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MP3 Hestia - Turk's Revenge: High Plains Suite Volume One

This is the music of dust and soul, of fortitude and lunacy, where dreams turn to folly in tales told by Hestia''s trademark vocal harmonies stretched to the breaking point.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock

As it is today, Kansas has always been a highway to some “more-inviting” place. In Turk''s Revenge, the first CD of a planned series called the High Plains Suite, Hestia shows our own faces reflected in the beveled mirror of a wagon train bound for California in 1849. This is Western music, by the way, without one hint of the twang one would expect from what has conventionally been recognized as Western. It almost seems symphonic as if you should be hearing it performed live with an orchestra and rock band supporting Hestia''s multiple harmonies and piercing soprano lead vocal. It has the faintly familiar odor of a soundtrack to a movie in the making.

Oddly, the lead character, Turk, is never mentioned lyrically throughout the album. “Turk” was the alias of a Pawnee whose real name we will never know. His nickname was given him by the conquistador Coronado who thought his headdress resembled the hats worn by Turkish men in the 16th century. Turk was captured during a raid into what is now the southwestern United States in one of Coronado''s desperate attempts to find gold to export back to the financiers of his Mexican expedition. While in captivity, Turk begins to cough up the “best kept secret” of the Americas. He tells Coronado that there are Seven Cities of Gold to the north of their current locale and that he is willing to lead Coronado to the richest of the cities, El Dorado (Quivira). Coronado takes the bait and in 1541 Turk leads an excursion of conquistadors into what is now the state of Kansas. Almost 300 miles deep into the nothingness of Kansas prairie there is no sign of El Dorado or for that matter anything resembling civilization. At a point just south of the convergence of the Saline and Smokey Hill Rivers, Turk confesses that he has intentionally led them on a wild goose chase. Like his name itself, we will never know his motives, only speculate that he hoped to somehow meet up with a tribe friendly to the Pawnees. He is immediately executed for having Coronado look the fool and Coronado is left to find his own trail back. Turk is soon forgotten by the invading Europeans but not by those native to the Americas. His plight and the plight of many like him has taught the Native Americans of 1849 one thing about the people of the White Ear. For some incomprehensible reason the White Ears want gold. They want it more than they want mother herself, more than dreaming, more than finding spirit helpers who could connect them to the Mighty Something, more than life, more than anything that stands between them and their objective. You cannot reason with White Ear only attempt to kill him before he kills you.

The opening song, Iron Wheels, focuses on the revolving hub spinning both vertically and horizontally. The rotating wagon wheel beginning its westward journey becomes a metaphor for both the course of the sun and the unseen circle passing a pipe around a medicine wheel. Fool''s Gold is the essence of the tale of Turk and Coronado as told by those who now pass the pipe. In Oblivion, the wisdom of a old trail boss is poked at an obliviously naive wagon owner. The Dance of the Grass is Hestia whispering. The opening theme is revisited in Saline River Nocturne but the focal point is now the zodiac, or is it perhaps fatigue and hallucinosis? The hallmark of Kansas (if you don''t believe me, ask Dorothy) is wind and Wicked Wind portrays this hallmark as a jilted lover “for hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Snow Covered Wagon is the tale of a day pushed to hard. Ad Astra Per Aspera “to the stars through adversity or difficulty,” the Kansas motto becomes the prayer of earthbound angels. In La Locura de Coronado Hestia is joined by those very angels in lament over the death of a dream. Los Coyotes is a cryptic autobiography of the artist and author as well as the transitional piece for the upcoming album, Winter Wheat, the next volume of the High Plains Suite.

Hestia, by the way, is from the most sparsely populated area of Kansas, the northwest quadrant, the ancestral hunting grounds of the Pawnee. She has felt spiritually compelled to do the work to which you are now listening even though it is a radical departure from her usual theme of “things mythic and Olympian.”

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