Bluegrass Twang Meets Gospel and Praise: Pasquale Talarico

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[Today’s post is a music review from my good friend C.J. Williams, an editor, writer and social media consultant, serving heaps of happy clients with her business Get It Writ. If you like what you read, go check out her page!]
Pasquale Talarico describes himself in five words: grateful to God, wonderfully made. That about sums up his music as well. The once-punk-rock-bassist, now composer and ministry-oriented leader of his own band, has hit the Southern California worship scene like lightning this Spring. With one full album under his belt (My Everything), the second set to record this Summer (Ite Missa Est), and having just penned and recorded the new theme song for Catholic Relief Services Youth Education Program, you could say this man is on fire.
But it’s a fire of spirit: Talarico is burning with a passion you just don’t get outside of creativity fueled by faith.
His music is a full-throated illustration of this grateful faith, not just in feeling, but in craft and execution.
Pasquale’s musical talent and tone are a triumphant array of influences, and he manages the anthem-esque chorus of the traditional worship songs without devolving into their sometimes insipid repetition.
In the CRS theme, One Family, penned with the poetically-talented Jenny Pixler, he effortlessly weaves a yearning bluegrassy twang into a haunting ballad showing suffering, solidarity, and ultimately inspiring the listener to reach out in Christ to the least of the least.
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 “[…]  Our work here in the United States is aimed at helping Catholics to live their faith in solidarity with the people that we serve overseas,” Ted Miles of CRS remarked, when I contacted him about the song. “[One Family is a] song of solidarity. . .helping people understand, through another medium, what this solidarity is all about.”
But he doesn’t end there. This Summer’s coming album, of which I’ve heard demos, is a full-setting of the mass, and from its first victorious track “Arise” to its last, it is artistically varied, yearning, joyful paean to the beauty of creation, in full gratitude for the gift of God’s Son in the Incarnation. No, it doesn’t just say this. It is the music and soul, Talarico’s constant gratitude and search to add more and improve his musical arrangement and lyrics, that truly shine through.
This man gives glory in action. His music is the seal on it. His artistic commitment to excellence makes exciting, joyful, uplifting tunes – and that’s the product of a creative artist at his best.
To listen to demos, or to purchase Talarico’s first album, My Everything, check out iTunes or PTmusiconline.com. You’ll be surprised to hear his punk-roots, bluegrass and folk twang in Mumford-style, and gospel-praise all blending to make tracks that stick, and may keep you humming or singing from the first listen-on.
cj[C.J. Williams has been a successful freelancer in all areas of writing since before completeing her undergrad. She served as fiction editor to THE WALL literary journal through the first two years of college, has written for national news sources, including The Register and National Catholic Register, has been published in travel journal. As an editor of two literary journals, web content, novels, and for many private clients in multiple capacities, C.J. brings experience to the cutting table, and a keen ear for precision and meaning in the written word. Check her out at Get It Writ!