Three Things: Female vocalists that you like


I haven’t had any time to post lately, but here’s an interactive one. I was thinking about this as Leah and I were driving through Pasadena the other night. I don’t like a lot of female vocalists, but there are some that I just love. And I don’t want any diva’s. No Madonnas or Celine Dions. Here are my three underrated female vocalists:

1. Lori Chaffer of “Waterdeep”. I got to see this band open for Bebo Norman back when Masters used to have concerts. They were supposed to be a small opener, but I ended up liking them more than Bebo. Lori heads the band with her husband, Don. They had to put the band on the back burner due to family medical issues and a grieving process. During this time, Don and Lori recorded solo albums that are great. I especially love Lori’s album “1beginning”. They are a folk rock type band, and are great live. If you want, you can check out their live album “3.26.03- Muncie, Illinois”. They have some great jams and fantastic versions of their best stuff. They also fuse worship into a lot of their albums, and recorded a worship album, “You Are So Good to Me”. I highly recommend Lori Chaffer and Waterdeep. And I just heard that they released a new album that I haven’t checked out yet.

Lori is second from the left, with her husband Don.

2. Sara Watkins of “Nickel Creek”. I have recently become a huge Nickel Creek fan, only to find out that they were on their ‘Farewell (For Now) Tour’. Argh. I don’t know what took me so long, but I absolutely love their “Why Should the Fire Die?” album. One reason is Sara Watkins. She has a great range from smooth and soothing to strong and demanding. The band is again somewhat folk rock. They are a trio from SoCal, and incorporate the fiddle, violin, mandolin, and the guitar. Their songs are written quite well, but a warning here, they aren’t all biographical. Watkins, again in the band with her husband, can sing with a smooth, feathery voice on ‘Tomorrow is a Long Time” (a Bob Dylan song), but then changes to a strong, demanding voice in “Best of Luck”. A great album that I fully recommend.

3. The third one is a little hard, so I’m going to combine my honorable mentions: Danielle Young (Caedmon’s Call), Sarah Mclachlan (though that is almost on the border of being against my rules), Amy Winehouse (great retro voice, but an unfortunately tortured soul), Sandra McCracken (wife to Derek Webb and a great story how they met that I’ll through in at the end), Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries), Amy Lee (evanescence- a great, powerful voice), Sarah Bowser (listen to “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” on the Indelible Grace I cd), Jennifer Knapp, Kendall Payne, Diana Ross (Supremes days), Cass Elliot (Mamas and the Papas), and I’ll add more if I think of them!

How Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken met: Derek was making a coffee run for Caedmon’s Call and heard her playing in the coffee shop. He grabbed her cd, played it for the band, and they decided to have her join them on tour. As they spent time together, they realized that they were meant for each other, and eventually got together, married, and now have one child. They’ve also created quite a few songs together.


13 comments on “Three Things: Female vocalists that you like

  1. aeirlys says:

    My top three would be:

    1. Ryann Davis of Schoolyard Heroes
    2. Amanda Harris of Gingerjake
    3. Emily Schambra of Holy Roman Empire

    But based on what you’ve posted, I wouldn’t recommend any of those bands for you. You might want to check out a band called Eisley. They’re from Texas and the lead singer (Sherri Gilbert) has this wonderful, dreamy style. They’re reminiscent of Nickle Creek.

  2. BethsMomToo says:

    I haven’t listened to music in a long time, but here are three old favorites. [See what happens when your kids leave home and don’t introduce you to new artists anymore?] I’m also realizing that I tend to listen to mena lot more frequently than female vocalists…when I do listen.

    1. Sarah Mclachlan
    2. Norah Jones
    3. Liz Graves

    OK…the last one may be unfamiliar to most of you…and I don’t think she has ever recorded an album, but she has the sweetest voice this side of heaven and I could listen to her all day…

  3. Christina says:

    Hello Timothy. Long time. Couldn’t help but comment on this one. I have more than three.

    At the moment I’m gonna have to say…

    Rachael Yamagata
    Missy Higgins
    Charlotte Martin
    Sarah Blasko
    Marketa Irglova
    and the chick from the Damien Rice songs– I don’t know her name but I should find that out cause she’s awesome.

    the end.

  4. donny says:

    i don’t like girl singers, either. but here are two that i do like:

    1. kate earl (jazzy and folky)

    2. ingrid michaelson (folky and jazzy)

  5. Doug says:

    I can only think of two:

    1. Ella Fitzgerald (Remember the scene from Return to Me?)
    2. Tish Hinojosa (Mexcian-American folk singer, )

  6. ehudadams says:

    Christina! thanks for commenting! I’m surprised not to see Chenowith there.

  7. Mark says:

    No Kate Pierson or Cindy Wilson from the B-52’s???

    (Just kidding! Drop your tomatoes!)

  8. Beth says:

    Yes, I don’t listen to many female vocalists

    1. (My favorite by a long shot) Mary Chapin Carpenter- Come on Come on
    It came out in 1992, and I think I had the tape in high school and was well- listened to in college. I know every word to that album, and although I’ve only done karoke once in my life (not on US soil), if they had one of her songs up I would be tempted.

    If you like Nickel Creek you may like Jolie Holland- her first album is very raw, but her voice is wonderful- Springtime will kill you is more “normal”. Also, Alison krauss.

    Other voices I love- Enya, Deloris of the Cranberries, and Sarah Mclauclan

    Christina- my housemate just told me today about Once- she just got the soundtrack

    I’ll have to think maybe there’s more…

  9. Dino says:

    Hmm…I rarely listen to music. Can i saw people I know who are good singers? Though I only know two…

    Erin Beilstein
    Actually her singing quality is fairly different than one expects for a good singer. She probably would not win an award, as her loud voice that can hit an incredible pitch may put off most people. So why have I nominated her? Because she makes me laugh, which was her intention the entire time.

    Shalini Henry-John
    Wow, even sounds like a singer’s name! I came to high school in the last year of the legends and she definately was one by her own right. She was an incredible singer, though she had some work to do on her preaching quality. It sounded pretty Olsteen first of all, and secondly, she actually suppossed to be praying, not giving a sermon. Nobody knew what to do but there was no stopping her.

  10. jrf says:

    ACE OF BASE!!!!!! (don’t know their names but they are scandanavian…ulga?, ingrid? ulaf?
    Definitely like the girl who sings with Damien Rice
    The Caedmon’s Call Girl
    Sandra McCraken
    Janis Joplin
    Mamma Cass

    that should do it

    (kinda funny that so many people commented on this one – easier to think of music than theology I guess)

  11. Beth says:

    Another one you might like if you’re into Nickel Creek is “No Speed Limit”. It’s heavy on the banjo, but after 6 years in WV I love the banjo. Amber Collins can belt it out.

  12. Mark says:

    What about Twila Paris? She’s done some of the all-time best worship songs, IMHO.

    Lamb of God, He is Exalted, How Beautiful, The Warrior is a Child, anything from her Sanctuary CD.

  13. King Sheets says:

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