There are many Pagan musicians I love passionately: Damh the Bard, SJ Tucker, Emerald Rose, Celia, Wendy Rule, Kenny Klein, Spiral Rhythm, Gaia Consort/Bone Poets Orchestra, and many more. But if you ask me which Pagan band I’m most excited about right now, I will tell you it’s Murphey’s Midnight Rounders.
Brad, Teresa and Bonnie are doing something pretty unique when it comes to Pagan music. Though they draw from many sources of inspiration, and are solidly folk-rock, the overall impression of their music is that it is staunchly American. It doesn’t sound like it springs from the Old Country or from some spooky, ethereal plane. It sounds like it comes from the land of liberty, from the culture that gave us the cry of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll,” from the dance halls playing jazz and blues.
Other Pagan bands have delved into American musical styles before, but none quite as heartily as MMR. So here are some songs of theirs I think you need to check out:
New Age Pagan Rag has got a enough swing to it you could dance a little rockabilly to it. Upper Midwest Terrorist Society and Sewing Bee is one of those songs I like to listen to, bobbing my head along to the beat, while sorting through my e-mail in the morning. The Wreck of the Modern Pagan is really clever, and ranks up there with Emerald Rose’s Solitary Motel as one of my favorite satires of the Pagan community. Their latest song, and one of my favorites, is Daylight Comes Again. It’s a fresh musical take on Heathen/Pagan beliefs and the concept of liberty. Mostly it is extremely catchy, singable and danceable. I have found myself singing it to myself at random times because it just gets caught in your head. NightWind is just plain fun with great harmonies.
There are plenty of fine bands out there in Pagandom, but something about MMR just evokes some Jethro Tull, Fleetwood Mac, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Those evergreen, singable songs of 70’s rock share some spark with MMR.
It’s good stuff, and if you happen to be in the midwest you’ll be happy to find MMR performing regularly. They are good folks, they work hard, and they do a lot for the community. I’m a big fan.
And while we are on the subject of music, Arthur Hinds has a great new song called Greenwood Woman you should also check out!