On Friday night of a recent Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth, MN, Teague Alexy wandered the city's rainy downtown with a 1957 Harmony acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a band of fellow minstrels, just playing music wherever there was none. Not long after midnight, they boarded a Duluth Transit Authority trolley taking imbibers to and from shows; someone struck a beat on a seat, and before long Alexy was leading the whole bus in a raucous work holler that could have been ancient, improvised, or one of his originals.
Makes sense: Teague means bard--lyric poet--in Celtic, and like the medieval Irish, Scottish and Welsh bards who traveled from town to town, Alexy, who's got roots in California and New Jersey, has spent the last few years based in Duluth and roaming the Midwest bearing songs heavy with news of the human condition--stories, philosophies, parables, and his own folklore--and a deep groove born from country blues and folk, reggae, hip hop, soul, roots rock, Americana and jazz..
Alexy has played alongside Greg Brown, Kelly Joe Phelps, Peter Mulvey, and Mason Jennings. His bands have shared bills with Government Mule, Medeski, Martin and Wood and Trey Anastasio. His recording library is deep and critically acclaimed: Teague's effort backed by The Feelin Band called The New Folklore was nominated for 4 Just Plain Folks Awards in Nashville, TN with 'A Good Clean High (off a dirt cheap bottle of wine)' taking home Best Song; and three CDs--including the new release Traveling Show--with his brother, Ian Alexy, in an outfit they call The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. .
Regardless of the guise, Teague Alexy is a young man with an old soul; a blue-eyed griot singing tales of redemption and unforeseen fulfillment, of villains turned heroes and back again. He conveys all that and more in powerful anthems and dirty-blues stomps driven by melody, harmony, his uniquely resonant voice, and undeniable, never-ending, mantra-like swing.