A Musical Bard

Helene Cronin has sought to compose the kind of songs that are personal, honest and connect with her listeners. In this short interview Cronin shares which records have a sincere approach of story telling and harmonies for her as a musician.

JI: You grew up listening to diverse music. But if you were alone on a desert island which five CDs would you most want with you and why?
HC: I don't buy many CDs anymore, so many of these go back to my growing up years because they influenced me in some way.

1. Steady On, by Shawn Colvin. When it came out I drove around for a year listening only to that cassette. Jon Leventhal's guitar work and her voice were so unique. I wanted to be like her.

CD Killin' Uncle Buzzy
2. Killin' Uncle Buzzy, by Travis Meadows. He demonstrates how to be a fearless writer, to draw from personal life, to write about the tough things, the failures, and yet there is redemption in his story. He radiates raw emotion in every song.

CD Netherlands
3. Netherlands by Dan Fogelberg. Another album I kept on the turntable for months when it came out. I loved the layered harmonies and the emotional atmosphere of the record. Plus I lived in Boulder and he lived in the area, so I was mildly obsessed!

CD Tapestry
4. Tapestry by Carole King. She was an amazingly diverse, hooky writer. So much ahead of her time and she paved the way for many of us as female writers. She was feminine, yet powerful.

CD Marc Cohen
5. Marc Cohn by Marc Cohn. "Walking in Memphis" might be his most famous song, but the album has other gems. I love his soulful, expressive voice and piano chops.