Beltaine's Fire

Beltaine's Fire

 Vallejo, California, USA
BandHip HopFolk

Beltaine’s Fire is a five-piece Hip Hop / Folk-Rock / World fusion band based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their sound blends live hip hop reminiscent of The Roots or Flobots with irish & scottish trad, folk, rock, and jazz. The result is strikingly fresh and immediately accessible.

Biography

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Beltaine's Fire is comprised of Lynx, drummer Cadence, bassist/backup vocalist Laura, Fiddler and Mandolinist Steve, and John on a custom-modified electric banjo. The band has a uniquely eclectic style mixing the cadence of rap with traditional folk and world sounds. The end product is a fusion of arrangements reminiscent of the Wolfetones, Dick Gaughan, and Flogging Molly, with the rebellious energy of Public Enemy, The Coup, and Rage Against the Machine.

"The new songs are a bit less Celtic than the previous two albums, and the album as a whole has a sound that's heavier on funk and hip hop," says lead vocalist/rapper Lynx. "With these songs we've settled into a new space where instead of going back and forth between traditional and modern sounds we've finally perfected the hybrid so it's it's own unique thing. We used to be a celtic band playing hip hop, now we're something altogether more important. I can't think of anyone else playing music like this."

Epitunes has described Beltaine's Fire as "that rare group that succeeds at combining seemingly disparate musical styles into an appealing new sound…unlike anything you've heard of before."

Beltaine's Fire is currently booking events for their 2011 tour schedule in support of the new album. The group has played everything from family-oriented cultural events and festivals to college campuses, folk venues, live radio, night clubs, Irish Pubs, Punk clubs, house parties, and hip-hop shows. With an infectiously danceable live show and some of the most insightful socially conscious lyrics in the business, this is a band that can do just about anything and sound good doing it.

Their debut album, Weapon of the Future was released December 2007. Liberty, the band's second CD, came out in September 2008.

To learn more about Beltaine's Fire, visit www.beltainesfire.com

Quotables:

"You are so good! ... Thanks so much for being on our show, you guys are amazing!" Pam "Pamtastic" Benjamin (co-host) - The Common Thread Collective, on PirateCatRadio 1/28/2011

"If you are at all a fan of celtic fusion of any kind, you owe it to yourself to listen to this band. The soul of the Warrior-Poet dwells with these folks."Kiadragon - Jamendo.com

"One of the most amazing bands you'll ever see ... I can think of no one that better exemplifies the Celtic spirit then Beltaine's Fire" David, event MC - Sacramento Celtic Midsummer Festival

"I LOVE your music, [it's] real true hip hop!" Erika Blue - 89.5fm KZCT Vallejo & OzcatRadio.com

"Emcee Lynx is one of my favorite performers since, like, since Time started." Charlie Getter, DJ. While introducing the band on Pirate Cat Radio. - Pirate Cat Radio, 87.9 FM, San Francisco. August 2009.

"I love it! ... Don't let anybody tell you that no one is writing good music these days." David Stafford - KKUP 91.5 fm

"For music to stay fresh and innovative it relies on musicians who will take tradition to the next level. Beltaine's Fire... takes the sounds to another level and proves evolution is essential to keep [music] inspiring. "Jerianne Van Dijk - KVMR 98.5FM, Nevada City, California

"Now I would go to see this band!" Amy - Acceptance letter for KVMR Celtic Festival

"The new face of Celtic Music." Malcom Carden - Introducing the band at the 2008 Livermore Highland Games

"Immensely listenable and always thought provoking, Weapon of The Future is highly recommended." Marvin - Free Albums Galore

"Unlike anything you've heard of before... Beltaine’s Fire has succeeded in creating a truly unique sound that is still instantly accessible " epitunes.com - EpitunesBlog: Artist of the Day

"Some of our people would like it and some would have a heart attack. I don't mind helping to educate the masses but I can't afford medical bills for heart attack victims" John Lowry, Chief Seaside Highland Games - Rejection letter from the Seaside Highland Games in Santa Cruz

"Everything from hard hitting political insight to songs...that can inspire hope in even the most jaded music fans " Eleni Economides - Golden Gate XPress

Lyrics

Home

Written By: emcee lynx

Home

I grew up in this concrete wasteland chasin
American dreams, didn’t know what I was facin’
Thinking I was free cuz someone said it in a movie
Designed to sell a lie about a land of opportunity
I’m dead broke, bokra, dirty white trash,
At least that what my daddy used to say when I asked
Where we came from, why we never had money
He’d laugh nervously, though it really wasn’t funny
My folks been in america for 10 generations
And most of those ten were spent workin plantations
sharecroppin, working till they droppin
I’m still a wage slave, everyday I have to clock in
I’m poor, angry, don’t give a ____
we came here as refugees, out of luck
But I still remember where we came from
And who forced us out at the barrel of a gun

