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Music Review: Mythcreants – Tricky Pixie

mythcreants

Beloved bard SJ Tucker and her Northwest bandmates come out with their first studio produced album with this long awaited CD.

Band members SJ Tucker, Betsy Tinney and Alexander Adams serve up a combination of hilarious and naughty in their August 2009 release Mythcreants.

Fans of Ms. Tucker will recognize some old favorites such as An Alligator in the House, but the versions on this new CD are slightly different from past renditions.

The CD play list is as follows:
1. Chickies in the House
2. Alligator in the House
3. Taglio!
4. Creature of the Wood
5. Daughter of the Glade
6. Tough Titty Cupcakes
7. Carousel
8. Mushroom Song
9. Water’s in the Hold
10. Dryad’s Promise
11. Tam Lin
12. Ballad of the Boy Cat

I listened to the album a multitude of times trying to pick my favorite, only to decide on one song, then hearing the next and having to declare that to be my selection. I couldn’t do it.

The voices, the instrumentation and the variety of musical rhythm and verse are extraordinary. Some of the offerings have so many layers of yum, it’s hard to focus on either the words or on the melodies together. I found I had to take each section in small bites so I could savor the entire experience.

The album ends on a rather off-color if hilarious note with The Ballad of the Boy Cat. Parents of younger children might find the meaning behind the song a bit embarrassing to explain, but they’ll have trouble doing so as they gasp for air from laughing.

Tricky Pixie bills themselves as gypsy, celtic folk rock for naughty punk faeries. Mythcreants certainly lives up to this description. A delightful combination of fun and frivolity, I highly recommend running out and getting this album as soon as possible. It is available as both a download or a hard copy CD.

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Blessings by SJ Tucker

blessingscd.jpg Another masterpiece by the highly talented Ms. Tucker. As usual, SJ’s musical lyrics and accompaniments are out of this world. The caliber of her creations never ceases to amaze me. This diminutive woman has a huge stage presence that is carried through to her CDs.

Blessings is no exception. This CD is a collection of very usable ritual enhancements. (I was honored to call South at a recent handfasting, and played SJ’s CD after the ceremony for the newly joined couple during the reception line.) There are a few other styles of composition thrown in, a fairy-tale type myth is one of them, and may just be my favorite on the entire disc. Some of the ritual selections actually gave me goose-bumps (and still do after repeated listening) with the power they call up.

I have only one complaint about Blessings. It was TOO short. The music was all over way too early and left me thirsting for more. Wah!

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Song of the Sea

Song of the SeaSong of the Sea by Sharon Knight

This CD is a blend of traditional Celtic harmonies with the unusual and strong vocals of a true ballad singer. The instrumentation is made up of the expected Celtic sounds of pipes and whistles, drums and guitar as well as that of mandola, mandocello and violin.

Ms. Knights vocals are a rich alto with a soul-felt timbre.  I am not often a fan of straight Celtic music, finding most of it rather repetitive and expected, but this collection takes the basics and adds a measure of individuality that surprises and delights the listener.

The CD has 11 tracks totalling almost an hour’s worth of entertainment. The title track Star of the Sea begins with a siren’s tale that sets the tune for what’s to follow. The songs will delight Pagan and non-Pagan alike in their tapestry of melodies and layers of sound.

The case has a booklet with the lyrics for those interested in following along.  To be honest, it was several times of listening to the CD before I actually registered the words because I found the compositions so enchanting by themselves. This a nice addition to any musical collection.

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Sirens – SJ Tucker

Sirens by SJ TuckerSJ Tucker has presented her fans with yet another quality release with this newest offering of Sirens (Autographed copies available from magickware.com). The music starts off with an accappella song called The Drowning, which wonderfully displays SJ’s strong voice and breadth of talent. Ms. Tucker once again wows her fans with strong story telling qualities in her music. Unlike other artists she avoids a formulaic style and surprises with an abundance of new rhythm and unusual composition. The fourth track on this CD is my new favorite. Cold Sunshine is unlike any of her other music. I put it on repeat while working on paintings one evening, and my husband, another SJ fan, asked who was singing.

This collection includes the Wendy Trilogy, a retelling of the Peter Pan story from Wendy’s point of view. Only, instead of the timid, good girl of traditional childhood stories, this Wendy is a strong and proud lady pirate. The trilogy comprises tracks 5 (Wendy on Board), 8 (Red-handed Jill) and 11 (Green-eyed Sue/Sue’s Jig), leaving the listener on edge waiting for the saga’s chapters to roll around in between the other musical offerings. There are a total of 14 tracks with well over an hour’s worth of music.

The only thing I found lacking in this CD were the frequently funny comments and tales that SJ includes during her live shows. Not only is she a highly accomplished songwriter and performer, she is also a talented comedian and storyteller. Now, if I can only regain possession of my copy of Sirens. My daughter, a huge fan of SJ’s, has absconded with it. What’s a mother to do?