Oct 142009

Introducing the Music of

Arborea   &   R.I.S.E.
the Awesome Groups performing at the Sept, 2010
Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference

We are ever-so-excited to be featuring Arborea & R.I.S.E. at the first annual TWHC in Fall of 2010, promising two nights of deeply inspirited entertainment and heart-welling celebration.

With their commitment we’re now sure to have the ideal soundtrack for this amazing first-time event, music that evokes the wonder as well as healing capacities of nature, and stirs the wild hearts of the awakened human audience.  Their selection and invite, however, followed dozens of hours researching and considering every possible genre of music and known group.  We went through not only our own literally thousands of digital albums representing styles from around the world, but also volumes of Google searches, and nearly every page of offerings on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.com.  All of us here in the canyon are way into music, and thanks to my years of performing we know a vast pool of intensely competent artists from an oud player and ashiko drummers to unrepentent rockers and rapt reggae rastas, including some eco-troubadors we would love to host in the future like Alice DiMicele and that soulful baritoned advocate of wilderness Walkin’ Jim Stoltz.  I wanted to get in touch with songstress Jenny Bird whom I enjoyed playing with years ago, or to find a way to reach the semi hermetic flamenco master Carlos Lomas and his dancing partner Joya.  Rock would lift conference goers out of their seats, Fado could evoke the depth of passion that lovers of nature and practitioners of healing feel, the full on mix of the pain of loss and the nearly unbearable ecstasy of connection and purpose.  Native American flutes could summon the feel of New Mexico, true Land of Enchantment, and the ancient energies that seep through the living land then and now, Hispanic guitar would describe without words a community of land based seekers, and the Celtic pipes could raise the pitch on each listeners heeding of their personal calling.

The first need was for acoustic music, a presentation of meaning and soul that can be driving and danceable as well as sensitive or relaxed, in keeping with the vibe of the event as well as resonant with the energies of the Ghost Ranch and the high desert mountains it lies nestled in.  The second was for styles that bring to mind and heart traditions – of music and cultures just as of ways of healing – while demonstrating and inspiring in others personalized expression, melding, re-forming, adding to and breathing new life into textures of time and sound.  The third need was for music that either lyrically references and reverences or instrumentally suggests the natural world, green beings or the processes of helping and healing.  Fourth and last, was for musicians who would be as thrilled to be performing for this special audience, here in this special place, as we are thrilled to have and hear them!  And with both of 2010’s groups, all four needs have been magnificently filled.   We hereby welcome not just performers, but new extended TWHC and Animá family, sharing heart and the larger cause and vision.

For Friday Night, Sept 17th:

(formerly Rising Appalachia)

RISE photo1-6"72dpiLeah and Chloe are the heart of R.I.S.E., sisters with individual ideas and unique expressions of a shared gift, in agreement about employing music as a vehicle of awakeness, personal growth, social and environmental action, building community and celebrating tribe.  Their rhythmically propelled performance has the intent and energy of an Ani DiFranco show, though instead melding tweaked rustic Americana with global sensibility and world beat grooves.  Incredible and incredibly potent vocals stir more than soothe, while delighting and rewarding the fortunate audience.  As so often with our favorite new acoustic tracks, the lyrics are underpinned with minor-key banjo, played by Leah more like the old South actually feels than the ways we’re used to hearing that instrument used in traditional mountain music.  And the fiddle, the instrument that closest mimics the sound of the human voice in all its range of emotion, milked for all its worth by the intense Chloe.  Crowd pleasing acoustic rocker RISE songs include their “All Fence & No Doors” and the infectious Miles Davis tinged “Castle to the Barracks,” but they also turn all too often redundant covers of classics like Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” into distinctly RISE arrangements, with an almost North African hand-drum back beat and their trademark tingle-producing harmonies.

RISE picture2-6-72dpi

Unlike many bands, they have a cause, a reason beyond making incredibly enjoyable music.  You will find it in the lyrics of some of their cuts, and unabashedly in their between-songs insightful banter.  It is their cause to inspire people to waken to their gifts and destinies, to become empowered in the face of an in some ways repressive political and economic system, to reach those born to care with the motivation to act on their sentiments, to stand up for whatever it is that person believes.  And what R.I.S.E. would seem to believe in is an equality of spirit, in balance with a diversity of form and expression.  Justice for women, for the dispossessed and unheard, for tribal peoples, for wildlife as well as those green growing beings threatened by insensitive development.  They have chosen a path of working with grassroots organizations and activist groups, performing for less income than they would get elsewhere at women-centered and herbal and healing focused events, including the much loved S.E. Women’s Herbal Conference.  In their live performances it becomes impossible to sit motionless, our hopes and spirits lifted, answering the music’s call for us to rise.

Get their music.  Go to their shows.  Hear and enjoy!

For more information about R.I.S.E., please go to:
To download their songs or order their CDs, we recommend CD Baby:
www.cdbaby.com/artist/risingappalachia and ALSO:


For Saturday Night, Sept 16th:


Arborea is a very much in love couple, Shanti and Buck.  They are, as we know through their original music, in love not just with each other but with an archaic sense, with dark art and light hearts that carry the stories of mountains and glens, human history and natural history intertwined, destinies inseparable, individual callings waiting to to heard and responded to.  If there were a soundtrack for the Appalachian country healer bending to gather her wild herbs, or the Ozark Granny-Woman handing out healing tinctures with hard to hear and much needed advice, this would be it, with a natural nod to the heaviness of life and purpose that somehow helps carry us forward to the healing and wholeness, to the impossible to resist lift of birds and bliss.  And if it is the classical and Americana dreamtime instrumentation that captures our attention, that paints the landscape for our every wakened feeling, it is Shanti’s siren vocals that tell the story we are called to such an enchanted place to hear.  Trading off on guitar and banjo, they each do their mated part to enchant us with modal moods, ebbing and lifting in organically structured cycles of composition dynamics, a conscious provocative intercoursing of feet-moving tempo and then relaxed pace, rhythmic heartbeat accentuated by the precious moment of silence, of depth and height, from the dream of a white victorian dress in a shadowed grove, to the truth of bared shoulders bent to touch the fertile soil in new day’s light.  If there is a haunting in the artisan efforts of this many times blessed pair, it is only the necessary application of aural fairy dust, the bewildering/bewilding of the too oft distracted human mind, the musical inspiration for each person’s reenchantment.


It can be read in their very name, Arborea, the green energy of this Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, oak wise and sprout hopeful, reaching out with leaf dressed limbs while rooting securely to the truth of the earth and willingly taking in its nutrients.  It is a tune-built green arbor beneath which we ache and laugh, help and heal, where we stretch and grow into a self that is somehow more vital, intentional, responsive… and thus real.  We trust to follow their trail of seeds, to a vine and tendril draped portal not unlike Alice’s fabled rabbit hole opening up for the adventurous listener, enticing us into the always personal experience of a more natural and authentic, nature-informed and sensory filled, wholly attended and vitally realized life.

We highly suggest you check out Arborea’s enchanting recordings, you won’t be disappointed. For more information about Arborea, please go to:
To download their songs or to order a CD, we recommend CD Baby:


Note: Musicians make very little income from their work, and we encourage you to support them with direct sales as well as spreading the word about their efforts to your contacts and friends.  Thank you… and enjoy!

For More Information on the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference go to:


-above profiles and intro by Jesse Wolf Hardin

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