Festival Of The Muses Set To Cultivate The Feminine Spirit Through Music, Workshops, & More

By: Mirna Tufekcic

It’s called the Festival of the Muses, but more than just a festival in the general sense of the word, it is an intentional gathering of like-minded people meant to cultivate the creative, feminine spirit through music, skilled workshops, meditation, and oh- soaking in hot springs.  

17951742_757632661073070_8746396716097377451_n.jpg

The idea for such a gathering came to Mackenzie Page, the frontwoman of Gipsy Moon, a couple of years ago. Her and I sat down this summer to talk about her idea as it was coming to fruition.  

After spending a lot of time on the road with her bandmates, predominantly surrounded by men in the van and at music venues across the nation, Mackenzie would longingly meet the occasional female artist in passing, wishing she could keep that energetic field with her longer.  After awhile of witnessing the overtly masculinized music scene, Mackenzie felt how much she missed the feminine energy around her while being on the road. She realized the lack of female artists and the feminine spirit in the music scene. Eventually it became obvious to her that the feminine goddess is missing in many ways from our modern, Western way of life- and that it needed a reawakening. So, about a year and a half ago, she decided to bring the idea of the Festival of the Muses into reality. With the help of a very supportive, active, and visionary community, the event is set to take place this weekend at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs near Crestone, Colorado.  

18237849_766025630233773_7177361872321745934_o.jpg

Spearheaded by three powerful women, Bonnie Paine and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival and Mackenzie herself, Festival of the Muses is welcoming men and women to shift away from patriarchy and a masculinized way of being in the world and experience what it feels like to approach an art form and skill through the feminine lens. The workshops at the festival are intended to awaken creativity within each person and empower the feminine nature of equality and non-competitive aspirations. The workshops range from bookbinding, painting, and tarot readings to meditation and making medicine through movement and herbs. Each is led by skilled men and women who have cultivated their craft over the years through a dedicated practice, and by honoring the divine feminine. The evenings at the fest will fill the air with music by various local artists, including the power trio of Mackenzie, Bonnie, and Bridget. The Joyful Journey Hot Springs spa will have open doors throughout the day to soak in the springs and, depending on your lodging and ticket purchase, even extended hours into the evening.

18156719_765175566985446_1137500442213266500_o.jpg

I would wager a weekend of intentional and powerful immersion with the feminine is likely something most of us need, whether we want to accept it or not. So, if you’re one of those people who reads this and immediately dismisses it as hocus-pocus stuff, then you should definitely attend. And if you’re one of those alternative peeps looking for something less mainstream, less focused on external highs and intoxication and more focused on an intentional and purposeful gathering of beings, then go spend the weekend with these muses to fill your cup.  A happy journey and transformation to you all. It is surely going to be a fulfilling experience.

For more information on the festival, tickets, lodging, and everything you need to know before you attend, click here.  

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Beth Preston's Album Release Show at The Fox Was a Night of Local Music Success

By: Zach Dahmen

There was a lot of local talent on stage at The Fox last week.

Behind the sweet warmth of the summer night, Fox Theatre’s sign was aglow last Thursday for the album release of Beth Preston’s new LP Little Mirrors. Local music enthusiasts crowded in front of the marquee on The Hill for a unique collection of local Colorado musicians: Paul Kimbiris, We Dream Dawn, and headliner Beth Preston.

Paul Kimbiris. Photo per   ALOC Media  .

Paul Kimbiris. Photo per ALOC Media.

Boulder favorite Paul Kimbiris set the tone for the evening with a fast-paced, heartfelt set. Playing with the same band who has backed him for other Fox performances, and who sometimes play together as BLVD, Kimbiris and his crew pulled the crowd lingering outside to the front of the stage with a foot-stomping set of originals. Kimbiris’ earnest songwriting and aggressively catchy music has made him a Boulder favorite for a reason, and he did not disappoint.

Sage Cook of We Dream Dawn. Photo per  ALOC Media .

Sage Cook of We Dream Dawn. Photo per ALOC Media.

Next was We Dream Dawn, a three-piece doing indie folk at its best. Both melodic and engaging, in their set, the band drew well-deserved attention as the middle players of the evening’s lineup.  WDD has a sound that is simple, and yet very complex all at once, which kept the attention of the crowd. Their addition of a violin on many of their tunes left many in the crowd wishing that their set were longer. It was impressive.

Beth Preston. Photo per  ALOC Media .

Beth Preston. Photo per ALOC Media.

After We Dream Dawn, I headed to the green room, which was filled with local musicians sharing libations, stories, and few pre-show yoga positions. The atmosphere was an excited energy for what was to come, and that was Beth Preston.

Beth Preston. Photo per  ALOC Media .

