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Music Video For “The Dragon”

Ken Theriot - The DragonWe just finished creating a music video for the song, “The Dragon,” from Ken’s album, Outlaws and Bystanders.

It seemed like a sign that shortly after the album’s release, a movie about (with a twist) the historical Dracula – Dracula Untold – would also come out. So we thought it only made sense to create our first real music video for “The Dragon,” which is a song about the real Vlad III, Prince (actually “Voivode”) of Wallachia.

We had long been fans of a traditional Ukrainian folk song that was often sung by Owaine Phyfe (who sadly passed away in 2013) called “Hutsulka Ksenia.” It was in Ukrainian, so I had no clue what he was singing:-P. But the tune was absolutely beautiful. So I decided I would learn it. Lisa, the language geek, asked me if I wanted the Urkainian translated for my version. I said I would. But when she finished the translation, we could see that it was a fairly uninspiring love song. A guy is basically asking a girl if he could sing love songs to her on his alpenhorn. Sooo, Lisa came up with a cool idea. Since the song comes from the region of the Carpathian Mountains, which is super close to Wallachia, why not make the song about Dracula? Hey, cough medication has inspired worse ideas:). So she wrote “The Dragon.”

Below is what Lisa wrote about the song on the liner notes from the album:

The Dragon
(Hungary, 1462)

 Vlad Tepes was inducted into the Order of the Dragon, a Christian chivalric order, at the age of five. Vlad and his brother Radu spent six years at the Ottoman court as hostages for their father’s cooperation; Radu converted to Islam and became a vassal of the Ottoman rulers, eventually betraying Vlad and fighting against him. In 1462, the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus arrested Vlad and supported Radu, a puppet of the Ottoman empire, on the Wallachian throne. Vlad wasn’t done.

“Hutsulka Ksenia” is a beautiful Ukrainian folk song, but the lyrics are pretty dull stuff about a man serenading a pretty girl. The Hutsul tribe lives in the part of Ukraine that juts into the Carpathian Mountains, not far from where Vlad was born.

And here is the video

The lyrics are on the liner notes for the album, which you can find here: http://www.ravenboymusic.com/Outlaws-and-Bystanders-notes.pdf

Our Concert At Pennsic Was A Blast

Ken Theriot Performing Dogs of WarWe gave a 2-hour concert at Pennsic, which is the largest festival/event/”war” of the year for the medieval re-creation group, The SCA. The set was the same as the album release concert (for “Outlaws and Bystanders”) in March at “Gulf Wars,” another large SCA gathering, though we had a bit more time at Pennsic, so got to do a couple more songs, such as Lisa Theriot’s “Harvest,” and an encore performance (for which we had NOT planned:-P). We looked at each other and then the crowd, who called out for “Ban The Fencers,” a song by our friend, Thomas Bordeaux (from his album, “Prodigal Bard”).

This show was incredible for us! The new Performing Arts Pavilion is new and holds a larger audience. That, plus the last time-slot of the evening, allowed for a less rushed show that was packed with about 250+ folks. And they were absolutely wonderful! Their energy and support fed ours and seemingly vice-versa. We had an absolute blast.

I’ve spent today going through the video of the show and have sliced out one so far. It’s “Dogs of War.” That video is at the end of this post. The first part of the song, I was having trouble making my voice do what I wanted. Hence the frowny-face. I need to learn not to react to things like that:-P. Overall though, I think it came off pretty well.

Cheers!

Ken

Dogs Of War – Song About Mark Antony’s Speech From Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Mark-Antony-Dogs of WarOne of my favorite songs to perform from my new album – Outlaws and Bystanders – is Dogs of War, which is the story of Mark Antony’s funeral speech (plus a passage from his speech to Caesar’s corpse) from the Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar. It’s packed with emotion as Antony, grieved over the loss of his king, vows revenge on those who committed the murder.

Then he speaks to the crowd at Caesar’s funeral – allowed to do so by the powers that be (the very murderers, themselves) because they feel secure that Antony cannot, even if he tried, stir the crowd to any kind of retaliatory action. But boy-howdy, were THEY wrong. Antony, armed only with words, turns an angry crowd completely around. And he does so without really overtly seeming to call for a revolt. He basically says: “I’m just a guy who is here not to say anything great about Caesar (“I come not to praise Caesar, but to bury him”), because it’s obvious how great a guy he was.” Pretty sly, huh? He goes on, “Oh, you didn’t know? OK, well then let me clue you in about the awesome things this man did for you. Surely if you had really known what an awesome guy he really was (and modest too, apparently), you’d be pretty pissed off that he was murdered by the guys he thought he could trust. Anyone with any honor who had known would want revenge. Oh, you do have honor? And now you know? Wow. Well I’m not good with words (shya! – like saying “unaccustomed as I am to public speaking….”), but if I were the kind of guy who COULD find the right words in a situation like this, then I’d pretty much call for the people to revolt against these bastards!” (“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”)

Lisa Theriot wrote this song. In the liner notes, she describes the song like this: “we thought we’d borrow from Shakespeare again.  It is the ides of March, and Caesar has been murdered.  His loyal man, Mark Antony, vows to Caesar’s bloody corpse that the killers will pay, but Antony is alone and weaponless. All he has are his words.” Yup. Because everyone knows how ineffective as weapons words can be as weapons;).

Hear the song below:

For information on the songs, along with lyrics, you can download a pdf of the liner notes here: Outlaws and Bystanders Liner Notes

Buy Outlaws and Bystanders (or individual songs from the album) here:

 

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Ken Theriot: Outlaws and Bystanders

If you would like to hear the songs all the way through (rather than just the 30-second samples on CD Baby), stop by the album page on Reverb Nation – Click Here.

New Album Now On Amazon MP3

As “Outlaws and Bystanders,” my new album, starts makings its way to all the digital stores on the web (which is what CD Baby does), I’ll try to update everyone on the major ones like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Rdio, Rhapsody and Shzam. Apparently there are over 95 digital partners that CD Baby will eventually tie into for distribution!

But today I am posting that Amazon MP3 is now carrying “Outlaws and Bystanders.” So that puts it on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon MP3 so far.

Amazon-MP3-Pic

 
For folks who like to shop at those sites, take a listen to the new songs!

I’ll post more updates as the occur.

Cheers,

Ken