NASHVILLE – A hammered dulcimer and flute duo from Crete, an operatic-trained rock singer, and a singer/guitarist/keyboardist who calls his music “folk with fire” won honors at the Second Annual Pagan Music Awards. Belthain, the Crete duo composed of Erik Belenos on vocals, hackbrett (hammered dulcimer), bass, and percussion, and Samaela on vocals, flutes, and percussion, won Best Group for 2018. Singer-songwriter Rowena of the Glen (Rowena Whaling) won Best Female Artist for the second year in a row. Singer/guitarist/keyboardist B. Willie Dryden won Best Male Artist. The awards, which are administered by the International Pagan Music Association, were presented at an awards ceremony and concert held Sept.
WEST PLAINS, Mo. — Fans of Pagan music have until Aug. 1 to vote for the second annual Pagan Music Awards, which will be presented Sept. 14-15 in Nashville, Tenn. The awards are presented by the International Pagan Music Association.
TWH — When Pagan musician Mama Gina landed in a St. Louis hospital while touring in the summer of 2016, doctors told her they had to amputate one of her toes due to complications from her diabetes. But the singer-guitarist knew the real cause: ’Twas the dragon! “This crazy song came out of me in August 2015 and it actually took several months to write,” Mama Gina said by phone from her home in Tampa. “This story was circulating in my brain about this bard who has a curse on her that nobody can remember her name – which totally sucks if you’re a bard.
The first annual Pagan Music Awards were held this month on June 8, just outside of West Plains, Missouri about two miles off of the Arkansas border. This first-of-its-kind event in recent memory was held at the Wyte Ryvan Retreat Center. “The International Pagan Music Association grew out of that station and Sacred Grove radio, International Pagan radio, which are all newer stations that are playing 24/7 this kind of music. We just wanted to help those kind of musicians get recognized so that we could give them some satisfaction and something to hang their hats on that says they are doing a good job,” said Alfred Willowhawk, who sits on the board for Wyte Ryvan and also serves as the vice president of the International Pagan Music Association (IPMA), which was organized as a nonprofit to put on the Pagan Music Awards. Willowhawk, himself a DJ on the Cauldron, noted that many of the current IPMA board members are radio personalities on various Pagan streaming radio networks, and with the aid of IPMA president Melissa Anderson, they brought the event to life.
This month I chatted with a couple of musicians about the lyrical side, rather than the instrumental side of their music. It felt appropriate, as April in the United States is National Poetry Month. It’s a curious thing setting words and music together, it’s just so inherently human, something that feels like it came about at the dawn of our species. Doing it well is a different challenge altogether, though. Some songwriters start out with a poem, some start with a tune and let the words flow in, some pull from musical traditions, and others from stories and myths of old.