Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Mystagogues and The Snake-Handlers

Back in the mid-1980's, musically and artistically speaking, Richmond Virginia was very fertile ground. Of all the groups in the scene back then, in my book there were 2 bands that stood above them all!
The Mystagogues and The Snake-Handlers!
This is a work in progress and will updated over the next few days. But here is what I have so far.

This post is dedicated to these two extremely talented, but short-lived groups. Both bands featured an undeniable wealth of musical skill, but the common denominator of both groups were the charismatic team of Jeanne Freeman and Jon Cecka. Many moons ago, I asked Jonny C. to put together a cassette mix-tape of these two bands he helped create. After all these years, I still have it and have just now gotten around to digitizing the tape to mp3. So now they're back! Back from the grave, for the whole world to hear! Mixing many influences, these groups created an original style of haunted, cryptic, sometimes mexican-flavored, sometimes dark country, 60's garage-psych sounds.
I'm not sure, but as far as I know, these recordings may be the only known recordings left of these two groups. Somebody prove me wrong!! The live, night-club sound quality of The Mystagogue's recordings are not the best, but you can still get a good sense of their spooky rockin' bones sound. The four Snake-Handlers studio recordings are from their late-period line-up. I hope someone out there will have and share recordings (and video??!! hint/hint) of the original classic line-up!
Click the link to hear/download. Enjoy!

The Mystagogues Lineup: 1985-86

Dominic Carpin - Guitar/Vocals
Rock Koplin - Guitar
Jon Cecka - Bass/Vocals
Jeanne Freeman - Vocals/Keyboard
Sean Sumner - Drums

download or listen:

The Snake-Handlers Lineup 1.0: 1986-87
Jeanne Freeman - Vocals
Jon Cecka - Guitar/Vocals
Ron Curry - Bass
Tim Harriss - Vocals/Keyboard
Jim Thompson - Drums

The Snake-Handlers Lineup 2.0: 1987
Jeanne Freeman - Vocals
Jon Cecka - Bass/Vocals
Paul Watson - Guitar/Trumpet
Steve Douglas - Guitar
Johnny Hott - Drums

download or listen:
The Snake-Handlers - Studio Mix - 1987
* Note: these recordings are from the Snake-Handlers 2.0 lineup.
©1987 Cecka/Freeman

Track List:
1. "Vengeance is Mine"
2. "Phantom Town"
3. "The Church Grim Howls Tonight"
4. Jeanne Freeman original

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