Whole Life Magazine

October / November 2016

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/732294

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 43

MUSIC Dietrich Strause art & soul A '70s rock star who called it quits to go in search of deeper fulfi llment, Miten is now a leader of what some call "mantra music." That might sound insufferable to cynical city-dwellers, but Miten's new, all-acoustic album— Temple at Midnight, out now—is a clear-eyed aural journey that avoids cliché. Temple of Midnight's 11 songs focus on yoga and meditation and the tranquility and enlightenment they can bring. Miten cer- tainly has no shortage of knowledge to impart—after touring with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, and The Velvet Underground, the musician left it all behind, including his family, to chop vegetables at an ashram and study meditation. He since fell in love, reconciled with his son, and returned to his guitar. Miten's subtle strumming and honey-like voice emanate wis- dom, most notably on stripped-down ballads like "Exactly As It Is," "River Man," and especially his gorgeous cover of the Beat- les classic "Norwegian Wood." Miten ups the energy ever so slightly on Temple's later tracks like "All Is Welcome Here" and "Love Is the Fire." By making a new-age album that captivates instead of bores or lectures, Miten sneaks in another lesson: Always keep an open mind. (Prabhu Music) — NB Miten Temple of Midnight W ith racial strife, disenchanted youth, and a brutal pres- idential election, there's something about 2016 that recalls the heady days of the late 1960s. So, the music of Boston-based folk musician Dietrich Strause feels especially topical and resonant. His third album, How Cruel That Hunger Binds, brings to mind the glory days of Simon & Garfunkel and their lush sounds of a troubled nation. Album opener "The Beast That Rolls Within" sounds the most like a cut off of The Graduate's soundtrack, with a softly strum- ming guitar and poetic lyrics like, "I rolled the ways of the hollow days with the weary chain and the cars. I found the witness to the emptiness with the chambers of my heart." The listener can't be sure what Strause is singing about, or if he even knows, but it sure sounds pretty. Strause, who's promoting the album with East Coast, Cana- da, and U.K. performances, moves to a more upbeat sound— though the message stays dark—on the trombone-heavy track "Lying In Your Arms." Though not the most memorable instru- ment, Strause's voice shines on "Dove," as does his sense of humor in the snarky "Pennsylvania" as he sings, "I'm com- ing home from the h e a r t l a n d / t h e re 's only so much good word I can take." Strause's thought- ful musings on our country's troubled times may have been better appreciat- ed 50 years ago—or even 20—but he's hoping there's still an audience for quietly devastating music like his. We hope so, too. www.dietrichstrause.com — Neal Broverman How Cruel That Hunger Binds MUSIC 32 wholelifetimes.com

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - October / November 2016