So where is home when our homes are stolen
And where do we go, this endless roamin’
Has got me so tired that I’ve got to rest
but I can’t relax with a boot on my chest
In a nation built on murder, lies and hate
We’re all refugees in this settler state

My great grandmothers great grandmothers mother was born here
This is where I was raised – my rage was forged here
Straight up, I’m Californian, west coast to my last breath
wouldn’t live anywhere else if I was stayin in the US
But after two hundred years, fact is, I’m still an immigrant
But I’m not a European, and I can’t claim indigenous
So. Where do I go? What does that mean? What do I do about it?
I aint tryna raise a fuss, make a scene, or moan about it.
But if there’s nowhere I belong then where is my home?
Will I remain an exile, condemned to roam?
And really, most of us could ask the same question
I don’t know the answer ya’ll, I’m just guessin
all I know is I’m a Celt, from my skin to bone marrow
And I don’t believe in race, that box is too narrow
To hold my identity, the entity that is me
And all I’m want in life is way we all can be free

and where is home when your home is taken
it's like this whole world is a reservation
sick to death of getting used to keep others oppressed
so I refuse to be a pawn with my boot on the chest
of another human being who's just dying to live
can't take no more, it's time to give

If you wanna get free (remember who you are)
If you’ve got eyes to see (remember who you are)
Then you know the TV (can’t tell you who you are)
but if we learned our histories (we might remember who we are)
Unless you’re native to america (can you tell me who you are?)
Then you’re a guest in america (tryna find out who you are)
So everybody in america (who’s forgotten who they are)
if you wanna change america (remember who you are)

Revolution is more then just burnin ____
and we’re never gonna win without learnin this
settler states - from Israel to america -
are based on the lie that they gonna take care of ya
if you just fit in, forget your past
and pretend you feel joy at the cannons blast
but we still ain’t free, we’re livin on a slave ship
and every four years we vote who holds the whip
in this modern day apartheid war machine
and what the hell ever happened to Dr. King’s Dream!
our schools aren’t integrated, we still live separated
you can check your radio, even our music’s segregated
we’re easy to control when we’re livin competition
measuring ourselves against the television
afraid to speak out, always tryna fit in
it’s time to take it to the roots and expand our vision

Bard, Poet, Rapper, Scribe

Written By: emcee lynx

Bard, Poet, Rapper, Scribe

I get asked all the time why'd I want to rap
fools assume i'm a thug, or that I think that I'm black
forget that - I ain't never been no one but me
'n writin' rhymes is the only time I really feel free
it's like therapy to help me sort my thoughts out
helps me keep on pushin when I want to drop out
I remember Tupac & Biggie used to sing to me
had me feelin like a rapper was the thing to be
a way to tell my stories, express myself,
let out my rage and my pain and even ask for help
and now I'm in the limelight, cuz I rhyme tight
15 minutes as a star, so i'd better shine bright
tryna do what's right, not just what's easy
but it's hard to be righteous in a world this sleazy
so I've got nothin but love for my folks in the struggle
whether playin the game or caught in the hustle

I'm a bard, poet, rapper, scribe,
just an ordinary man, glad to be alive
passionate, pushin' it, makein' moves
steppin up my game and keepin it smooth

if you're hustlin to live, go on and get that gouda
if you need ya medicine, go on and smoke that buddha
it's not my thing, but I can't hate
too busy tryna organize to smash the state (ha!)
and I just can't front and write rhymes about rims
like I can't afford to wrap my toes in tims
instead I'm kickin these rhymes in my combat boots
so I feel ya when ya say that ya need that loot
I drive an old beat up pickup truck
the cab is cramped, the mileage sucks
but at least it gets me from A to B
'sides I bought it to drive, not for ya'll to see
like Ice Cube said - don't be material
the fact I'm breathin' at all is a miracle
mad folks in in this struggle get killed but still
as long as I'm alive, I've gotta keep it real

reppin for my clan & all my kinfolk,
everybody comin up cuz fa'real - we've been broke
far too long, so we gotta stay strong
scots, irish, welsh, manx, cornish, bretons, and on
for all my bards and poets, rappers and scribes
no matter where you come from, it's time to thrive
so let's do the damn thang, like snare, kick, swing
this is beltaine's fire, check the style we bring
celtic soul, hip hop beats,
riot folk for my folks to get ya on your feat
fusion is the future, and the future's now
all I really want is freedom, the question's how
head full of ideas, gotta let them out
so I'll keep on rappin, and there ain't no doubt
I love music, love life, love my family and friends
it all comes full circle back to where it began

I am

Written By: emcee lynx, traditional

This is an original song based on, and incorporating part of, the Song of Amergin; part of an ancient Irish epic Poem.

