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The Witching Hour with Vernon Wells & Eban Schletter

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Uploaded on Sep 5, 2008

Oglio Records has signed a deal that will bring Halloween back to the Witches. No, it is not a deal with the devil, it is with Eban Schletter, a prolific composer/songwriter for the release of his "Eban Schletter's Witching Hour" project. For his "Witching Hour", Schletter recruited many of his talented friends to perform a colorful array of creepy delights in what he calls "an art record in a children's Halloween costume." Including the obvious appropriateness for the timing of this release, he admits, "I made a point to avoid directly referring to Halloween. I wanted to do something that would work for full moons and solstices as well."

Songs like "I've Created A Monster" pay a nod to Bobby "Boris" Pickett's classic "Monster Mash", the Theremin adorned "Incantation" and sinister "Half Past" (chiming exactly 30 minutes into the meticulously timed hour long record) display a musicality that seems to echo ghosts of songsmiths past. Jill Sobule singing "The Legend Of Lagunaloch Lake" is genuinely haunting, as is Grant Lee Phillips' performance of the Brechtean "Forever Lurking".

Humor is the record's most potent potion thanks to Schletter's long list of friends with stellar performances by Dave Foley (Kids In The Hall, News Radio), Tom Kenny (the voice of Spongebob Squarepants), Paul F. Tompkins (Best Week Ever, Mr. Show with Bob and David), Scott Aukerman (Mr. Show with Bob and David, The Sarah Silverman Program) as well as Freaks and Geeks alums Samm Levine and Dave (Gruber) Allen (The Naked Trucker, Gilmore Girls).

A coven of witches voiced by Crissy Guerrero (Mind Of Mencia, Ellen: The Musical), Laura Milligan (Tenacious D, Mr. Show), Tracy DeNisi (SpongeBob Squarepants, Ellen: The Musical) Carla Jimenez (Lady In The Water, Nacho Libre) and Kris McGaha (Curb Your Enthusiasm) provides the album's through line, and Daamen Krall (The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The Nightmare Before Christmas) recites Poe-like passages with all the chills of Vincent Price.

While not a warlock, Eban Schletter is a freak of sorts and approaches his work with the mania of a mad scientist. Eclectic almost to the point of schizophrenia, his previous records have ranged from low-fi Americana to modern classical pipe organ music. But, it is his vast output in television and film that has earned him his living, and accolades including a Cable Ace Award and an Emmy nomination. His composer highlights include Mr. Show with Bob and David, SpongeBob Squarepants, Comedy Central's Drawn Together and Ellen: The Musical. His film credits include the recent remake of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and many independent films.

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