I've always been nocturnal by nature, treating the darkest hours as my own private playspace. It's in the genes: growing up in the summer vacations of my childhood, my siblings, my father and I wandered the house like ghosts until three. Until I joined the public schoolteacher's union, I'd seen the sunrise more times at the tail end of my day than the beginning.
But teaching is an early riser's profession. Fight as I may, after five hours of sleep and a full day in the hallways of urban adolescent chaos, I'm worn by supper, and drained by ten. I stay up as late as I can, winding down, blogging over at the collaborative. But these days, I'm lucky if I see midnight.
Which is to say: please pardon our bedraggled appearance while we remodel our author's sleep patterns, folks. In the meanwhile, here's some quiet songs of the witching hour, written late and tired.
- James Yorkston: Midnight Feast (orig. Lal Waterson)
English hushfolk from James Yorkston's brand new album When The Haar Rolls In; get the deluxe edition for a bonus covers CD.
- Eliza Gilkyson: Midnight in Missoula (orig. Nanci Griffith)
Dreamy twangfolk from fave second generation folkie Eliza Gilkyson via previously noted kidfolk cover compilation Down At The Sea Hotel
- Midnight Lullaby: Guy Davis (orig. Tom Waits)
Ragged bluesfolk from NYC bluesman Guy Davis off the same album as above.
- Mae Robertson: Midnight Lullaby (ibid.)
Smooth jazzfolk from previously-featured Mae Robertson's all covers sleepsong album Dream.
- The Be Good Tanyas: Midnight Moonlight (orig. Peter Rowan)
Lo-fi americana from Canadian girltrio The Be Good Tanyas; one of several great covers on their second album Chinatown.
- Caroline Herring: Midnight on the Water (orig. Kate Wolf)
Gorgeous singer-songwriter folk from Caroline Herring's most recent album Lantana; see previous feature for a cover of tradtune All The Pretty Horses, too.
- Madeleine Peyroux: Walkin' After Midnight (pop. Patsy Cline)
Late-nite jazzfolk from Billie Holiday-esque French-American chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux off of the aptly titled Dreamland.
- Cowboy Junkies: Walking After Midnight (ibid.)
Haunted countryfolk from the Cowboy Junkies' original slow and sultry Trinity Sessions.