Monday, October 25, 2010

Review and GIVEAWAY: Awesome Pagan Musician!!

So in my endless quest for fantastic pagan music about a month ago I stumbled onto an artist that I absolutely fell in love with while browsing youtube.  Celebratory, reverent, relating myths...I was impressed with the songwriting, with the powerful melodies, and most of all with the singer's pipes (YOWZA can that girl belt!!).  I found myself soaring in the sun's mighty rays with 'Firebird', quiet and mystical with 'Witch's Rune'...I enjoyed these songs deeply, but for some reason didn't search beyond what was available on a single channel.

Well, Fate had different ideas for that.  A week or two ago I was contacted by Ariel Publicity wanting to introduce me to a pagan artist--yes, you guessed it, the very same one I had recently found!  I was intrigued, said so, and *poof!* a cd was on its way.

So without further ado, I would like to introduce (or reacquaint) you lovelies with the music of S.J. Tucker.
Of course, I didn't spend my week (im)patiently waiting for the cd doing nothing, no sir.  No, a few raps on the head was all it took for Fate to get my attention, so I was off and running searching youtube, her site, her blog, trying to figure out 'just who is this S.J. Tucker?  just what is her music like?'.   

Well m'dears, what I found impressed me.  S.J. Tucker, also known as skinnywhitechick, also known as s00j, has been touring the US since 2004 and has released several albums--all of that new music to listen to!  I dove right in, of course.

It turns out that the songs I had initially listened to were from her album dedicated to her pagan fans, "Blessings" (HIGHLY recommend by the way!).  But there's more...oh, so much more.  You see, this chica has released many more albums than just "Blessings", as lovely as that album is.  Her music isn't exclusively pagan (she's a musician after all, she sings life--ALL of life), but I can tell you it is all fun, and highly enjoyable.

Ever wondered what would have happened if Wendy had taken Hook's deal and become a part of his pirate crew?  Well now you can find out thanks to s00j's Wendy Trilogy! (three songs telling what REALLY happened...Wendy really is much cooler, after all.)  Ever worry if an alligator might have found its way into your house?  S.J. has it in a tango!  Ever wondered if that salad is really as good for you as people say?  Beware, for it is the notorious 'Salad of Doom'!  (I like to call it the Salad of DOOOOOOOM....!!  Because really it's more fun to say it that way.)

But again, there's so much more than that!  It's not just pagan, it's not just fun/silly/ridiculous/laugh-out-loud (is there a better way to say that and really express what I mean?).  Her music is also deep, it's also contemplative, it's also reverent...I think I said it best before.

She sings LIFE.
If you do a bit of your own research you will see this repeated all over the place, but I'm going to repeat it here as well because it is honestly just so right for her.  "Music is communication for SJ Tucker. It is how she tells stories, how she shares lore and myth, how she interacts with the world...without her songs and stories, she is nothing. With them, she is herself." (http://arielpublicity.net/clients/2829)

I completely agree.  I know my exposure is a bit limited here, but I've been listening to her music, I've been watching her live performances up on youtube and listening to her interaction with the crowd.  The way I perceive it, its like she takes a little piece of herself, her experience, gift-wraps it in some pretty melody and presents it to her audience in pure expression.  (If you've read this far into the review comment about 'musical expression' for an extra entry in the giveaway!)  With some of her songs (for me, Neptune) its almost like the music isn't there.  You hear it and enjoy it, but what you experience rather is an emotion, a concept, transferred directly from her to you using the music as a vehicle.

And when I finally, finally got the cd in the mail, I was giddy.  I was ecstatic.  I was like a schoolgirl skipping and giggling because I got to have a little piece of that experience.  I spent the evening trying to find a way to listen to the music in the shower without electrocuting myself.  (after much testing and consideration, I would recommend simply waiting until after your shower--you don't want to miss anything!)  'Neptune' is on this cd!  And so is 'Salad of Doom'!  And, and...!  Well, a bunch of new songs that I wasn't already familiar with, but also fell in love with!  I love 'Ravens in the Library' and 'Cheshire Kitten' and 'Were-Owl', but oh, oh 'Witchka'!  I must say that I do adore 'Witchka'.  (see the story behind the song here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAOb2YtQDYM  The sound quality isn't the best, but its super cute!)  I can totally see this little girl all in black with a book of spells giggling madly.  It's just such a fun image!
 
This is Mischief, S.J. Tucker's latest album.  This is the cd I got!  There are several songs that deal with relationships, but also songs that consider the quest for knowledge, the ability to find happiness even in your day job, and of course...just how dangerous is your salad?  Ranging from fun and lighthearted to deep and contemplative and everywhere in between, there's a little something for everyone in this album.  

