Music always makes a good companion for travel, whether it is music you hear on the road, music which brings backs memories, or music which helps you explore new cultures — or all of these things. Music also makes a fine gift. Ideas for this winter season of gift giving:

for the blues fan on your list, and those who like world music

American blues guitarist and singer Eric Bibb and Haibib Koite, singer and guitarist from Mail, had a long looked for chance to sit down and record a project together. Brothers in Bamako includes music written by each man, work they do together, and a fascinating cover of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind. Music that connects the sounds of Mali with the soul of American blues

for the classical music fan

Classical music pieces inspired by the New York City marathon, by Texas swing sounds, by funk music, by the sound of the banjo — and that’s still in spirit and vocabulary of classical ideas? That’s what the Alias Chamber Ensemble offers on their album Boiling Point: in which this Nashville based group of classical musicians plays music of composer Kenji Bunch.

for fans of diverse musical styles

Jon Vezner knows a bit about Nashville, too: he’s written hits for many chart topping artists. In his personal work, which you’ll hear on his latest album <Catz of the Colosseum
he shows other colors in his paintbox, from jazz to Celtic to folk to songs that make you laugh.

for the fan of Appalachian music and its roots and branches

Kyle Carey has delved deep into the music of Appalachia, of Scotland, and of Ireland, and come up with her own twist on all that. Explore how she follows these paths on her recording Monongah

for those interested in Scotland, and the movie Brave

If you’ve seen the move Brave, which is set in Scotland, or heard any of the advertisements for it, you have heard the music of Julie Fowlis. How about a whole album of her work? Her recording Uamwhich means from me in Scottish Gaelic, is one of my favorites

for lovers of Irish music as you’ve not heard it

Cathie Ryan builds bridges with her music: bridges between loss and change, between sadness and hope, between Ireland and America, between history and present day, all this in a voice which has among other things drawn her recognition as Irish Voice of the Decade. Take a listen to her album Through Wind and Rain to hear all these things.

for fans of spirit and story

Carrie Newcomer is a writer and a singer who sees dimensions beyond the everyday, who fins the sacred in a flight of geese or folding laundry, and asks questions of the spirit framed in thoughts about geodes and summer peaches. Kindred Spirits is a collection of her work over the years along with two new songs and several newly released live tracks, sung with a storyteller’s insight in a welcoming alto that invites listening..

for more ideas on gifts of music, you might wish to see

Holiday Gift LIst: music you haven’t heard

Holiday gift list: Irish music