of Water + Mercy
“When I wrote the beginning lyric to ‘Rise Together,’ I was exploring the ways we all share a common human value and a common thread of life, loss and rebirth, says Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay. “In the face of an ever-divided life, and in light of so many messages pitting us against our neighbors, it seemed like a worthwhile exercise to strip all the market trappings away and get back to the core of what connects us.”
“We met Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay not through music but through our shared work in political advocacy acting on behalf of people living in extreme poverty,” says Moksha Sommer. “Through music and advocacy we have witnessed incredible and real change and know the astonishing power of collective voices on behalf of those who do not have the ability, and sometimes even the rights, to be heard. Songwriting with Dan was a wonderful process of the three of us contributing all that we could and being attached to nothing. I think the result is quite remarkable and reflects the very thing the song is about; rising together through shared vision and action.”
Throughout the eight tracks on OF WATER + MERCY--the eighth full-length studio album from HUDOST--there’s a rich, eclectic blending of pop and rock with a sound that crosses all borders and barriers, taking the listener on a journey. From Montreal and Kentucky, HuDost weaves a seamless tapestry of sound from the core musicians of Moksha Sommer and Jemal Wade Hines. Having toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe consistently since April 2006, HUDOST’s highlight performances include Bonnaroo, Resident band at FloydFest, BhaktiFest, World Café Live, Blissfest, Music City Roots, The Montreal Folk Festival and much more. HUDOST have grown and expanded, travelled rocky and glorious terrain and marveled at all they can learn and explore. Moksha and Jemal Wade in this time have grown as artists, as seekers, as a couple and as a family.
OF WATER + MERCY follows the releases of 2015’s full-length The World Is…--a collaborative record with Steve Kilbey of the Australian band The Church with special guest Jon Anderson of YES--and a World Chant album, Sufi Kirtan. The prolific group have also worked with Grammy Award-winner Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel) and Grammy Award-winner Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Primus)
Almost all of our spring dates have/are being cancelled due to the coronavirus. As full-time musicians, this is our livelihood. We are not alone; this is affecting people in various types of work but especially in anything that is event related. We are growing concerned for our income as we do not know how this will affect us not just in these next few months, but in the coming year.
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This album truly comes from the heart and from the work of ongoing practice. We began the process of recording this a few years ago and it, unlike any of our other records, has had a life of its own; the songs and the power of the music guiding us and, at times, forcing us to wait until we were ready. In this time we have grown as people, musicians, and family. The album contains this growth, the pain and longing that all humans experience, and the absolute joy that entered our lives with the birth of our son Kaleb. We hope that this translates to you and your own practice. Toward the One...
The Word is...
HuDost & Steve Kilbey
In addition to the familiar and luring lead vocals of Moksha Sommer & Steve Kilbey, the album features HuDost guitarist Jemal Wade & Steve as multi-instrumentalists providing sonically rich layers of guitars, bass, synths, mellotrons, piano and varying electronic treatments. The record also features musical contributions from Melissa Hyman on cello, Sofia Goodman on drums, Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn) on horns, Joe Garcia on Pedal Steel, Cybele on Sarangi & Stephan Junca on percussion.
'The Word is...' was a labour of love created over the course of 3 years and was produced by Jemal Wade Hines. Master sound man Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Zakir Hussain) mixed the music to perfection. The album was mastered by Dale Becker of Bernie Becker Mastering.
Besides the 8 original co-written tracks, there's also a cover of the Velvet Underground's 'Sunday Morning’ that was recorded the morning Lou passed away, as well as a re-working of Kilbey's classic track 'Something That Means Something'.
The album cover art features a beautiful painting by Steve Kilbey as well as more album art throughout the packaging by renowned artist E.J. Gold.
4th Way Folk (Digital & Physical Options)
While touring constantly over the past few years, continuing to write new songs for the next ‘proper’ HuDost album (as well as working on a ‘Sufi Kirtan’ album & experimental project with The Church’s Steve Kilbey), we struck up a relationship with BLUE MICROPHONES and acquired a few of their mics as well as their awesome sounding Robbie PreAmp and other studio upgrades. This led to the idea of us wanting to do an acoustic album of our revisions and renditions of both ‘vintage’ and modern day folk songs. With the beautiful BLUE mics, we wanted to capture the raw purity & essence of our vocal harmonies and instruments without all the effects, electronics, feedback, amplifiers, etc. (Don’t worry...we’ll be back there soon!).
Five of the tracks are actually ‘4th Way Folk Songs’; traditional folk pieces transformed & gleaned from the ideas of people like Gurdjieff & E.J. Gold. At one point in the project, we sent two of the tracks out to Oz Fritz & IDHHB so he could record ‘gang vocals’ with E.J. and the crew. He sent back varying tracks of everyone singing and rapping and improvising along with ‘Holy Hobo’ & ‘4th Way Liner’. E.J.’s ad-libs are amazingly candid, jolting & fun and add beautifully to the essence of these versions.
This recording project is truly homespun. Jemal took it as an assignment to bring forth clarity in his engineering skills as well as taking a shot at mixing the project himself.
We hope you enjoy the essence of these songs. There’s a lot more music on it’s way.....
Live at North Avenue EP
Waking the Skeleton Key
"The New Lebanon-based band HuDost has a new 2010 release, “Waking The Skeleton Key,” expanding on the groundwork set by last years “Trapeze,” their previous release produced in Kingston by the renowned Malcolm Burns, which made it into out top 10 regional albums of 2009.
HuDost centers around stunning vocalist Moksha Sommer and partner, the guitarist Jemal Wade Hines. This journey starts of with “Skeleton Key” a whirling dervish of sounds that swirl around until vocalist extraordinaire Sommer swoops in and lands dead center. The circular song then lifts off as layers of guitar fight for attention, but in the end, Sommer pulls focus with her luscious, gorgeous voice.
More exquisite exotic fare follows (favoring one-word titles) from the dreamy “Korea,” the uncommonly warm “Glacier,” the bleak but compelling “Hunger,” the scientific machinery of “Invisible” and inventive “Invention.” All are well thought-out and cleverly produced.
Teeming with gorgeous gifts, HuDost proves it can do it on its own, and that their music needn’t be blatantly commercial to find a home, just be blindingly good. As they say, the radio-ready Sommers could sing the phone book and it would sound good. That “Waking The Skeleton Key” has an underlying spiritual bent is just icing on a multi-layered cake.
Seek out HuDost, you won’t be disappointed, you’ll be anointed."
- David Malachowski