Photos by Chris Reynolds
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ATTEMPT is the recording project of Trevor Tremaine. Tremaine is known
as the drummer for noise band Hair Police, as the proprietor of the now-defunct
micro-edition cassette label Rampart Tapes, as a co-founder of the surrealist
Resonant Hole collective, as the conductor of avant-folk combo Eyes &
Arms of Smoke, or as a sideman with a strange and diverse resume (Burning
Star Core, Warmer Milks, Matt Duncan, Death Unit, Silverware, and Thurston
Moore's Aktion Unit).
"The first great album of 2017."-James Toth, Wooden Wand
"Heavy rotation on my player, a new fave... Delighted with all the ideas, melodies and adventurous chords..." - R. Stevie Moore, Godfather of DIY
"ATTEMPT is like listening into the future of underground music: 10cc plus Steely Dan playing jazz fusion on a peyote trip." - Robert Schneider, The Apples in Stereo
Joslyn Hampton and her band, The Sweet Compression, combine to deliver
a hook-filled mix of funk and R&B-flavored pop, in a series of single
releases throughout 2017. The powerhouse vocalist, joined by veterans (guitarist
Marty Charters, bassist Smith Donaldson, and saxophonist Joe Carucci) and
exciting young talent (Rashawn Fleming on drums, Steve Holloman on keyboards,
Jeffrey Doll on trumpet, and Rae'Shawna Campbell on backing vocals), will
be supporting the releases with live shows throughout the year.
The Kentucky Hoss Cats formed in 2012 when several Kentucky-based musicians decided to finally do something about their collective long-standing deep devotion(s) to old school honky tonk music. The band initially formed to pay homage to Hank, Sr., Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, and other country music greats, playing popular weekly four hour sets of honky tonk classics and deep tracks. Over the past two years, the band has found its own voice and has written more than an album's worth of new honky tonk originals which will be featured during current live shows along several nods to the juke joint forebearers.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, and fronted by award-winning vocalist/fiddler Kati Penn Williams and her singer/banjo-picker husband, Jr. Williams, NewTown is one of the most exciting acts in contemporary Bluegrass. The band was formed in 2009 when Jr. left Bluegrass band NewFound Road to play full-time with his wife in what would become NewTown. Since then, the group has gained a strong following by playing at festivals throughout the U.S., sharing bills with such acts as Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. NewTown has appeared several times at the legendary Station Inn in Nashville, and has performed twice at showcases at the IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina. The ensemble has also opened shows for the John Cowan Band, whose namesake leader says on NewTown's website, "Bands like NewTown are not by any means common; they're not made everyday. It takes sweat equity, passion, patience and vision."
- Photo Craig Fangman
The Recipe for Gamma Rays, a four-piece band from Lexington, Kentucky,
is the wayward offspring of the keyboard and drums duo, Wol and Weeps,
formed by Jim Shaw and Dave Cobb in 2011. After recruiting Mike Joyner
on drums and Blake Cox on bass, the group now emits a frenetic blend of
pseudo-euphonic vocal melodies over fuzzy synthesizers, jittering guitar,
and girthy bass. Interwoven with cosmic electronic sound interludes, their
songs run the emotional gamut from dystopian absurdity to melancholy mania.
Coleslaw is a 5-piece instrumental band that came together through a mutual
love of jazz, funk, and soul, as well as many other influences. The band
centers around two unique and powerful voices (Jacob O'Donnell, Kirby Davis-Saxophones)
stating strong melodies and exploring a vast harmonic realm overtop hard
grooves laid down by a powerhouse rhythm section (Nolan Brelsford-Guitar,
Simon Long-Bass, James Gooding-Drums). As one of only a handful of funk
acts based in Lexington, and perhaps the youngest of that demographic,
Coleslaw and it's ambitious musical exploration are bringing something
original and exciting to the Lexington music scene.
The Forthlins are Justin Adams on guitar, harmonica, lead vocals, and bass, Gareth Evans on guitar, mandolin, keys, and bass, Adam Luckey on bass, harmonies, guitar, and keys, and Adam Napier on drums and percussion. With Evans, Luckey, and Adams often swapping roles on instruments the group creates an eclectic sound ranging from garage-rock to pop to funk. With a wide catalogue of original work combined with a plentiful supply of covers The Forthlins put out an upbeat souund that is fun and down to earth.
