If you've ever talked music with me, bumped into me at the Texas Renaissance Festival, or read my review of the band Wine And Alchemy, you know just how much of a fan I am of the group. I first fell in love with this wonderful band four years ago when I attended the Texas Renaissance Festival for the first time. Since then, I've made sure to check out at least one of their multiple daily performances at TRF every time I visit.
Turning of the Seasons, the band's debut album, was the first album that I ever purchased from the group. Ironically, I purchased it through the mail and not at one of their performances. I've since gone on to acquire three more recordings associated with the band: the excellent What Dreams May Come (given to me as a gift), the wonderful Samsara (purchased at TRF), and the band's lead vocalist, dancer, multi-talented musician, Roxanne Bruscha's solo album, Lost Continents, Sunken Ships (also purchased at TRF).
Turning of the Seasons features classic and contemporary music that spans multiple cultures. It also features original songs written by members of the band. You might recognize a few of the tracks, particularly tracks such as Bolero and Habanera. Some of the songs feature vocals. Other songs on the album are purely instrumental.
The instruments on this album are varied and include accordians, Greek Bouzouki, mandolins, Cajon, and multiple other instruments, with and without strings.
My favorite tracks from this album are Matty Groves, Adir Hu, Turning of the Seasons, the blistering Sota, and both versions of Misirlou. I'm drawn to Matty Groves for both its sound and its story. It's the tale of poor Matty Groves who is seduced by Lord Donald's wife and is eventually caught in bed with her by a very angry Lord Donald. The two fight, and the outcome isn't that pleasant. Adir Hu and Sota are two wonderful instrumentals, with Sota being quite possibly my favorite song on the entire album. Turning of the Seasons is an original track by the band and features beautiful vocals and solid string work.
Fans of surf guitar legend Dick Dale will definitley recognize Misirlou, or at least the second version of it on this album. The first version features Bruscha's seductive vocals and slinks along at a pace that promises pleasure. It is a wonderful track. The second version is a wide open Greek Bouzouki string attack. There's no mistaking that this song means business, and I believe that it can hold its own against Dick Dale's own version of the song.
I highly recommend that fans of faire music and/or Mediterranean, Celtic, or Gypsy-styled music give Turning of the Seasons a listen. It will not disappoint you in the least.