July Reviews

Jul 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Rev Kess

Telergy’s second release, The Legend of Goody Cole, tells the story of the first woman to be charged, tried, and convicted of witchcraft in New Hampshire in the early 1600’s. Decades before the Salem Witch Craze, Eunice Cole was accused of witchcraft by the residents of Hampton. She was tried and convicted not once, but twice. The story of Eunice Cole is well documented through the New Hampshire and Hampton historical societies, but the emotion and turmoil of her life cannot be captured by mere words.

Telergy falls neatly into the hard to define category of music called Progressive Rock or Prog Rock. They are in very good company. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Magellan and Hawkwind to name but a few. 

Robert McClung is the composer behind Telergy. Through him the music comes to life. But without the talents of the dozens of musicians and vocalists who work with him, the stories would struggle in their infancy and may never see their full potential. For Goody Cole, McClung worked with over 40 musicians and vocalists, ranging from the voice talents of Dee Snider (yes, that Dee Snider) and Jenna Greene to the instrumental masters like Joel Hoekstra and Mattan Klein.

In a similar vein to The Exodus, Telergy’s frist release, Goody Cole tells a story through words and music. Goody Cole takes a slightly different track and focuses on the music as story. The spoken word tracks do not distract from the music, but the CD is set up to where you can drop the spoken word and enjoy the music without any distraction. 

In April 2013, just days before the official release of Goody Cole, I had the pleasure of visiting with Robert McClung via Skype for over two hours. We talked about the music of Telergy, how his muse strikes and the wonderful talented people that he has worked with, both in Telergy’s productions and in other bands. You can hear the edited conversation on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel and view the show notes here. The show aired over Memorial Day Weekend while I was attending Heartland Pagan Festival outside McLouth, KS. 

Tennessee based drummers, Tuatha Dea, released their newest album this summer. The Tribe brings us a variety of musicians in addition to the family who drums together as Tuatha Dea. On this new CD, the Gaitlinburg, TN family is joined by Wendy Rule, Damh the Bard, Spiral Rhythm, Murphey’s Midnight Rounders  and Celia Farran. 

I was already a fan of Tuatha Dea before this recent CD came out. Add to the mix the other talents listed above and you have potentially one of the best music CDs of 2013. Danny Mullikin and his family are talents in their own right. Described as the Partridge Family of Pagan music and drumming, they bring the listener a collection of drums, woodwinds, strings, and other instruments. Add to that the vocal talents of Rebecca Hubbard, Tesea Dawson and Danny, and you have a recipe for musical delights.

From “Aradia”, featuring Wendy Rule, to “Mishiamagu”, featuring Celia Farran, to the “Irish Handfasting” with Damh the Bard to “Hypocritical Mass” with Murphey’s Midnight Rounders to “Tuatha de Danaan” with Spiral Rhythm, there is not a single disappointing track on this CD. The real gem of the CD is Tuatha Dea’s cover of “White Rabbit”. Those who assisted in the production of this CD through the KickStarter campaign or have seen Tuatha Dea in concert recently also know the spectacular cover of “Sympathy for Devil” they included as a special premium for their contributors (and will never be included on a CD). 

Even without the talents of their Tribe, Tuatha Dea knows how to rock an audience. I had the great pleasure of seeing them on stage at Heartland Pagan Festival this summer. 

PhilFor more music (and book) reviews from RevKess, visit his blog, RevKess Reviews and tune into his music podcast on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel, Musica Pagani.

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