I am the druid in the grove, the rebel in the woods
The revolutionary, very misunderstood
But speaking out still, I didn’t come to kill
I came to resurrect the history they steal
there’s more then meets the eye when the sun touches sky
the rabbit in the grass and the eagles cy
we can’t die, if our words are still quoted
that’s the power of the mc, the bard, and the poet
the power of memory, past is present-tense
and I can see down the centuries, all the evidence
of the most colossal crime since the birth of time
the destruction of nations, it would be hard to find
a worse way for humans to treat one another
then a system like this where we consume each other
and I remember the way things used to be
when the earth and the people both lived free

I am a celt, the son of the moon and the stars
The rebels in the mountains, the poets and the bards
The will to cry freedom and call down the gods
& prevail in the end, against all odds

I speak to the trees cause they know how to listen
This music goes deep, to the first rhymes written
ya see - Rhyme is memory, distilled,
To help folks with nothing, build
From the limerick game to the rap hall of fame
all around the world it remains the same
rhyme & reason, inextricably linked
cuz rhyme was invented to make people think
Remember and reflect as my words reconnect
While ya’ll rhyming for a paycheck, comin out ya neck
Use your cranium, the word skull means sky
‘cause the sun that shrines down enlightens you and I
We could fly if we wanted to, the world is open
And I’ma cry if I want to, my heart is broken
the gun is still smoking, as the strength of man fails
We had a different existence when we lived beyond the pale

I am the whisper in the wind, the ripple in the grass,
The chill down your spine as time rolls past
I am the shadow on the moon, the sound of the trees
The scent of the spring as it floats on the breeze
I am the frost in the air, the sun on the snow
the music in the water of the river as it flows
the salmon in the stream, the oak in the grove
The acorn on the ground as it sprouts roots and grows
the white stag fleeing from hunter and
the hunter himself who represents man
mortality fleeing because life is fleeting
But life is eternal, which is why it has meaning
Death cannot hold me, I am sun I am earth
I am helpless but powerful, a treasure whose worth
Defies all measurement, subsumes all counting
the darkness eternal in the roots of the mountains

I am a wave on the ocean
I am the roar of the sea
I am an ox of seven exiles
I am a hawk on a cliff
I am a tear of the sun
I am a turning in a maze
I am a boar in valour
I am a salmon in a pool
I am a lake on a plain
I am a dispensing power
I am a spirit of skillful gift
I am a creative god giving inspiration!
Who else clears the stone of the mountains?
Who is it who declaims the suns arising
Who is it that tells the sun where to set?
Who brings cattle from the house of tethra
Upon whom do the cattle of tethra smile?
Who is this ox?
Who is the weaving god who mends the thatch of wounds?
The incantation of the spear, of the wind!
who but I? I that am eternal
I that die and am re-born!
who but i?!

Left Coast

Written By: emcee lynx

Left Coast will be the first track on our third album, Anarchitechture. We're aiming for a May 2011 release date.

Left Coast

On Tour from Philly to NYC
Dublin Ireland to London you see
still an unknown but 'bout to fix that
got my eyes on the prize like “I'm gonna get that”
holla back if you feel me, spittin this flame
revolutionary love to all my people's in the game
ya'll can keep the fame, jus' wanna speak me piece
fa'git the corporate world, I'ma spit it for the streets
I'm in the belly of the beast, hackin' & slashin'
tryna carve a way out with the force of my passion
wanna see a revolution in my lifetime
in the meantime music is my lifeline
so I keep on writin', keep on spittin,
for the love and the adrenalin rush I'm gettin'
steppin on stage, hearin ya'll scream -
Beltaine's Fire? Yeah that's my team!

throw your hands up if you wanna get free
if you're sick of politrix cuz they so filthy
'n if ya rep for the spot that ya love the most
while i'm holdin' it down out on the left coast

Really California could be it's own country
I don't mean no disrespect to the rest of ya'll
but the fact is things are different here
and I'ma say it from the streets to festivals
so peace to the midwest, down south, east coast
you love where your from? then rep your spot!
& organize together to make it better
take it to the streets & keep it hot
I've never seen answers from washington
so I never put my faith in them politicians
asink me to give for their elections?
when they're rich and i'm broke! Now that's just dumb
forget the feds, I put my faith in ya'll
don't throw me no crumbs son, I want it all
and the corporate media's siren call
won't ever catch me, I refuse to fall

throw your hands up if you wanna get free
if you're sick of politrix cuz they so filthy
'n if ya rep for the spot that ya love the most
while i'm holdin' it down out on the left coast

