Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile
“Here and Heaven” (featuring Aoife O’Donovan)
From The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Add a “Best Folk Album” Grammy to the long list of awards and accolades accrued by Yo-Yo Ma, the world’s most famous cellist. Proving that he can do just about anything, Mr. Ma teams his classical chops with ex-Nickel Creek mandolin player Chris Thile and two other stellar musicians to create an interesting bluegrass-meets-string quartet fusion. “Here and Heaven” also guests singer Aoife O’Donovan, whose lovely voice pairs perfectly with Thile’s on the old-timey ballad.
“Oblivion” (featuring Caroline Campbell)
Impressions, winner of the “Best Pop Instrumental Album” award, contains a wide variety of familiar jazz, classical, world, and pop tunes given a smooth makeover courtesy of trumpeter Chris Botti. The lush and lyrical “Oblivion,” with its stirring strings and melancholy melody, could be from a great lost romance film from the 1970s. It would make perfect background music for a candlelit dinner or an evening alone with a good book and a glass of wine.
From Blown Away
Carrie Underwood belts it out like a force of nature on “Blown Away,” her “Best Country Song” winning number. Much like fellow American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”-- a song I wrote about last week-- this song exhibits a gritty performance buoyed by a strong beat and a surging chorus. Like Clarkson’s song, “Blown Away” feels like a call-to-arms, a bold battle cry in the face of tremendous adversity.