This "neo-carnival rock n' roll group, based out of Lexington,
KY produce a sound that harkens back to a by-gone era of gypsy
caravans and rail-riding hobos. This, married with blistering
progressive rock technicality and heavy punk, is all brought
together under multiple vocalists that are a study of compliment
and contrast. It all manifests as an auditory spectacle that is
both well-timed and well-executed. The result is compellingly
jarring, featuring narrative lyrics and theatrically-matched
music all wrapped up in a deliriously raucous stage show.
FTR feverishly pulls you to your feet and drives you to dance,
thrash, and shout.."
Borrowing its name from the Ginsberg poem "Howl," Leaden Verse is a solo experiment by Jim Shaw
of The Recipe for Gamma Rays (Lexington). Wearing a vocoder mask and homemade LED goggles that
light up with his vocals, he bashes out sometimes-rhythmic drum beats together with ferocious,
sequenced bass-waves, industrial arpeggios, and soaring synth leads. Surrounded by pulsing lights
and fog, Leaden Verse brings you melodious tunes of a grim personal future.
(WARNING: attendees with light-sensitivity issues should proceed with caution.)
Kentucky-based Big Fresh, has undergone a few lineup changes before arriving
at its current incarnation. After nearly a decade of writing, performing, recording,
touring, and repeating it all, the group has become recognized as one of Lexington"s
premier acts. This ten-member ensemble features members of such groups as Club Dub,
The Apples in Stereo, Bear Medicine, Satellite Giant, Eggstone, Candy Claws, and
many more. Having been described as prog-pop-soul, hippie-psych, jazzy-pop, etc.,
Big Fresh"s sound is anything but boring; it keeps the audience on their toes, eager
to hear what will happen next. Dancing, harmonies, horns, keys, antics, slips, falls,
guitar, drum, and bass. They will not disappoint.
The Big Maracas play musica latina. A few years back, Venezuelan ex-patriot Enrique Gonzalez
got together with a few friends to have a little fun, and since that time the Big Maracas have
grown to incorporate more band members, a multitude of styles, and a great deal of fun! The
Maracas delve into many branches of Latin and Tropical music, being particularly fond of the
great Cuban traditions and Brazilian samba, but that's only the beginning.
Too self-conscious to dance? Perhaps not when you make it to a Maracas show... Que bueno baila usted!
Western Movies, the songwriting/recording project from Chris Sullivan, is a travelogue of organic,
musical styles ranging from surf pop and old-school lounge to exotica twang, instrumental film music,
and cinematic, acoustic folk-blues. Sullivan's family traveled often during his childhood, and while
living in Spain, he began learning guitar at the age of six, from a flamenco virtuoso. At 18, Sullivan
formed a band with his college roommate, Otto Helmuth, called Serious George. Having traveled, and lived
many places around the country for some time, Sullivan eventually ended up in Lexington, where he has not
continued creating and collabot=rat
- Photo Andrew Brinkorst
" ...Fabled Canelands fits together like a tapestry. Song edges overlap and bleed, offer moments of
fulfillment and emptiness, and trace out a past that continues to exist at our own margins.
It's new, it's old, it's ambitious, and it just so happens to be quite good." -- North Of Center --
Fabled Canelands couples primarily acoustic guitar melodies and steady rhythms with the occasional
pedal-steel, key, or trumpet parts to convey a unique sound. With references to mountains,
landmarks, bodies of water, surrounding towns, and everyday life, Fabled Canelands bring a style
that feels like home.
The Local Honeys are comprised of Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs. Stokley from the
rolling hills of the Bluegrass, learned her love of singing and playing from her mama, who
exposed her to a wide array of music throughout childhood, and encouraged her to keep playing
and writing. Her music is her solace. Hobbs, who hails from the foothills of the Appalachian region, also
gained her love of music from her family er older brother shared a spectrum of sounds from
the grungy acts of the '90s, to the heartland picking and singing of John Prine, which piqued her
interest in songwriting. The two have dedicated themselves to the preservation of old music and
the creation of new music.
Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, Doc Feldman is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist
interested in exploring the darker sides of folk music. Unafraid of incorporating distortion, weird
field recordings, and other noise experimentation, Doc's debut album Sundowning at the Station feels
rooted in traditional forms of American music, yet totally new. ALT+CNTRY+DEL (Alt Country Delete)
is a subversive cosmic Americana band from Lexington, Kentucky.
Ethos Jazz Quintet, Lee Carroll's latest project combines the wisdom of experience with the fire of youth.
Tripp Bratton (C The Beat, March Madness Marching Band) and Ibu Diop from Senegal on drums,
Thomas Usher (C The Beat, DAD, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers) on upright and electric basses and
Jonathan Barrett (C The Beat) on saxes. From Bluenote classics re-interpreted and second line funk
to searing original compositions, you won't be able to stay in your seat. This is serious
funky jazz at its most joyful and celebratory. They regularly pack the house at Lexington's Crēaux jazz club,
it's as close to NOLA's Frenchman Street music Mecca as you'll find north of the French Quarter. Gumbo,
cocktails and hot jazz.
Daisy Helmuth, Madeline Farrar, Charlie Overman, and Jack Quinn - "just a few rock and roll kids"
from Lexington - make up People Planet. When they are not busy dog-whispering or sleeping-in, they are probably busy
playing their instruments and holding their own. Frequenting the Lexington all-ages
circuit like true weekend warriors, People Planet performed at venues such as Lynagh's, Al's Bar,
and Willie's Locally Known, and Moontower Music Festival. This group carries the torch of Lexington
music for a fresh, ready-to-rock generation.
"It's just more of me. It's as simple as that. I was able to get deeper and you get another
level of my heart and soul. And, it's really about my journey of self-awareness and healing
and finding acceptance and self-love. It's very empowering. When I started writing this record,
I thought about how maybe the struggles I've had at times in my life, and with writing, could be
changed if I could put my energy and message towards others, but what I got was the most
self-healing I've ever had through the creative process. My positive message to others became my
own mantra. It's like how sometimes we need to start listening to our own advice, and singing
these songs repeatedly has given myself a message I need to hear when I sing them over and over again."
Says Erika Wennerstrom of her solo debut, Sweet Unknown. Fans [of Heartless Bastards can rest] assured
that what they've grown to love about Wennerstrom's music is still front-and-center. Her trademark vocals
that NPR so aptly calls "warm yet gritty, throaty yet sweet, gigantic yet intimate" are that... times 10.
And the bluesy, rock vibes that Relix describes as "smoky, late night [rock] that exists somewhere between
Royal Trux and the Rolling Stones" has only gotten smokier and bluesier.
Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don't really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums,
a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to
their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle's distinctive voice, at once
vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding
stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.
With Ringle on guitar and vocals, Nathan Crockett on violin and mandolin, Robby Cosenza on drums and J. Tom Hnatow on bass, and pedal steel, the band's most recent album Appreciation (recorded partially in Lexington's own Shangri-La Studios) creates a sound that Exclaim! hails as "beautiful" and "borderline orchestral." "Horse Feathers has evolved expertly, and Appreciation is a case study in artistic growth," says Pop Matters. Diehard fans are going to find plenty to cherish on Appreciation. But they're going to have to make room in the club house for a lot more people. With this album, the Horse Feathers secret is officially out.
With members hailing from St. Lucia, Sierra Leone, & the U.S.A, and a career that spans three decades, The Ark Band plays roots reggae, calypso & soca music. Based out of Columbus Ohio, the group continually perform to grateful audiences in Jamaica and Canada, and the U.S., having traveled to all 48 contiguous states. Founding members Terry Bobb (drums & vocals), Eustace Bobb (bass & vocals), take the stage with Mark Hunter (vocals & guitar), Kohl Fixari (guitar), and Sam Anderson (keyboards), while Louis Bobb engineers the sound. The Ark Band are united and passionate about uplifting the human spirit with Caribbean music, and spreading a message of love, peace, togetherness and spirituality.
