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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this item. Your item will be previously owned but still in great condition. The disc will play perfectly without interruption and the case, inlay notes and sleeve may show limited signs of wear.
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The House Carpenter's Daughter Limited Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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The House Carpenter's Daughter
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Audio CD, Limited Edition, 15 Mar 2004
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Mar. 2004)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Myth America
  • ASIN: B0000CH9BH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

After leaving 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant released four highly successful solo albums, including the multi-awarded masterpiece MOTHERLAND. In her first independent release in 18 years, Natalie has recorded a collection of folk music featuring time-worn traditional songs together with compositions by contemporary writers. Her band on the CD includes Graham Maby, the former bassist for Joe Jackson's band, Erik Della Penna on guitar and lap steel, Elizabeth Steen on keyboards, including a rock-style organ, Alison Miller on drums, and the two former members of the Ithaca-based Horseflies, a wildly eclectic old-timey band with synthesizers, fiddler Judy Hyman and banjoist Richard Stearns. The result is a fascinating album that blends both familiar songs and somewhat obscure material with creative musical approaches. Ms. Merchant's intrinsically melancholy vocals are a perfect match for the material, and even when she and her group take considerable liberties with the songs, the result is always tasteful. Tracks: Sally Ann / Which Side Are You On? / Crazy Man Michael / Diver Boy / Weeping Pilgrim / Soldier, Soldier / Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow / House Carpenter / Owensboro / Down On Penny's Farm / Poor Wayfaring Stranger.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album is beautiful. I had never heard of Natalie Merchant before I bought this (having heard it played) and I was entranced by her brilliant voice - haunting in some tracks (Pilgrim, Wayfaring stranger) , angry in others (Which side are you on?). She possesses each song in a unique fashion, possibly because she has not been bound by the tradition, but brings a fresh interpretation to these songs. This album (which I play again and again) must appeal across the spectrum of music listening: by no means should you miss hearing this just because you think you are not usually 'into' folk. If you dismiss it you will be missing out on a unique and beautifully crafted album.
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Format: Audio CD
To my shame, despite having been a fan of Natalie Merchant's work for over a decade now, I did not buy this album when it came out. After feeling a bit let down by Motherland, and not taken with the idea of a collection of folk songs, I held out for a while before parting with my cash. Even the first few listens did not change my mind- I couldn't bring myself to be positive about this cd.

Then one day I realised that for the week prior it had been my CD of choice for relaxing and unwinding. I realised I knew the tunes, and could sing happily along. I realised the album is nothing short of excellent. It opens with the only song I was already familiar with (albeit from a previously recorded version which was a b-side to 10,000 Maniacs "Because the Night" single), a hauntingly beautiful "Sally-Anne". Natalie Merchant's voice is aging like a fine wine, it gets better with each album and its on fine form here as she moves through an album of hymns (both figurative and literal), ballads and the odd upbeat whimsy and takes in all her favourite subjects (from the many faces of womanhood in "Sally-Ann" to workers rights, poverty, love and religion). The backing musicians and the production seem perfectly keyed into what she's seeking to create and eventually any real admirer of song and songcraft will too.

The House Carpenters Daughter is haunting, subtle, fresh (ironically given the age of most of the songs) and vibrant. It is the album of an artist who is creatively wealthy enough to make an entire album of other people's songs quintessentially her own and more than makes up for the slightly directionless Motherland. Of all her works I think only Ophelia and possibly In My Tribe have surpassed it and I'm proud to say that after this I will buy her next album immediately no matter my preconceptions.
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Format: Audio CD
Natalie Merchant is one of the most amazing musicians around. The House Carpenter's Daughter is her fourth studio album but her first independent release. It's a collection of contemporary and traditional folk songs, and you can tell this is a project very close to Merchant's heart. As always her voice is incredible - rich, expressive, haunting and beautiful. Her renditions of these classic songs are faultless. This is, without a doubt, one of the best albums I have heard this year and one that any serious music lover should own.
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Format: Audio CD
I first came across this album in my local library, and have to confess that at that point I had never heard of Natalie Merchant. Just why I took the CD out on loan remains a mystery because it is something I very rarely do. I forgot about it for several days and then, as I spend a large part of every day working at the computer, I put it in the disk drive not expecting very much at all, and started to work. All I can say is that after the first few bars of Sally Anne I was no longer working, I was listening - and I was literally spellbound. Her voice almost defies accurate description. To me it is the perfect medium for the songs she sings. It is wistful, sometimes it is dark, sometimes it is almost raunchy, and throughout the entire album it is consistently brilliant. I don't think I have ever heard a voice so perfectly evoke the emotions contained within the songs, and her choice of songs is also excellent. There is not a single weak song. They are all equally strong, and equally good, as are the musicians that play beside her. A lot of the guitar is reminiscent of Richard Thompson when he was with Fairport Convention. In fact there is a marked Fairport 'feel' to a lot of the album - but a Fairport belonging firmly in the 21st century. This is not 'folk rock' or 'electric folk' it is uniquely itself, but at the same time seems to have seamlessly absorbed many disparate influences and blended them into something remarkable. All in all - perfect.
On the back of buying this album, I immediately bought Motherland, which is almost as good, with the same depth and feeling yet maybe a little lighter. When I subsequently obtained Ophelia and TigerLily, I thought (apart from the title track of Ophelia) - wait a minute, is this the same girl?
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Format: Audio CD
Is it just me, or is Natalie's version of Crazy Man Michael even better than Fairport's? I certainly can't listen to it on headphones at work any more because I well up uncontrollably after the first few notes - not considered a good thing in my office. Natalie's voice is a thing of rare beauty, but on this as on all her albums I find the production and backing a bit lacking. But when it hits the spot... excuse me I have to go and weep for a bit.
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