Mickey Hart's Mystery Box

Mickey Hart's Mystery Box

by Mickey Hart


After the passing of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and the venerable band's demise, it was percussionist Mickey Hart who proved to be the most creatively resilient. As Deadheads and appreciators of world music can attest, Hart -- who is also an author and learned ethnomusicologist -- has been fusing genres ever since his debut release, 1972's Rolling Thunder, which included Native American sounds and motifs along with rock and jazz. Mickey Hart's Mystery Box harks back to that project with his first album of pop-oriented material in nearly a quarter-century. He combines the seemingly disparate world of percussion-based rhythms with traditional "Western-style" structures containing lyrics by Grateful Dead wordsmith Robert Hunter. All the more diverse are the contributions of the Mint Juleps. This female vocal sextet features siblings Debbie Charles, Elizabeth Charles, Marcia Charles, and Sandra Charles as well as Julie Isaac and Debbie Longworth. Collectively, their paradisaical harmonies support Hart's occasional leads, while they're effectively incorporated as primary participants on the infectious groove of the opener, "Where Love Goes (Sito)," and the new wave vibe of "Full Steam Ahead," which is reminiscent of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club. The Hart-sung "Down the Road" offers a nod to the late Garcia and provides a focal point for Hunter's obviously heartfelt tribute. "Only the Strange Remain" resembles something similar to a latter-era Dead song, bringing to mind "West L.A. Fadeaway" and "Days Between," both in terms of Hunter's piercing insight and a practically tangible noir feeling permeating throughout. The bombastic "John Cage Is Dead" is a masterful amalgam of percussive-heavy world beats in an undulating modern context. "The Last Song" is an apt conclusion as cultures once again collide, yielding a tune that wouldn't have sounded out of place on urban contemporary radio. As the name of this 1996 release suggests, Mickey Hart's Mystery Box has a little something for every taste and reinforces the Grateful Dead adage "Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2008
Label: Shout Factory
UPC: 0826663108408
catalogNumber: 10840

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mickey Hart   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Dumbek,Percussion,Castanets,Cymbals,Drums,Bass Drums,Timbales,Vocals,Human Whistle,Whistle (Instrument),Bells,Berimbau,Hand Clapping,Noise,Surdo,Timpani,Djembe,Shaker,Shekere,cowbell,Guiro,Finger Snapping,gourd,Bird Whistle,Angklung,Udu,Prepared Piano,Glass
Bruce Hornsby   Accordion,Background Vocals
Bob Weir   Guitar
Giovanni Hidalgo   Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Timbales,Bells,Timpani,Djembe,Bata,cowbell,Guiro,Metal Percussion
Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir   Vocals
Airto Moreira   Percussion,Caxixi,sleigh bells,Split Bamboo,Clacker
Obin Miller   Bass,Keyboards
Sikiru Adepoju   talking drum
Habib Faye   Bass,Bass Guitar
Taro S. Hart   Drums
Zakir Hussain   Conga,Djembe,Dholak,Madal,Shekere,Tarang,cowbell,Finger Snapping,Duggi Tarang,Udu,Metal Percussion
Robin Millar   Bass,Marimbas
Babatunde Olatunji   Background Vocals,Shekere
Jeff Sterling   Synthesizer,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Bamboo Flute,Synthesizer Strings
Graham Wiggins   Didjeridu
Mint Juleps   Vocals
Bob Weit   Guitar
Taro Hart   Drums
Mark Smith   Synthesizer,Bass Guitar
Mark Coates Smith   Synthesizer,Bass

Technical Credits

Mickey Hart   Producer,beats
Giovanni Hidalgo   Sound Effects
Airto Moreira   Sound Effects
Obin Miller   Producer
Debbie Charles   Contributor
Marcia Charles   Contributor
Sandra Charles   Contributor
Tom Flye   Engineer
Julie Isaac   Contributor
Debbie Longworth   Contributor
Robin Millar   Producer,Contributor,Computer Vocals
Wayne Pooley   Engineer
Jeff Sterling   Programming,Engineer,Contributor
Mint Juleps   Composer
Steven Feld   Engineer
Andrew Scheps   Programming
Jennifer Monnar   Engineer
Elizabeth Charles   Contributor
Karen R. Ollis   Photo Illustration
Cameron Sears   Management
Mark Smith   Programming
Mark Coates Smith   Programming
Bob Levy   Engineer

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