I find it hard to concentrate on music blogging when my feet are cold (which they are at the moment), and it is even harder to focus on music blogging when no one around me thinks blogging is at all valuable. But, one of my online music friends, a fellow I met through twitter after I’d discovered and blogged about his music (which I discovered on spotify), sent me his brand new album, and it is my new favorite. Ross Crean is a musician in Chicago, and while I have never met him and certainly have never seen him perform live or photographed his shows, I’ve been enjoying his music for several years now. When I first wrote about his music, I was new to music blogging, and had not yet met any local artists. In the ~2yrs since then I’ve met hundreds of bands and artists and photographed hundreds of concerts, in addition to all the music I’ve found on spotify.
The album I fell for back in 2012 was his Blackwater album, which has several songs in Irish Gaelic, and others clearly inspired by Irish music. I still really love this album and listen to it a lot, despite all the many artists and albums I have discovered since. I love traditional Irish songs, but I am not a huge fan of the rough recording quality of many Irish traditional albums. Ross Crean’s Irish songs have a modern quality to them, enough that they blend nicely with all the other songs on my favorite multi-genre playlists. He has a gorgeous voice, a rich velvety baritone I would wish to have if I was a man, and he incorporates sean-nos singing technique into his music, that cool seemingly measureless, cycle-oriented narrative singing that makes Irish folks songs sound unique and memorable.
Ross has a new album coming out this winter that is also an Irish album, and the new one is not just Irish songs, but Irish LULLABIES. I love Irish lullabies, and if I started over now in academia I could see myself doing a degree in music history, writing a thesis on Irish lullabies. So between the Irish lullabies and the fact that Ross thought of me enough to send me a copy of his new release, I am feeling a lot more like getting back to music blogging. I may be stuck in Pueblo, a city with very little official interest in or support for the arts as a living scene, with no friends around and just family members who mostly think I’m wasting my time with my blogging efforts, but maybe I do have friends around who believe in me and what I do, even if they are not physically in Pueblo.