Photo by Rich Copley.
Bear Medicine — Blood In Common
“Lexington, KY’s Bear Medicine doesn’t occupy a space–it invents one. Any description of their music using rock crit shorthand—“chamber-prog-folk,” for instance—seems inadequate, even misleading. To put it plainly, Bear Medicine leaves me speechless. Joshua Wright’s songs simultaneously nod to and annihilate time-tested songform traditions, while the band’s spooky energy and skillful arrangements combine to reveal a multiplicity of ideas within each strange, evocative song. Fans of artists as varied as Comus, Led Zeppelin circa III, Kayo Dot, and Townes Van Zandt will be unable to resist the Aquarian Dream Music of this precocious and deeply psychedelic young band.”
Bitten and beaten by bears and subsequently dragged to a hollow rock, Joshua, Severn, Seth, and Kim found themselves on their last legs, their last fingers, and knew that to survive they had but one choice. From the white bones in the cave, from the strung out sinews and the discarded hides, from the very dirt and dust of the floor and walls they forged instruments and began to play their Bear Medicine. Nothing else could soothe their wounds. Ointment of flute, elixir of piano, balm of cello, salve of six-string, shuffling pacemaker rhythms of snare and tom-toms, nightly these remedies coalesce and keep the four breathing so that their voices may sing. Should you pass the hollow rock in which they convalesce, you will hear the fusion of melancholy and mirth, the former for the shed blood, the latter for the continued life. You needn’t have been mauled by grizzly to receive the benefits of this Bear Medicine. You need only life in your lungs, knees and hips willing to be swayed.