute To New Order