Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Blue Magic Church - You'll Feel Better In The Morning



I’m not one for organized religion.  Like Groucho Marx “I don’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member”.  I try to avoid places of worship because I also tend to agree with Mark Twain who wrote:

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.   

That being said, there is one church that I do zealously recommend - The Blue Magic Church.

The Blue Magic Church is more a concept than it is a band. It calls itself “a revolving door of musicians”.  Here is a list of the Church clergymen from its Los Angeles inception in 2008 to date:

The Reverend Charm (Keys, ..founding member and all things psychedelic) Guitars: Amir Kalil, James Shank & Phil Ragno, Flute: Sean Peterson, Organ/Keys & All Else: The Reverend Charm In fact, the Church’s facebook information lists “Drugs. instruments. In that order” as the band’s “Basic Interests” or, as I see them, The Blue Magic Church sacraments.

Use of the sacraments is fully on display.  The clergymen plead and pray with their instruments until they and their parishioners reach a higher state of musical consciousness. Eleven Church instrumental prayers, I mean songs,  appear on BMC’s new album, You’ll Feel Better In The Morning. The psalms contain a progressive rock/jazz call to prayer, led by the holy guitar, the Reverend's organ, mystical time-keeping on skins and cymbals with spirited bottom - and that’s just the release namesake track, "You'll Feel Better In The Morning".

The service continues with "Music Man", an acoustic and electric instrumental lamentation; "Shank's Boogie", a soul-lifting blues-based vocal free epistle; "(Will You) Survive The Summers?", a song that provides a baptism in tremelo effects; "Yellow Belly", an invocation to the bass to seek release while all follow the march beat of the snare; and "Diddley Squat", an instrumental in reverence and remembrance of the rock and roll forefather Ellas Otha Bates.  That is only half of this bible of an album from The Blue Magic Church.

The seventh song reverberates with cathedrals of delay and reverb in "Ride Your Own Damn Wave"; "3 Hot & A Cot Blues" delivers the gospel in cries and wails with blues harp and blues band; "El Amor" rides through the basilica of R&B; "Spring Chicken" is an evangelical funk benediction; and, finally, "Dr. Earthquake" provides a Mahavishnu moment of instrumental ascendance.   

The Blue Magic Church is one of the very few churches I will visit. I'll even stay for their version of communion. They definitely offer something better than a wheat flour and water wafer.

- Old School

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