Teague Alexy

listen up

Teague Alexy

Sat., May 7, Fitger's Brewhouse

(Homegrown Festival)

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly

Whatever their tools and expression, artists MUST perform their art. Denying them is like taking away the very air they breath. This notion is foreign to many in the real world, which is why many artists are so often misunderstood in their lifetimes. They MUST expel the voices of mythical figures and practices of those who traveled before them. It is that drive that Teague Alexy exposes musically and personally that makes him an artist.

He also is a father and a husband.

Alexy was born in the early seventies to a painter father and singing mother in San Francisco, CA. Later he moved to New Jersey where he spent his youth. While growing up he was drawn to the hip-hop movement of rap that was bursting out with a new sound, rhyme, and lifestyle. Still he had other influences: “Bob Marley pulled me out, then it was jazz, Dylan, and Randy Newman," he says.

After high school he moved back to California. “Eventually moving worked its way into the music," he says. “Like on the song ‘Children of The Sufferers,’ that was written when I moved to San Diego and tried to write relaxing music." He then returned to New Jersey to try his skills in music. He was surprised that the only bands being booked out there were cover bands. Still for awhile he had some success with the multiracial hip hop group Spilled Milk.

In 2000 he ditched the East Coast scene for Duluth. When he got here it was the second Homegrown festival and the scene was just picking up. Which is why he returns to Homegrown this weekend performing at The Brewhouse.

It’s been a long road since then splitting time in bands as a manager, record company, and everything else pulled him away from his art. About a year ago he dropped out of the scene and now lives just outside Duluth. Teague is known locally for the band Teague Alexy With Medication and soon a pet project with his brother Ian called Hobos Nephews of Uncle Frank. They have been recording a new Duluth compilation CD for release in two weeks, working with the likes of The Black Labels and Little Black Books. The disc is being done at the new Old Dirty Town Studios above the old Big Lake Bookstore.

Teague Alexy’s latest release, Marie: Under The Counter Volume 3 is a collection of live recordings and home solo projects from over the years. It is his only solo recording, but Teague Alexy with Medication had two previous albums, Sun Moon And Heaven and The Love And The Struggle (available on his web site: www.teaguealexy.com). Marie contains “Children," from his stint in California, and other songs and places he has traveled and called home. The song “Marie" is actually written about his hometown of Somers Point, NJ. Why call it Marie then? Teague answered, “Marie is an old name, or like the name of an old love." On “Sidesteppin’ Man" his modern folk sound like Jack Johnson emerges, yet with a certain worldly uniqueness. It also shows Teague’s flow as a songwriter.

An experiment, “If I Knew Your Name" is raw and has singing do-wap be-bop with funk undertones. “Regrets Nor Cigarettes" is bluesy and had a haunting sounding voice in the background. On the end of the cd is the poem, “Last Thoughts On Love And Struggle." The one thing that popped into my head while listening to the poem was about how the struggle of life is the important part of life. Meaning that if you had lots of money and everything else you wanted you wouldn’t be content, life is about the struggle. Teague said the song was written post 9/11 and was at a period when he was writing what he described as, “conscious music about the state of the world…a state of conscious. “ It was a b-side from a past CD, but the struggle was really felt in this poem.

Teague has become a local around town over the past five years and continues to show his skills. He integrates hip-hop ideals into modern guitar-songwriting and does a nice job at that. He also is an artist that emerges more each time he performs.