I do wish that lyrics had been included in the little booklet...I have trouble understanding lyrics sometimes, and like to know just what is written.  We do however get a lovely little descriptive piece for each song...not necessarily describing the song, but rather it is added content that can influence your perception of the song.  Even without the lyrics, I do appreciate the booklet, and really if that's all you have to complain about a cd I'd say you're doing pretty good!  But I love, LOVE the art (and mine came with an adorable little 'trading card' featuring SJ. as depicted as a character from one of her other songs, 'Tough Titty Cupcakes', the raccoon).  With all the variety and artistic talent available in this cd, I dare you not to fall in love with at least one song!


Giveaway
And to give you the perfect opportunity to fall in love ;), S.J. has graciously agreed to give one of her new cds away to one lucky contestant!  That's right, you could own your very own copy of Mischief!  Here are the rules to enter:

Participants MUST have a mailing address in the Continental U.S.

Please make sure I have a way to contact you in case you win!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

To enter you must post about this review/giveaway on your blog with a link to this post, then leave a comment here with the link to your post.  It doesn't have to be much, just a sentence or two like:
"Leathra over at Confessions of a Crafty Witch has a review up about the pagan musician S.J. Tucker, and she's hosting a giveaway for S.J.'s latest cd!  Check it out at http://confessionsofacraftywitch.blogspot.com/2010/10/review-and-giveaway-awesome-pagan.html!"
Of course you can write your own, but if laziness is a factor in you not entering there ya go! ;)

For an extra entry you can browse S.J.'s music (http://music.skinnywhitechick.com/indexpage) and comment here about a song you like.

**Edit:  for every post you make on a social network (excluding Facebook) you get an extra entry.  make sure to leave a comment with a link to your post.**

Please note that while you are not required to read the review of S.J. Tucker's work, I would recommend it.  It just  gives you a good idea of what you're trying for.  Good luck!

Contest closes Monday, November 8th.  Now go spread the word!
((Disclaimer:   I received a copy of this cd from the artist for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation. The artist has provided a copy of her cd for the giveaway.  I might try and convince S.J. that she needs to make an 'Evil Chocolate Addiction' song to balance out the health-nuttiness of 'Salad of Doom', but that's another matter entirely ~_^. ))

18 comments:

  1. Why are there no comments yet??!

    I'm NOT entering the give away because I don't have a US address, but I have been checking the artist out and wanted to yell a great big thanks Leathra, because I LOVE her music!!! Like soooooo much! And I would never have found her had you not pointed in the right direction. I love the wendy songs :) and god boy, and the hymn to herne! and the boy cat song, and the firebird one, and actually I think I love them all! Even the salad song heehee! ^_^
    Nellie x

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  2. Sorry I didn't see this earlier. Thanks for re-posting about this.

    I love her "Come to the Labyrinth" song off the Blessings album. Which, I think I'm going to buy today. I especially love the lines:

    "When all our sorrows cauldron into one,
    be reborn, this Samhain night."

    Perfect for this time of year.

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  3. Here is the link to my blog post and yes I was lazy http://thriftjunk.blogspot.com/2010/10/giveaway-from-confessions-of-crafty.html

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  4. i posted it on my twitter http://twitter.com/#!/BiDragonGodess/status/28995691277

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  5. http://thefiredeepwithin.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-bracelets-pagan-music-and-aprons.html

    Blogged about it.

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  6. Love "Neptune". Her voice is amazing.

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  7. Blogged about it, but I was lazy and used your words lol...It's my birthday...I'm allowed to be lazy today :D

    http://morgainependragon.blogspot.com/2010/10/crafty-witch-is-having-great-give-away.html

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  8. I missed this. I'm a new follower, I think. (I follow way too many blogs!) I can't wait to go off looking for her but in the meantime, I'll enter the contest trusting that I will fall in love by the time I'm, I mean, a winner is chosen.

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  9. oops. I missed the paragraph about blogging about it. Disregard my last comment until further notice. lol

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  10. "Come to the Labyrinth" is lovely, as are lots of her songs. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. great giveaway.. guess I am a bit behind... blogged about it...

    http://mothermoonsmessage.blogspot.com/2010/11/couple-of-great-giveaways-times-running.html

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  12. Blogged it :)

    http://fortheluvofsanity.blogspot.com/2010/11/sj-tuckers-latest-cd.html

    I'd love to win this!!

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  13. Blogged http://momcontests.blogspot.com/2010/11/sj-tucker-cd.html

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  14. Witch's Rune is my favorite, there's just something about it. She's a favorite of mine for witchy, magical music.

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I love hearing from people! ^_^