All Them Witches

In the 1968 horror film Rosemary’s Baby, Mia Farrow is destined to give birth to the Antichrist. A coterie of creepy players prepare her to carry the spawn of Satan, though the knowledge is kept from her, and only through the help of her friend Hutch does she begin to suspect her kindly old neighbors might be sinister witches. The key that unleashes Rosemary’s tide of isolated paranoia and fear? A book on witchcraft titled All of Them Witches.

The name conjures shadowy rituals, gothic mysticism, and the suggestion of deeper, forgotten powers. It’s a fantastic name for a book but it might be an even better band name. Read more...

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Trackpacking: Breabach

by Keith Savage · 6 comments

Breabach Live

Last April’s spotlight on Rising Gael has been the most recent Trackpacking post for a whopping nine months, and at the time I promised that I would share more of my favorite traditional Scottish and Celtic musicians in this series. Music has been on mind, lately, as I gear up for another spin around Scotland this April, and today, I’m making good on the promise.

Breabach is no stranger to Traveling Savage. Long-time readers will remember how they kicked in Glenfiddich’s warehouse during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and how they lit up the Shetland Folk Festival going on three years ago now. It’s only appropriate to present them in a Trackpacking article as they are always on my iPod when I’m traveling around Scotland. Read more...

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Rising Gael

So this is insane.

In over three years of writing the Trackpacking series highlighting musicians that inspire me to travel, I haven’t once written about a Celtic music band. Not once. And this being a blog dedicated to exploring Scotland! I’m not sure what that says about me – I DO listen to a lot of Celtic music – but I can’t help feeling a little embarrassed.

That all changes today, and for the rest of this year I promise Trackpacking articles will focus on some of my favorite Celtic musicians. It seems so right to start with a band from my own backyard with whom I’ve recently become quite good friends: Rising Gael.

Rising Gael is a foursome hailing from Madison, Wisconsin whose signature sound is a creative blend of contemporary arrangements and classic Celtic instrumentation. Read more...

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Trackpacking: Graveyard

by Keith Savage · 3 comments

Graveyard's Hisingen Blues

I know, it sounds scary. Graveyard? Blech, you’re probably thinking, doom, gloom, corpses…no thanks.

Wait! Wait.

Graveyards are some of the most eerily beautiful places on the…no, that can’t be my sell. Hmm. Remember the 70s? No, no that probably won’t work either.

Look, sometimes you’ve just got to give the recommendations of a trusted source a shot, so hopefully I’ve built up some cred over the years with my Trackpacking posts because if you skip the songs below you will regret it. You won’t know you regret it, because you never listened, but, trust me. Ok, this post is all about trust.

Moving on.

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Trackpacking: The Sword

by Keith Savage · 2 comments

The Sword Shredding the Stage

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately exploring musical genres I’ve historically avoided. There’s been some bluesy rock, some heavy metal, even some – I hesitate to say it – borderline country music playing on the speakers around the house. If you track the trajectory of Trackpacking articles here on Traveling Savage, you can see how my musical tastes morph and mutate throughout the seasons. Perhaps it’s no surprise that today’s Trackpacking selection follows on from Swiss folk-metal shredders Eluveitie, but really, I blame Anthony Bourdain.

On a recent episode of No Reservations, Bourdain attended SXSW and generally ate his way around Austin with various hometown bands. One band in particular, The Sword, captured my attention. Read more...

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