Envision a beckoning gate opening to an enchanted land full of magic and mystery. Because if you’re into that sort of thing, you’re going to cherish this recording. Cornball description? Fine. Guilty as charged. But it’s absolutely accurate, and better than the limp-noodle, generic label of “New Age.” Just open the gate, and you’ll see what I mean. Behind that gate you’ll find Saugerties’s Mamalama blending myriad genres—Renaissance, Anglo-European folk, classical, psychedelica, world music—to create a stunningly beautiful, intoxicating sound that may lull you to a place of peace, if only you allow it.
In a voice strikingly and hauntingly reminiscent of Tori Amos, harpist and primary songwriter Elizabeth Clark-Jerez enlists a bevy of like-minded players for this recording, using instruments such as hammered dulcimer, music box, glockenspiel, cello, mandolin, frame drums, native flute, and djembe. Most tracks use minimalist strings and Clark-Jerez’s breathy poetic musings, and to listen feels like standing in a current of falling autumn leaves, or a dreamy night looking up at a velvet sky filled with stars. The recording picks up the pace on a few tracks, and you might wish there was a fire nearby to dance around. Mamalama performs often around the Hudson Valley, and the next performance to catch will be at the Vanderbilt Mansion gardens in Hyde Park on September 23. A gorgeous setting for such gorgeous music. Mamalamaband.com