Earlier this year, the drumming and singing family from Gatlinburg, TN known as Tuatha Dea released their latest album called The Tribe. This CD is a tribal effort (pun intended) by Tuatha Dea, Celia, Spiral Rhythm, Murphey’s Midnight Rounders, Damh the Bard and Wendy Rule. When all these talented musicians get together to do an album you know it is going to be something amazing.
I had the pleasure of seeing Tuatha Dea on stage at Heartland Pagan Festival at Camp Gaea over Memorial Weekend. They played music from all their CDs plus a piece or two that aren’t or won’t be on a CD – including their cover of “Sympathy for the Devil”. They began their concert with “The Hunt” (their quarter calling song), substituting Dragons for the quarters, and ended with “Mishiamagu”, everything in between was just awesome and got people up and dancing, stomping their feet, clapping their hands and just having a great time. My only regrets about the concert, I had left my camera in my tent and I didn’t yet have their CDs in my collection for autographs.
I was working the gate at Heartland the afternoon that Tuatha Dea arrived on site. Which means that I got to meet them first thing upon their arrival. I got the chance to visit with the band at the musicians tent and after the concert. The best thing they did, other than the concert, was host children’s workshops – drums, chants, songs and fun!
Wendy Rule lends her talented voice to the first track on the CD, “Aradia”. Matching her ethereal voice to the rhythms and sounds of Tuatha Dea, you are introduced to the legendary and mythic figure of Aradia, queen of witches. Spiral Rhythm treats you to a combination of their musical and vocal sounds with that of Tuatha Dea in “Akasha”, “Khawuleza”, and “The Landing/Tuatha de Danaan”. Damh the Bard lends his Druidic power to “The Handfasting”. Celia changes course from her live looping and uses her voice to take you on a Native American journey with “Mishiamagu”. Minnesota’s Murphey’s Midnight Rounders (the headline act along with Wendy Rule from Heartland 2012) mix things up with a radio channel hopping in “Hypocritical Mass”.
Tuatha Dea has a special treat for listeners with their stupendous cover of Jefferon Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. Using their intense drumming, didge, and vocals, they create their own take on the classic rock song. One that you will have stuck in your head and like it!
The final track to the CD probably should have been the first track, “The Blessing”. In this piece they bless the drums, the hands that touch them, they bless the voices and the bodies that house them. “The Blessing” is wonderful addition to the album and would fit well, with minor adjustments, into any musically inclined ritual group.
Tuatha Dea took the idea behind The Tribe and ran with it. They have created a website for networking with Pagans from all walks of life. The Tribe Online features musicians, podcasters, bloggers, authors, and more. On the site you can get links to these talented Pagans and their current projects, concert and workshop schedules, podcast feeds and authors’ pages. Well worth the visit!