Courtly Manners, Country Matters by Morgan McDow & Heartsease

CourtlyManners300Morgan’s love for early music and Mikkel’s love for modern music results in these unique interpretations of 16th century court music, folk songs and dances.  Courtly Manners, Country Matters opens and closes with pieces by Elizabethean composer John Dowland.  The first is What If I Never Speed performed on electric guitar, bass and drums along with octave mandolin and soprano recorder.  Blow Thy Horn, Hunter by William Cornysh is next and it is given ‘the full Tudor’ says Morgan, with viola da gamba, recorder choir, tabor and side drum and bass guitar.  La Spagniolletta was arranged from memory with no musical notation involved, while Orientis Partibus is severely distorted with syncopation, harmony and counter-point, none of which were present in the original 12th century manuscript.  Orientis Partibus and The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance are the earliest pieces of music that we have chosen to include while A Tree Song by Rudyard Kipling with music by Stacey Toy and Morgan McDow and Oil Of Barley composed by Mikkel McDow and incorporating two English country dances, Stingo and Lady Spellor are the most recent.  Also featured are Sing Care Away, set to the tune of Heartsease, La Tricotea, a 16th century drinking song, the very naughty My Man John, two more English country dances, Goddesses and Jenny Pluck Pears and Apple Tree Wassail.  The album closes with Morgan’s solo octave mandolin performance of Tarleton’s Goodnight, the second John Dowland composition included here-in.  Surprises delight include flamenco style vocals, rock n roll grooves, hidden catches and more.  Courtly Manners, Country Matters explores the music of the 16th century in brand new ways.  Available now at bandcamp.

…sounds like Frank Zappa playing during Medieval Times. – Chico News & Review

Happy Beltain ! Upcoming Spring Performances.

A Happy May to all !
We are gearing up for some very fun shows in June. The first of June will find us at a house concert in Paradise , CA. Michael Pollan is opening his home for an evening of Song. The following weeekend we will be playing at the Paradise Peace and Tolerance Center Diversity Festival. The next weekend we go back to Santa Cruz for a show at the Native Son’s Hall.
See our ‘Performances Page’ for all the details on these shows.

Daly City Here We Come !

After a couple of weeks of frenzied preparation, we are ready for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City.
Costumes are (mostly!) done, and we are well-rehearsed after our recent L.A. house concerts.
It is a beautiful show ! The crew always works very hard to build a Victorian Christmas Postcard London. We will be on the Silk Road Stage by Mr. Brown’s Teahouse, just behind Mad Sal’s Dockside Alehouse. Our shows are at 11:30, 1:00 and 3:00.
Here is a link for tickets and info:

The Price Of Love digital single

The Price Of Love digital single is available now at bandcamp.  Also included is a remake of Beltain’s first single, Any Port Town, from 1993.  This new version is given a reggae treatment and is retitled Any Port Town (In Jamaica).  For a limited time only a live version of  The Price Of Love is thrown in for good measure.

Morgan’s Birthday Sale

Today is Morgan’s birthday so for the month of August 2012 all of our music is on sale.  Some is actually free.  Here’s how it works.

We have priced all of our digital albums at $7.00 for the entire download which often include extra tracks, album art, photos and maybe all three.  The exception to this is our 20th anniversary collection Underwater Chanteys which is $10.00 and 20 minutes longer than our other albums.  Even so, by entering the discount code lammas – l a m m a s (no spaces) – the price drops to $7.00.  What is more, this discount code works on anything in the store, making our three song singles a mere 98cents for the whole shebang.  Individual songs, already sale priced at 70cents, drop to 49cents apiece.

We’ll start it off by giving you the A-side of our brand new single Bad Alchemy. Just select the song and then select download.  A window will pop up asking if you want to pay for it anyway.  Say no and enter your email address and we will send you the link.  Or enter a price, any price, even a penny, and download it right then and there, but we encourage you to take it for free so that we can save your email and send more good things your way.

The Nitty Gritty:

All of our albums, and singles too, that are available in our Bandcamp store, except for Underwater Chanteys, have as a bonus a live recording.  With thirteen singles and eight albums, that comes to twenty-one free live tracks from every era of the band.  For the most part they are not available as separate downloads.  An exception to this is the Bad Alchemy single.  We’re giving you the A-side, and as the B-side is available on Underwater Chanteys you might have both.  We are not going to make you buy them all over again just to get the live recording of Any Port Town from KRCB Live in August 2010.

For those who have to have CDs, physical CDs of all our albums are available through reverbnation. They do not include the live bonus tracks because we want you to buy downloads through Bandcamp, but if you’re like us and you want to hold an album in your hand, all of our CDs available through reverbnation are on sale for $10.00 except for Underwater Chanteys which is $13.00.  These are on demand CD-Rs with laser printed artwork and they come shrink wrapped in sturdy jewel boxes.  We buy them ourselves and they look darn good.

So remember – it’s lammas – that’s the discount code too – it’s good for 30% off anything in the store – through August 31, 2012.

Welcome to the Beltain Blog

The Beltain Blog is where we will keep you informed of what is happening with Beltain, and where you can tell us anything you want us to know about our songs and videos and so forth.  We want to know who you are and where you would like to see us perform.  If there are no venues in your area, no problem.  We love to play house concerts and barn dances.  We’re open to just about anything as long as it’s fun and most likely legal. For more information contact