Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Dwight and the Bikers

Dwight and the Bikers is a unique traveling worship ensemble. Advertising their music as "Heavy Metal Hymnody in the Anglican Tradition", they travel across the country, visiting Catholic churches seemingly at random, and bring them the beauty of classic Anglican hymns with the energy and power of heavy metal music. They strike without warning; usually the first sign a parish has of an impending visit is the roar of Dwight's Harley Davidson as he rides up to the front door of the church, clad … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Teresa and the Scapulars

The general attitude toward Teresa and the Scapulars by those in the know is "the less said, the better." Formed at a Catholic girl's school in Los Angeles in the late 1960's, a school that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent and guilty alike, the Scapulars began as a student folk ensemble intended to play at school Masses. The members, all avid listeners to local radio, soon slipped the leash of the school's music teacher, Sr. Mary Incontrovertible, and began to experiment with … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Magisterium

Magisterium is an orchestra of sorts, with full choir, playing original compositions as well as a number of classic standards from every generation. Their members are veteran musicians drawn from every country of the world, much like The College of Cardinals, but Magisterium is a significantly larger ensemble with a great many more releases. Their original choral works are all written in Latin; but most unusually the words are translated and re-recorded in the local language before release in … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Conventional Friars

The Conventional Friars are a Catholic novelty band started by six sophomores from the Franciscan College of Sts. Bonaventure and Gussie in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in the fall of 1992. The ensemble first came together for a school talent show, to a strong response from the assembled students. Despite this, they continued to appear at campus events, wearing their signature chicken suits and performing songs like "Make Me An Omelette of Your Peace" and "They'll Know We Are Chickens By Our … [Read more...]

Sixtus A Capella

In response to this post, the geographically named Joe Washingtoncatholic pointed me at a genuinely real and truly obscure Catholic Musical Group made up of seminarians from Washington DC: Sixtus A Capella. They are surprisingly good, and more than a little goofy.Here, for example, is an obviously lip-synced, gymnastically goofy, truly low budget video to a really good rendition of "A Man of Constant Sorrow":And here's a neat piece by another group called Breath of Soul, which I … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Deacon Greg and the Dalmatics

New York cover band Deacon Greg and the Dalmatics is a regular sight on the charity benefit circuit, bringing their low-key mix of contemporary pop tunes and doo wop classics to galas and telethons up and down the east coast. The members of the band, Catholic deacons all, bring a straight-ahead aesthetic to their covers that makes the best use of their combined talents while respecting the source material. On particularly popular tunes the Dalmatics will occasionally add a topical reference or … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Chasuble Project

The Chasuble Project's unique style of liturgical music, based on a unique fusion of Gregorian chant, vernacular texts, and modern jazz, has gotten them attention from music directors from all over the Catholic world. The Project's mass settings are scored for schola and jazz combo, the combo usually consisting of jazz piano, electric bass, and drum set; however, their more experimental settings have included everything from crumhorns* to dual electric xylophones. Albums include The Birth of … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Dogmatics

Los Angeles-area group The Dogmatics are a straight-up no-nonsense rock-and-roll oldies cover-band. They claim to play only the best, most classic rock-and-roll hits; and their chief distinction is their skill at performing them with perfect fidelity to the best known recordings. Not content to impersonate just Elvis Presley or just the Beatles, they impersonate all the greats, one song at a time, live on-stage. At one of their shows you might hear them perform "I Heard It Through The … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The College of Cardinals

Choral group The College of Cardinals is one of the longest lived ensembles in history, and would probably be the top-selling a cappella singers in the world today were it not for their eccentric release schedule. The Cardinals are a kind of all-star group, drawing the best singers from choirs all over the world, yet it is not unusual for a newly tapped member to die before ever having recorded a note with the full group.Rare as they are, however, each new track receives a great deal of … [Read more...]