Taarka—the Lyons, Colorado husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals)—were once described as “a collision between Django Reinhardt and David Grisman.” The duo strikes a balance between well-crafted songs and spirited instrumentals, expanding on their beginnings as a purely instrumental string band putting a modern spin on gypsy-jazz and Eastern European folk music. Travel throughout North and Central America and Europe has infused their sound with flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music.
This session was captured live in Wadhams, New York at the Dogwood Bread Company in January, 2019 and features Max Johnson on upright bass.
Taarka – “Meirol”
“Meirol is a traditional song I learned from the album Kosmogónias by the Galician folk group Berrogüetto. As we have traveled to Galicia, Spain to perform and teach a few times now and love the trad. music scene there, we thought it would be fun to sing them a song in the Galician language. We like it so much it’s become a regular part of our set.” —Enion Pelta-Tiller
Taarka – “Finn MacCool Crosses the Rocky Mountains”
“This tune was written while on tour in northern Wyoming. I was traveling with another band and had bought my son a graphic novel of Irish Fairy tales, and had just been reading a story about the giant Finn MacCool, who features in much of Irish folklore. Imagining what kind of stories might be created about Finn in the New World, I started writing this fiddle tune, which is an amalgam of an Irish Reel, a bluegrass burner, and Colorado jamgrass.” —Enion
Taarka – “Woman of Clay”
“Woman of Clay is a reworking of the Jewish mythology of the Golem, and is also loosely inspired by the old English song “She Moved Through The Fair”.
In this story, a powerful young woman creates a golem (a creature made of earth) to replace herself when she has to leave her love to travel with her family. The story seems to turn dark as the golem – the woman of clay – brings the young woman’s lover down to her subterranean realm, but in fact, he discovers and embraces this new connection and new home, as it brings him back to a deeper connection with the earth and the natural world.” —Enion