Music Review: Mysterium Tremendum by Mickey Hart Band.
Legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart may be recognized most for his progressive music as drummer with American rock icon, Grateful Dead band, but as everyone knows, time and the universe itself advance forward like clockwork. It’s no surprise superstar Mickey Hart has made progressive advancements of his own. In this case, it is more of an intergalactic leap!
The significance of Mickey Hart’s role as a Grateful Dead percussionist makes its presence known on his new 2012 album Mysterium Tremendum by his group, the Mickey Hart Band. While some popular artists may be content taking more of a back seat role by riding out the success of an earlier career, Mickey Hart steps aboard and climbs into the pilot seat as he steers his music career, and Mickey Hart Band members in a bold new direction.
The Mickey Hart Band is an 8 member group with Mickey Hart, and selection of the best artists and vocalists he could find. Together they transmit his multiple genre project that treks into uncharted territory musically.
Upon sampling his new 2012 release Mysterium Tremendum, I can say Mickey Hart clearly has selected a rare and talented group to make this flight. Like a man on a mission, his selection was based on those artists who he felt possess the precise aptitude needed to communicate the full depth of a majestic experiment in sound. And it truly is a soulful new direction on the exploratory album Mysterium Tremendum, which also includes the illustrious Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter.
To call Mysterium Tremendum simply an adventurous album would be an understatement, and downright disrespectful. Daring is a more suitable word. Recorded at Mickey Hart’s Studio X in California, Mysterium Tremendum is innovative in many ways, and unlike anything you have previously heard.
Unequaled by a divergent fusion of popular music genres, World Music best defines the improvisational jam band combination of great instrumentals, vocals, and profusion of original percussion elements.
On this new 2012 release Mickey Hart has selected a rare and brilliant group who he felt possess the precise aptitude needed to interconnect, and then communicate the complete depth of this grand experiment in sound.
The artists had to be special knowing Mysterium Tremendum follows up in linage to his GRAMMY® Award-Winning album, Global Drum Project from 2007.
Never content with merely composing and performing music, the 3 time GRAMMY® Award-Winning Mickey Hart has become more attune to a scientist by researching the primordial origins, history, and cultural aspects of music. It is on this album his research taps into light waves of the universe to the beginning point of time and space, transforming light waves into sound waves using researched scientific data.
This may sound like science fiction, but in fact, real-life scientific data was utilized, thus becomes an integral component of Mickey Hart’s music composition that revolves around many music genres but touches down in the World Music category.
Something I noticed right away was the pronounced cinematic qualities on many of the ambient, vocal and world percussion backed songs, so it’s easy to imagine Mysterium Tremendum being used in a Science fiction film score. These songs are Heartbeat of the Sun, Who Stole The Show, Djinn Djinn, Ticket to Nowhere & Through Endless Skies.
You will find that even the popular crossover songs with lyricized vocals, you are sure to love have cinematic qualities involving various movie genres too like songs Slow Joe Rain, Cut the Deck, Starlight and Starbright, This One Hour, Supersonic Vision, Time Never Ends & Let There Be Light.
Currently the 8 member Mickey Hart Band is on traveling the country on their “Above The Clouds Concert Tour” which is garnering excellent concert reviews. One point to clarify however, on the Mysterium Tremendum album release, a number of special guest artists join the Mickey Hart Band to complete the symphonic landscape. Clearly Mickey Hart has left no stone unturned in the launch of his innovative sound experiment with his new band, and special guest artists.
The music of Grateful Dead is an inherently colorful stripe woven into the fabric of American music culture, as every Deadhead fan will vehemently attest. Never content to take a backseat role with his earlier success, Mickey Hart is clearly in the pilot’s seat with both hands placed firmly on the controls while navigating the spirit of Grateful Dead in a new direction. Hang on and enjoy the ride!
Album Credits: The 8 member Mickey Hart Band consists of Mickey Hart, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, Grammy winning percussionist and longtime band mate Sikiru Adepoju, Tony Award winning vocalist Crystal Monee Hall, TSO vocalist Tim Hockenberry, drummer Ian “Inx” Herman, guitarist Gawain Matthews, keyboardist and producer Ben Yonas. Special guest artists joining the Mickey Hart Band during select tracks on Mysterium Tremendum are Steve Kimock, Reed Mathis, and longtime collaborators, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
Visit MickeyHart.net homepage and sample or purchase Mysterium Tremendum, other albums, and check out the Mickey Hart Band’s live concert tour shows schedule and my Mickey Hart Band pages. Photos are courtesy mickeyhart.net.