The House Carpenter's Daughterby Natalie Merchant
Given that The House Carpenter's Daughter marks Natalie Merchant's first foray into folk songs, both traditional and modern, it seems appropriate that she's bypassed the record industry and released the disc on her own Myth America label. Many of these songs arose outside of corporate structures, such as the old hymns "Weeping Pilgrim" and "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" or the murder ballad "Diver Boy" -- and the pro-union "Which Side Are You On?" is directly anti-corporate. With their gentle melodies and primarily acoustic accompaniment, these songs sound like they were meant to be sung at home or around a campfire, and Merchant's grave, tender voice perfectly suits the earnest material. Although she lightens up for the hoedown versions of "Down on Penny's Farm" and the Carter Family's "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" and digs into a bluesy groove for "Soldier, Soldier," most of The House Carpenter's Daughter features beautiful, melancholy ballads, backed by quiet guitar, banjo, or fiddle. During her tenure in 10,000 Maniacs and throughout her solo career, Merchant's roots have been in folk music, but she's never explored them so overtly; here she finds them in songs from Fairport Convention, the Horseflies, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, and elsewhere.
- Release Date:
- Myth America
- Sally Ann
- Which Side Are You On?
- Crazy Man Michael
- Diver Boy
- Weeping Pilgrim
- Soldier Soldier
- Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow
- House Carpenter
- Down on Penny’s Farm
- Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Performance CreditsNatalie Merchant Primary Artist,Vocals
Judy Hyman Fiddle,Violin
Graham Maby Bass
Richie Stearns Banjo
Erik Della Penna Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Gabriel Gordon Guitar
Allison Miller Drums
Elizabeth Steen Organ,Piano,Accordion
Technical CreditsGeorge Cowan Engineer
Natalie Merchant Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,Collage
Todd Vos Engineer
Public Domain Composer
Tod Vos Engineer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Once again, Natalie Merchant has produced an amazing CD that showcases her evolving vocal range, expressive style and producing skills. Every track on the album is so unique, perfectly arranged, and a real joy to listen to. I can think of no other artist who can pull this off successfully. Favorite Songs: 1. Owensboro 2. Which Side Are You On 3. Crazy Man Michael 4. Sally Ann
I had high hopes for Natalie Merchant's new CD. For one, it's as though Natalie was born to make folk music. Since her days with 10,000 Maniacs, she's sung numerous folk songs as though they were her own. Because of her earlier success with folk music, I had a lot of hope for this CD, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed. The arrangements are all lush and perfectly done, but it's Natalie's singing that bothers me. I normally love her voice but here she sounds bored, not to mention you can hardly make out what she's singing. Natalie's new CD is a good collection of folk music, but one I think could have been better.
With the music industry deteriorating quality,voracity for sex,violence and illiteracy,Miss Merchant is one of the few exceptions.Whether she revived,traditionaly arranged,or composed she always justified music to its deepest sense.Had written over 100,poetic,socially conscious,literate songs,standing tall for over 2 decades despite casual slander,vulture scandal critics that personally don't liked her music,but to her endearing fans,she will always be the humble star that conect them to a deeper meaning.