Beginning her musical pursuits at an early age, Lexington singer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Woxihara
has become one of the area's most sought-after talents. Over her tenure as a musician Woxihara has been a member of many local
bands such as Chico Fellini, The Binders, Ancient Warfare, and Bear Medicine (to name a few). Additionally, she has collaborated
on studio recordings with several wider-known artists including Jim James and Ben Sollee. "I love collaboration," she says,
" ...I try to say 'yes' to as much as I can."*
Creatively, in her own songwriting, Woxihara brings all her talents together. "I'll try and finish a music idea on the instrument first before I really get into vocals. 'Cause I like for the, obviously, the marriage of that to be really fluid, but I like the idea of constructing the song in parts, and really focusing on those parts individually."**
**Debraun Thomas wuky.org
Will Solomon began singing, writing, and playing guitar at an early age. Having grown up in Lexington,
he moved east to study jazz at Morehead State University, and afterwards lived in Nashville for six years.
Here Solomon focused his energy on creating his own sound and honing his talent, while playing in several of
the area's bands. By 2013 Will felt Lexington was "calling him back," he returned to his hometown, bringing
a desire to blend the bluegrass roots of Central KY with the honky-tonk and neon inspired sounds of the Music
City. Having put together an ensemble featuring upright bass, fiddle, and mandolin, Will added a pedal steel,
and drums to the mix on his 2016 debut album The Pelican & The Herring. Since this, he has spent time touring
with Nashville duo Johnnyswim and Lexington-based Ryvoli, while also working up some new material for his
digital EP The Dead Oceans, which was released in May 2019.*
*The Lexington Herald Leader
"Italian beaches is a potent collection of live synths from Farhad Rezaei, pre-programmed and live beats by Dave Farris, and haunting
vocals from Reva Russell English that accumulate into some kind of disorienting science-fiction reality; think Massive Attack but loose
enough to be from some alternate dimension. 'We have this like digital reality that is not the reality that any of us evolved for, or with,'
Says Reva 'and so, most people I know are experiencing a cognitive dissonance and extreme anxiety, and Italian Beaches tries to harness
that and let us experience it, but in musical form.'"*
*Chuck Clenney. undermain.com
Zoe Speaks consists of Kentuckians Mitch Barrett, Carla Gover, and Owen Reynolds, (and often joined by Zoey Barrett and Arlo Barnette) who draw on their deep roots in the region to put their own spin on everything from traditional ballads to finely crafted originals. A smooth, mellow instrumental mix lays the background for the close vocal harmonies that are a defining feature of their sound. A veritable songwriting powerhouse, their awards include songwriting wins at Telluride Bluegrass Fest, Merlefest, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and Kerrville Folk Fest, among others. A staple on the Kentucky music scene for over a decade with three successful CDs under their belt, they are back together and set to release a new album this summer. They accompany themselves on guitar, claw hammer banjo, upright bass, and sometimes dulcimer and clogging feet.
Letters of Acceptance are power-popular psych-song glam-folk Indie-rock Americana group from central Kentucky
comprised of Clint Newman, John Harlan Norris, Scott Whiddon and Tim Welch. "After writing and recording together
for some time, (Clint & John) began taking their music out in public, giving it the local version of a road
test before eventually enlisting bassist Scott Whiddon and drummer Tim Welch in mid-2018. Whiddon, a staple of the
Lexington music scene the last several years, had been in a band that crossed paths and joined bills with another
project of Norris while Whiddon was a grad student at LSU. He helped recruit Welch. Their music's looseness gives
it a lived-in, organic feel, but not a sense of sloppiness. That loose approach doesn't bleed over into the production
value, however, despite the guerilla recording effort."*
*Brian Powers. under-main.com
Born and raised in Kentucky, David "Big Chill" Napier is a new soul musician with an old soul spirit. Chill began his music career singing and performing drums in his grandfather's church when he was a young boy. Big Chill's love for music never wavered. While he continued to perform in church, he also joined his high school marching band playing both saxophone and percussion. After graduating high school, he went on to peruse a degree in music from Western Kentucky University. Chill's musical abilities have grown tremendously since the days in his grandfather's church; his smooth vocals paired with his electrifying guitar riffs are an exceptional treat for anyone listening. His musical stylings cannot be confined to a single genre, it is his blend of soul, rock, gospel, funk and country that make him truly unique and shine on any stage he steps foot on.