Beth Preston. Photo per ALOC Media.

Preston took the stage with the presence of a seasoned performer confidently pouring out her new tunes. Her contemplative and passionate writing paired well with her deep vocals, which are reminiscent of Fiona Apple. Preston’s eclectic set of music from Little Mirrors came alive with a cavalcade of local instrumentalists, including Hunter Stone on guitar, Leor Manelis on drums, Jon Wirtz on keys, Jon Gray on trumpet, Danny Rankin on bass, and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival on violin. This particular amalgamation of talent was put together especially for this show, which made for a dynamic and busy stage.

Bridget Law of Elephant Revival. Photo per  ALOC Media .

Bridget Law of Elephant Revival. Photo per ALOC Media.

Highlights of Preston’s set included the instantly catchy “Spirits”, and the wondering and beautifully contemplative song “Jesse’s Song”, a tune accented expertly by Gray on trumpet. To close, the band did a full rendition of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields”, with every member leaving the stage one at a time.

Overall, the night was one of the strongest local sets that has been played at the Fox Theater in some time. It was a perfect display of what putting Colorado local talent on one stage can create: a very good night of music.

-Zach

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

A Night with Elephant Revival

By: DJ_WhetWilly

“When words fail... music speaks.” -ER

And oh, how the music speaks when it’s being played by Elephant Revival! At their most recent Ogden appearance, I was swept up and blown away by the magnificence of the band’s performance. From the opening song of the evening (“Will Carry On”), I was cast into a sea of tranquility. “I wanna be like a bird/Or just a feather” warbled Bonnie Paine (vocals, washboard, djembe, musical-saw, stomp-box) --and I was light, floating with the band. And, boy, is it a joy to be in their presence. The room was filled with Elephant Revival’s unique brand of Colorado joy and warmth. And, the washboard percussion! How it makes one want to shuffle and slide around to its beat.

Nederland's Elephant Revival.

Nederland's Elephant Revival.

The set continued and focus shifted to each band member as they took turns playing one of the group’s songs. Their sound is rich and diverse. Maybe this is because all five members contribute fully; everyone has a unique and meaningful voice to add:

Daniel Rodriguez (vocals, guitar, banjo, bass) singing “Season Song” led me to pastures of nostalgia, loss, and hope with the earnestness of the voice of someone who knows “all the love in a budding rose/how flowers come/and flowers go.”

Bridget Law (fiddle, vocals, octave violin) conjured many beautiful, swelling, and awe-inspiring melodies, which added to the tight dynamic intensity and harmonic depths of the songs. “Ancient Sea,” an instrumental Celtic-like fiddle tune, showcased the incredible musical talent of the whole group.

Bridget Law stringin'. Photo Credit:   Renee Ramge  .

Bridget Law stringin'. Photo Credit: Renee Ramge.

Dango Rose (upright bass, vocals, mandolin, claw-hammer banjo) held it down tight, and made me bump and thump to every movement in every song.

And Charlie Rose (banjo, pedal steel, guitar, horns, cello, double bass), newest to the group, got the audience hooting and hollering after each solo with his shoe-gaze banjo and atmospheric pedal steel. What a low-down, hoedown frenzy we all reached!

Bonnie Paine on the washboard.

Bonnie Paine on the washboard.

Perhaps this is where the magic sits with this group-- there seems to be an awareness, a want, to tie us all together, to enjoy the space of the room and the music together, to share the feeling. The themes of their lyrics speak to an ideal, a feeling of oneness: “once I was a big drop of water/I spread out and became part of many living in the land.” That’s enough to make anyone enjoy the over-crowded-sardine room at the Ogden and buzz for days thereafter.

With Elephant Revival, it’s not just about the music, it’s about the show, and oh my, what a show! They had people hanging from the rafters! With grace and strength, The Fractal Tribe dancers spun high above the audience, while everyone chanted along, “Oh oh oh, oh the grace of a woman!”

ER Live. Photo Credit:   Grateful Web

ER Live. Photo Credit: Grateful Web

What a night, what a night! Wish I could have made it to both of their shows that weekend, but I won't fret too long! Elephant Revival just announced they’re headlining Red Rocks in May. Can’t miss this one!

So yes, everyone, readers, listeners, concert-goers-- be sure to support this wonderful group. Help them continue what they do. Go to this website and look at their things. They have plenty of merchandise and music for sale. Support how you can. Their CDs are great, t-shirts too. Thank you.

Watch a live-performance Elephant Revival video from their “Gondola Sessions” series here:

-DJ_WhetWilly

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


DJ_WhetWilly.

DJ_WhetWilly.

DJ_WhetWilly is a music listener and music player. Good music is like good soup, it should be shared and served warm.