"Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?"
"No," said Alice. "I don't even know what a Mock Turtle is."
"It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from," said the Queen.
"I never saw one, or heard of one," said Alice.
"Come on, then," said the Queen, "and he shall tell you his history..."
Despite whatever myths, rumors, and tall tales may or may not have arisen regarding their mysterious conception, Mock Turtle Soup --Pearl Mueller, Chris Holleman, and Willie Repoley-- are, in actual fact, merely three dancers marauding the hills, elaborately masquerading as a 16-piece ensemble. And just for fun, they toss fiddle, banjo, and mandolin into the pot together with everything from penny whistle to djembe, from guitar to spoons, from home-made banjos to home-made wah pedals, from bodhran to brass to vocals to a taste of funky electric.
When they decided to make an album, MTS opted to shy away from a straight dance record. Instead, taking a tip from their fans, "of both worlds" sets very danceable tunes in with a variety of songs, several of which premiered at dances, much to the delight of those on the floor! They also borrowed from their live shows by inviting trombonist Nils Fredland to join them on some favorite tunes, pumping up the energy with his wild mastery of brassy bravado. Nils also shows up for some live calling, showing off another of his many talents.
"of both worlds" takes its time, too, with some of the most satisfyingly low-key tracks that could be expected from a dance band. Chris spent days in the basement making an electric banjo from scratch, and his efforts pay off on the album: It can switch from raw and rowdy to smooth and sweet in a matter of seconds, and it's this last style that is truly showcased on "of both worlds." But if it's a more edgy electric you're looking for, look no further than Willie's candy-apple red electric mandolin, which rocks some of the original material on the album.
Pearl takes a break from her fanatic fiddling to start the vocals off on the right note, and all three members are given ample chance to show off their unique singing styles throughout the album, from murder ballades to high-energy love songs, to a far away lullaby.
Mock Turtle Soup thanks you for checking out their new CD, "of both worlds," and would love to hear from you if you decide that's it's right up your alley!
Mock Turtle Soup: It's tasty. It's hearty. It's good.