I spit that hotness that makes you perspire,
destroy to create just like forest fires
your kung fu is weak – it's all stunt men and wires
and your gurus are fake, they're all filthy liars
time for ya'll to retire & fade to black
give us our planet and our future back
I've seen more then enough of your past
get out of the way and get gone fast
go on - wave you're flag, I'ma' burn that ----
crush ya'll with the force of the words I ----
ripin it terrific, my style is explicit
liftin the lid on these liars illicit
implicit consent? that's no consent at all!
so I call for revolution from here to Senegal
it's a global system: imperialism
these words are a lens, focus your vision

throw your hands up if you wanna get free
if you're sick of politrix cuz they so filthy
'n if ya rep for the spot that ya love the most
while i'm holdin' it down out on the left coast

When the Floods Come

Written By: Emcee lynx & Beltaine's Fire

When the Floods Come

Night sky deep blue, not a star in sight
As the cloud in the sky reflect back the light
Of street lamps and headlights, pinpricks of brilliance
To mimic the stars that they’ve hidden as the resilience
Of the natural world is stretched past breaking
And when I touch the ground I feel the earth shaking
We’re riding the whirlwind, reaping devastation
And how much longer can we stay complacent?
It’s one thing to sell ourselves out of fear
And another to sell the whole world, didn’t you hear?
The ice caps are melting, the oceans are rising
And as I look at this mess ya’ll, I’m realizing
It won’t be long till we’re living underwater
And you’d think that we hated our sons and daughters
Cuz we’re selling their future to the money machine
It’s just the tip of the iceberg in New Orleans

When the floods come…
…Where you gon’ run? What you doin?
When the floods come…
…How you gonna cope with the ruin?
When the floods come …
… how you gonna feed your children?
When the floods come…
… assuming that the waters haven’t drowned them..

this ain’t exaggeration, it’s cold hard reality
the way that we’re livin’ causes these fatalities
and I mean here and now, I’ve lived in these streets
where poor people freeze to death, and the beat
that I’m hearing in my sleep is a war drum pounding
we’re at war with the earth and it’s simply astounding
we’re drowning in luxury, financed on debt
enslaving the nations around us – and yet
over half of americans say they’re depressed
sick of their meaningless lives and the quest
for conspicuous consumption, bulimic brutality
that would eat the whole earth if we let it, in reality
most of us would rather have time for our families
then spend our whole lives tryna earn a salary
but the rat race we’re livin in won’t let us relax
until the floods wash it all away in a flash

When the floods come…
… and the clocks all stop
When the floods come…
…and you can’t rely on the cops
When the floods come…
…and wash away the lies you believed
When the floods come…
… will you be scared or relieved?

Do you know you’re neighbors? Do they got your back?
Will you work together when you’re under attack?
Or will it all dissolve into each for themselves?
Murder and rape, and gods know what else?
Will you fight for each other like Anarchists?
Or will you prey on each other, like Capitalists?
It’s up to you, up to me, up to all of us together
when the floods come it’s more then just bad weather
It’s the direct result of the lives that we’re livin
Of the way that we treat poor people with derision
How we allow corporation to pollute with impunity
Clear-cut the forests, and colonize communities
A culture that would rather drive fancy cars
Than breath clean air or look at the stars
Of a global empire, built on destruction
And the way we consume like we had no other function

When the floods come…
… and all that we can trust is each other
When the floods come…
… we’d better learn to share with one another
When the floods come…
… it’s up to us to set right this evil
When the floods come…
… so I’ll be in the streets with my people

Discography

"(Music is) The Weapon of the Future" - December 10th, 2007.
"Liberty" - September 12, 2008.
"Anarchitechture" - will be released May 1, 2011

Set List

A typical set is an hour but we can go as long as 3 hours or as short as 20 minutes.

We are extremely versatile with our sets. We build them according to time available and vibe of the venue. We can play relaxing and mellow or very high energy. We can tailor our set to focus on the more "folk/celtic" element of what we do, play straight hip-hop grooves, or mash it all up together. The one constant is we love to get people dancing. Whether that's break dancing ,square dancing, or irish step dancing depends entirely on the crowd, we've played for all three.

We currently have 41 songs that we draw from to construct our sets; 36 originals, 3 original interpretations of traditional songs, and 2 sets of Reels. We have played everything from family oriented folk festivals to underground hip hop clubs to punk shows and can tailor our set for just about any event.