Heather McCready, aka Travelin' Girl, after one of her songs, was a new name to me when, when she made contact. Even over Twitter it was clear that she has a very warm, bubbly personality, which I warmed to immediately.
Heather resides in Arlington, Texas and having been involved with music from an early age, it is perhaps no surprise that she has gone on to write and record her own material; four CD's since 2009. I think she may have stolen Thea Gilmore's 'frequent release crown,' temporarily at least! Those four CD's are Finally Free, Give it a Day and Neverland. The most recent, a Christmas CD, features Christmas songs re-imagined, the way she hears them. Initially I will admit to being a little sceptical about this concept, but after one listen it is obvious that it was, in fact, a stroke of genius.
The immediately striking thing about all of her CDs is that each one, quite simply, has a lovely, simple, easy listening sound and is very calming and soothing. I suspect this is due to a combination of the simple, acoustic, at times almost Celtic, musical arrangements and her soft, almost sugar coated, vocals.
Heather's music isn't exactly Christian music, but her beliefs are apparent from her lyrics. The other thing that is there is a message; like UK singer songwriter Emily Maguire, Heather makes no secret of the fact that she, and others in her family, have experienced mental health issues. I won't tell her story here, that is for her to tell you, in person or on her site, not me. What I will tell you is that layered within the lyrics of her song are understanding, comfort and hope, and an opportunity to spread the awareness she wishes to share, that mental health is something we should be talking about, not stigmatising further. After all, it is the twenty first century, isn't it?
Heather is now garnering radio play here in the UK, most recently thanks to Newcastle's Brian Clough, so hopefully this will build and help her to spread her music and her message. Both are very much worth listening to. Maybe she will come and share them with us herself, in person, before too long…?
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