About an hour north of Denver sits Lyons, Colorado, on the banks of the St. Vrain river. It’s the home of the Planet Bluegrass organization, Rockygrass, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, and other smaller festivals and events. Which is to say it’s one of the epicenters of Americana music. The Enion Pelta-Tiller and David Tiller led group, Taarka, calls Lyons home, and it feels like a lot of the soul of the place infused their latest project, Fading Mystery.
Carried Away could be a theme song for the place, with it’s being one with Mother Nature lyrics. Athena is a kind of pop folk tune where it’s hard to not start tapping your foot. There are three good bluegrass instrumentals on the album; What My Darlin’ Says, Retreat, and especially Finn McCool Crosses the Rocky Mountains.
The Tillers take turns on lead for both vocals and instruments. Enion’s brilliant fiddle work nicely matches her vocals on the aforementioned Carried Away and Athena. David takes his turn with voice and mandolin on Sun And Rain, I Could Really Use You Know, and a fun ditty about a lover with no ability to have a monogamous relationship, Polyamorous PollyAnn. The CD finishes with the title track ode to Enion’s brother, Max, who passed too early. The lyric “finding darkness in the bright” describes both a troubled life as well as the nearly overbearing sadness in the song. It’s also a comment on the flip side of time healing all wounds.
Fading Mystery is one of those records that grows and grows on you. The Tillers and their band mates have experience playing everything from punk to klezmer to classical jazz. The more you listen, the more you hear all those different influences. Similarly, the lyrics aren’t merely telling a story, but expressing a perspective on life. You’d do well to spend some time with Fading Mystery.
About the author: Support new music. Listen to a band or singer you've never heard of this week. I've been doing that for over 30 years.