Both of my parents were devout Elvis fans, and his music was a big part of my formative years; to this day he remains, and he will probably always remain, my all-time favorite musician. No music-related part of my web page would be complete without him.
Carbon Leaf are a bunch of gents out of Virginia I became aware of because of my GBS fandom. One of my favorite Great Big Sea shows to this day was the one when Carbon Leaf opened for them, and all eleven guys were on stage singing “General Taylor” during GBS’ set. Carbon Leaf stands out for me thanks to the striking character of the lead singer’s voice as well as some truly masterful mandolin work on several of their early albums.
30 odd foot of grunts/the ordinary fear of god
Russell Crowe’s band. Yes, that Russell Crowe. Formerly known as TOFOG, currently known as The Ordinary Fear of God (which Mr. Crowe has quipped is only because he wanted to keep the same initials for the band so he wouldn’t have to rebrand the instruments), TOFOG is a good solid listen. Especially since in their current incarnation of The Ordinary Fear of God (a.k.a. TOFOG2 to longstanding Grunts fans), they’ve also taken on Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea.
a-ha was one of the very first bands I fell in love with, primarily due to the clarion tenor of Morten Harket; the problem is, not many people in the U.S. remember them. I startle people to this day by pointing out that yes, they do in fact have quite a longstanding career in Europe, although they’re about to finally call it quits as of 2010.
heather alexander/alexander james adams
Continuing my theme of Celtic-flavored music, I am also a big fan of Heather Alexander, a performer I was best acquainted with via her periodic appearances at science fiction conventions through the western half of the country. She was a fine singer and guitar player and fiddle player, and I even got to jam with her once. :)
Heather’s musical tradition has been inherited of course by Alexander James Adams, and a fine continuation of tradition he’s bringing indeed.
Another filk artist who had an influence on me; I own a lot of tapes by Julia Ecklar, and have loved her voice ever since I heard her singing “Horse Tamer’s Daughter” and performing on the Elfquest-themed tape A Wolfrider’s Reflections. I’ve even started trying to play with the chords to “Horse Tamer’s Daughter” as well.
Yet another filker, one whose songs “Captain Jack and the Mermaid” and “Elf Glade” to this day remain among my favorites.
The Nylons answer one of the musical tastes I’ve developed after being an Elvis fan for so long: hearing rich, full-bodied male harmony. They are an a capella group probably best known for their remake of “Kiss Him Goodbye” released in the 1980’s.
(Come to think of it, rich full-bodied male harmony is another reason I dig Great Big Sea. So again I say, go check ’em out!)
Drawing heavy inspiration from Dr. Demento, Weird Al Yankovic, Tom Lehrer, and a host of SF-and-fantasy-related sources, Tom Smith is the wonderfully sick and twisted individual who came up with The Rocky Horror Muppet Show. And a whole lot of funny original songs besides.