Restless Leg String Band is a Bluegrass Quartet straight from the heart of The Bluegrasssd, Lexington, Kentucky. Restless Leg String Band draws from a deep well of traditional string band music, combined with unique original material to create a new 'Progressive Bluegrass.' The members are Joe Schlaak (bass & vocals) Casey Baumgardner (guitar & vocals) Ishi Wooton (fiddle & vocals ) and Jonathan Bramel (banjo, dobro & vocals). Beginning in 2013 and releasing a highly anticipated, self-titled album in 2016, they incorporate traditional bluegrass numbers and high-energy originals. With their style and energy, RLSB have garnered a strong fanbase and a reputation for great shows at festivals and venues alike.">
"The Marble Creek Rangers lead is Eric Cummins, who pulled the band together mostly from his other two bands,
the more electric sound of the Eric Cummins Band, and the beloved Allman Butter Band. The Rangers are a more acoustic
sound, but very eclectic, hitting everything from Johnny Cash to Gillian Welch, The Allman Brothers, Billy Joe
Shaver and Alejandro Escovedo in their covers, mixed with originals mostly written by Cummins, with a fast, upbeat
bluegrass sound. But even those are not just Bluegrass. "We cut a wide swath, " Cummins says of his band's diverse
tastes and talents. Joined by Martie Clough on bass and harmony, Brandon Bowlds on mandolin and harmony, Mike DeLong
on drums and Don Rogers on fiddle and singing, the Marble Creek Rangers are a powerhouse of solid musical talent."*
*Cara Blake Coppola. under-main.com
Lexington, KY native band Isle of Eight is a four piece indie rock band comprised of Isaac Craft, Nick Bernard, Austin Vitucci, and Dale Devore. Their 2015 debut album Of Chesapeake features a "diverse sound across the record from high energy to ambient soundscapes." *Reverbnation.com* They mold the shape of their sound with Isaac on rhythm guitar and vocals, Nick on lead guitar and vocals, Austin on bass and synth, and Dale bouncing the sticks off the skins. When the four of them aren't busy making music you may find them pursuing some of their other interests like eating. They really like food.
Rooted in the traditional music soundscape of eastern KY, Eric Bolander's flavor of Americana/folk music offers soulful vocal tone with thoughtful melodies that have staying power. Lyrically driven by life experiences, Eric's songs will give you a glimpse into his life and a realization that happiness can be perpetuated through pain. Growing up in Garrison KY, Bolander learned the value of hard work and personal relationships, from his father. The Trio are Eric (guitar & vocals) Seth Murphy (cello) and Ben Caldwell (drums & backing vocals). Already this year, the group have performed on Red Barn Radio and WDVX's Blue Plate Special, an opening spot for Ian Noe, as well as gigs in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois, and they show no signs of slowing down.
Miles Osland and Dieter Hennings are the Eastman Duo:
"Director of the University of Kentucky's prestigious and successful Jazz Studies program, as well a professor of saxophone, Miles Osland cut his professional teeth at an unusually early age. He was just ten when he was playing flute in local San Diego establishments with some of his teachers. Osland successfully combines his roles as a performing artist and an educator. Influenced by Herbie Mann's flute and the saxophones of Johnny Hodges, Paul Desmond, and Cannonball Adderley, his recordings have focused on the possibilities of modern saxophone playing using all four of the more popular members of the sax family: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone."*
"The musical endeavors of Dieter Hennings Yeomans span from new music on guitar to early music for lute, baroque guitar, and theorbo. Mr. Hennings has been a soloist with Canada's New Music Concerts Ensemble, Orchestra of Lecce, Italy, The Riverside Symphony of NYC, Eastman BroadBand Ensemble, Julliard's 415 Early Music Ensemble, Guanajuato and Monterrey Symphony Orchestras, among many others. Since August of 2009, Dieter Hennings is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Kentucky where he directs the Classical Guitar Studies program."**
*Dave Nathan. allmusic.com
The Rough Customers are a high energy ska/punk band that incorporates almost every genre of music in their songs. From "Bach like" chorales to romantic period tone poems to 1980's punk, to third wave ska, they've got it! With eight members, Andrea Moffett (vocals) Matthew Lawrence (drums) Tim Vice (bass) Brad Minton (guitar) Mike Trusty (saxophone) Tommy Townsend (trombone) Noah Tolson (trumpet) and Taylor Brandenburg (sousaphone) and eight distinctive tastes in music, The Rough Customers run the gamut of musical space and knowledge, and cram it all together! Their music is catchy and is so danceable they dare you not to dance!
