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.