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Tuatha Dea, DrumStrong 

When: Sun., March 16 2014
TUATHA DEA

Taking its name from Tuatha de Danann, the mythic race of ancient Ireland who now lay hidden in nature, Gatlinburg’s Tuatha Dea pulses with witchy woodland paganism among a battery of djuns, djembes and sub-sonic didgeridoos. Like clattering hippie forbears such as Amon Duul, Tuatha Dea is an accidental band, morphing over the course of three LPs from an extended family drum circle to an increasingly song-based collective. Its latest album, The Tribe, handfasts the urgency of Celtic folk firebrands Solas and the shimmering new-age lilt of Loreena McKennitt to the whirling male and female vocal free-for-all of vintage Jefferson Airplane. (TD’s grimy, syncopated assault on “White Rabbit” is a showstopper.) Yet the communal mysticism of dark woodland rituals that set the sap rising is still the core of this coven’s thundering, percussive approach. If there’s any doubt, performance centerpiece “The Hunt” serves as a Wiccan calling of the quarters — the key ritual that casts the circle, draws down the moon and begins a traditional sabbat. (Pat Moran)

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