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Pirate's Gospel


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Audio CD, October 24, 2006
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Music

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Photos

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Videos

Alela Diane - "Desire"

Biography

Alela Diane
& Wild Divine
release date: April 5th, 2011

Alela Diane is a homebody by nature. The Portland, Oregon-based, Nevada City, California-bred musician, though traveled the world over, is most at peace within audible range of a crackling fire and her cat's paws padding across the wood floors of her creaky Victorian residence. And although her methods thus far have ... Read more in Amazon's Alela Diane Store

Visit Amazon's Alela Diane Store
for 6 albums, 5 photos, 3 videos, and 1 full streaming song.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rusted Blue Records
  • ASIN: B000I2JTAW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tired Feet
2. The Rifle
3. The Pirate's Gospel
4. Foreign Tongue
5. Can You Blame the Sky?
6. Something's Gone Awry
7. Pieces Of String
8. Clickity Clack
9. Sister Self
10. Pigeon Song
11. Oh! My Mama

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2006's The Pirate's Gospel was the debut release from singer and songwriter Alela Diane. Hailing from the deep woods and winding rivers of Northern California Gold Rush town Nevada City, Alela grew up singing songs with her parents (both musicians). During a stay in San Francisco in 2003, she began teaching herself guitar and writing her first songs, blending tense, trance-like arpeggios, with warm, thick vocals and meditative lyrics about family and nature. Written in response to a loss of home and familiarity, The Pirate's Gospel is a powerful document of personal reevaluation and renewal set against the backdrop of generations past and future, mothers and fathers, life, death, and birth.

Amazon.com

Now here's a lovely surprise. A singer-songwriter who hails from Nevada City, California, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, Alela Diane Menig has a voice that seems far older than her early-twenty-something years. This version of her second album has been newly mastered, slightly truncated, and resequenced: the changes are all for the better. But if you've not heard her before, that's cool; her early releases were all on her own CD-R label. Her sing-songy tunes are honest and earthy, her diction intense and mannered but never pretentious. It's hard to believe this crisp recording was made in a home studio. The songs--plaintive vocals accompanied by a slight guitar and backing vocals, often little else--seem situated perfectly between the parlor and the campfire. Alela's a talented vocalist, in the vein of Josephine Foster, Regina Spektor, and Jolie Holland. At times she even approaches the heights of Karen Dalton and Joni Mitchell. More soon, please! --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
7%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 14 customer reviews
Her voice is incredible as are her songs and lyrics.
mr. a
Forget all that though, because the thing that makes this album so good is the quality of the songs.
William J. Walker
"Pieces of String" makes my heart melt, I love the children singing.
H. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William J. Walker on December 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Alela Diane Menig, whose father Tom produces and also appears on this album, hails from Nevada City, and only started to write and play in 2003. `The Pirate's Gospel' was originally recorded in her father's home studio and self released in 2004. Apparently she came to the attention fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom, who arranged her first live show. The album got a bit of a polish and an `official' release in 2006.

I've seen this artist compared to Gillian Welch, Jolie Holland, and Josephine Foster. I am most strongly reminded of The Be Good Tanyas and would add them to the list. Which isn't to say she sounds, that much, like any of the former, but that like those other performers, she seems to have reached far into the past for her musical inspiration, before giving it a twist of her own. In the process she has created a sound that, while rooted firmly in earlier times, is fresh, vibrant and ultimately timeless.

I guess this is a folk album(that's how most reviewers have categorised it)but all the songs are self-penned, and musically, it has a blend of styles that would place it outside of any specific folk tradition. As well as folk I hear a touch of blues, gospel and with all the piratical references, there is a nautical flavour too. Forget all that though, because the thing that makes this album so good is the quality of the songs.

The album opens strongly with `Tired Feet' a deceptively simple tune that you may find lodged in your head for days, thereafter the record never flags, sure some of the songs are stronger than others(the title track, `Clickity Clack' and `Oh My Mama' are just three of my favourites)but all the songs hang together to create a perfectly gorgeous album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jerseygirl_librarian on December 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The moment I heard Alela Diane's voice I was hooked... obsessed is more like it! She is a wonderous storyteller with her voice, tambre, and words. Campfire gospel folk is perfect to describe this CD. She is a gifted, self taught artist who's career has only begun. Highly recommend anyone who is looking to relax, imagine and try something new.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William J. Walker on December 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Alela Diane Menig, whose father Tom produces and also appears on this album, hails from Nevada City, and only started to write and play in 2003. `The Pirate's Gospel' was originally recorded in her father's home studio and self released in 2004. Apparently she came to the attention fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom, who arranged her first live show. The album got a bit of a polish and an `official' release in 2006.

I've seen this artist compared to Gillian Welch, Jolie Holland, and Josephine Foster. I am most strongly reminded of The Be Good Tanyas and would add them to the list. Which isn't to say she sounds, that much, like any of the former, but that like those other performers, she seems to have reached far into the past for her musical inspiration, before giving it a twist of her own. In the process she has created a sound that, while rooted firmly in earlier times, is fresh, vibrant and ultimately timeless.

I guess this is a folk album(that's how most reviewers have categorised it)but all the songs are self-penned, and musically, it has a blend of styles that would place it outside of any specific folk tradition. As well as folk I hear a touch of blues, gospel and with all the piratical references, there is a nautical flavour too. Forget all that though, because the thing that makes this album so good is the quality of the songs.

The album opens strongly with `Tired Feet' a deceptively simple tune that you may find lodged in your head for days, thereafter the record never flags, sure some of the songs are stronger than others(the title track, `Clickity Clack' and `Oh My Mama' are just three of my favourites)but all the songs hang together to create a perfectly gorgeous album.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Donohue on September 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I literally just discovered this artist today while I was visiting a friend in Portland. I went straight to the local CD/Record store after our conversation and picked it up and LOVE it. Her voice is better than I expected. Sweeter than honeysuckle on a summer's day. I just love how she sweeps into her notes. You can see the songs happening in your head as you listen. Just real, soulful talent.
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By Marc Cabir Davis on June 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"The Pirate's Gospel" has an unusual history. It was written by Diane on a trip to Europe in 2003, and recorded in her fathers' home studio in 2004. Its subsequent release was on CD-R back in 2004, until word of mouth and good indie press meant that it would eventually get a (slightly) wider release in 2006 through Holocene Music. Despite its near-reverence in indie-folk circles, it is a work of art that still remains virtually unknown and you would be hard-pressed to find many independent music listeners even passingly familiar with the back-catalog of Ms. Diane.

A pity to be sure, as "The Pirate's Gospel" sets the blueprint for what would be Alela's true masterpiece (her subsequent album "To Be Still"), and in many ways it can be considered a stripped down, acoustic template that served as a primer for "To be Still". It's a very woodsy album, low on even instrumentation, letting Alela's vocals take centerstage (as they should), with quaint lyrics that sound positively Victorian when compared to the work her peers are writing these days. There are medieval influences here, and her story-telling inclinations are well served, and even well-placed given the context. These songs literally breathe on the record, each one of them given the space and freedom to take their time. Its an easy album to get lost in, and one that draws the listener back for multiple listens. Despite being a wholly acoustic album, there are tons of little details that only reveal themselves upon repeated listens - such as the harmonized humming on "Can You Blame the Sky?", or the playful whistle at the start of "Somethings gone Awry".

At times, Diane's songwriting reminds me of Joanna Newsom.
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