Playing all around Central Kentucky at markets, cafes, fairs, and festivals, Liberty Road performs bluegrass music seasoned with swing, jazz, occasional original tunes, and more. Beginning in 1996, with founding members Thomas Adler, Wesley Atha, Brian Powell, and Terri Powell, the band played in the region for several years, before moving on to other groups. In 2016 Tom (banjo), Wes (guitar), and Terri (bass) decided to pick together again, with the addition of Noah Adler on mandolin. Later that year, the group performed on WEKU's Red Barn Radio. Since then, the four have been going strong and helping keep the tradition of Bluegrass alive in the Bluegrass.
Four Lexington locals reunite to combine the two generations of the blues infused garage rock that is The Jive Hounds. The band originally formed in the summer of 2012 with Jordan Hall, Dan Kerwin, and Jack Gallentine, and revamped in 2013, after the untimely passing of drummer Dan Kerwin. This new lineup included Jordan Hall, Ryan Deatherage, and Clif Meyers. These three carried on releasing 3 albums and playing countless gigs in all your favorite dives. Now, after hiatus, The Jive Hounds are back, along with founding member Jack Gallentine. Jordan (guitar & vocals) Ryan (drums) Clif (bass) and Jack (guitar) bring all the same energy to the stage as ever, and are sure to have you jiving with all the other hounds in memory of your friend and ours Dan Kerwin.
"The Mojo Tones started out as four friends just getting together, playing Blues and
Blues-Rock songs for the fun of it. Mike Joyner (drums) initiated things by asking Billy
Compton(guitar) if he'd be interested in doing a Blues project, just for fun, just because.
"One thing led to another, word got out, and suddenly, we were playing gigs by word of mouth,"
says Billy. Mike knew a singer/harmonica player in Joe Conkwright... With Gerald Evans, on
bass the group mix genres, within songs, playing Country Blues with Blues Rock, Jump Blues
with Jazz, without any of the high-brow sensibilities. It still comes down to four friends
playing music, for the love of music."*
*Melissa B. steveclayton.com
Sour Cream is a Lexington, KY based hard blues rock band, mixing influences from all flavors of rock music. Bringing the vintage sound back with young faces are Jon McGee (drums) Colby Grant (bass) and Harlan Cecil (guitar). The three of them have been gigging around the central-eastern United States since February 2017, and released their debut self-titled album in November of 2018. Sour Cream's unmistakable vintage sound is molded with the energy and raw power of youth... and they're only getting started.
The RaeCamp Band formed in May of 2018, as the result of a supposed 'one time' show for a birthday gathering. Originally Doug Ford (musical director and keyboardist), Tyler Mayfield (percussionist) and Paul Logan (bassist) came together with Rae'Shawna Campbell (vocalist). Now Kenny Payne (bassist) has joined the unit along with Cameron Fogle to create what is now a neo-soul, jazz fusion and R&B inspired sound that will leave you wanting more! From a Motown sound to soul, to a jazz turnaround- this band appeals to all with songs everyone can relate to and vibe through. Music to your ears and medicine for your soul- The RaeCamp Band will not disappoint!
Associate professor of ethnomusicology, Donna Kwon, leads this ensemble. The group offer a unique
opportunity to experience this indigenous art form first-hand. A gamelan is a traditional, Indonesian
orchestra comprised of a variety of tuned bronze gongs, gong-chimes, metallophones, drums, one or more
flute, bowed and plucked string instruments, and sometimes singers. Gamelan music dates as far back as
the twelfth century and is historically present throughout Indonesian worship and ritual.