Descriptions and samples of John Teleska's music albums and how to buy them.

Follow the Moon
John Teleska1989Playing Time: 48:09

CD: $15
Cassette: $12

listen to samples


Guitarist Teleska's second album, a blend of blues, jazz, Celtic, and classical influences, mostly ensemble pieces. Composed, arranged and produced by Teleska. With George Sessum on fretless bass, Michael Ives on vibes, Jan Rhody singing scat unison and harmony with Teleska's slide guitar on You Should Know, Kathy Leigh Johnson vocals on Lauda, Jeff Beal, flugelhorn on Women of the Heart, and Bill Cahn, Ed Marris, Kristen Shiner and Ward Hartenstein on percussion. Contains two solo tracks—Tug Hill Creek and the lyrical Song for a Dancer, both played on 12-string. Also contains New Song, familiar to WXXI and WJZR listeners as storyteller Jay Stetzer's intro and outro music.

Listen to Samples

To hear a song sample, click on the linked song titles below. All songs © 1989 John Teleska unless otherwise noted.

1. Big Ben *
John Teleska acoustic, electric & slide guitars, percussion
George Sessum bass
Sonam Targee recorders
Kristen Shiner marimba
2. Tip Toe
John Teleska fretless & electric guitars, basses
Ward Hartenstein percussion
3. You Should Know *
John Teleska slide, electric, & acoustic guitars
Jan Rhody vocals
George Sessum bass
Bill Cahn percussion
4. Dream Fire *
John Teleska 12 string guitar, percussion
Jan Rhody vocal
George Sessum bass
Ward Hartenstein percussion
5. Laughing Blues
John Teleska 12-string & classical guitars
6. New Song
Michael Ives vibes
John Teleska 12 string & electric guitars
George Sessum bass
Kristen Shiner percussion
Bill Cahn percussion
7. Lauda
John Teleska acoustic, electric & fretless guitars
Kathy Leigh Johnson vocals
Bill Cahn percussion
8. Women of the Heart *
Jeff Beal flugelhorn
Michael Ives vibes
John Teleska electric guitar, percussion
Ed Marris percussion
Kristen Shiner percussion
9. Song for a Dancer
John Teleska 12 string & classical guitars


-Steve Messenger, Star Record, Texas 1989

John Teleska, Follow the Moon
Don't make the mistake of calling John Teleska's music "new age." His musical magma seethes with titillating classical picking, bodacious blues riffing, sizzling slide guitar (a la Ry Cooder) that demands center stage and chop happy jazzisms that leave mouths agape.

His ease at traversing disparate musical genres and uniting their elements into his own vision is all the more astounding as he switches musical gears. Floating from an etheral bossa nova (Women of the Heart) into a percolating collaborative reverie, Big Ben, Teleska's howling slide guitar demonstrates a wealth of technique and a large measure of foresight.

Dream Fire begins like a Robert Johnson possession, with 12-string and electric bass "doing the dozens." George Sessum's Jaco Pastorius-like excursions are inebriating, allowing both intruments to take a giant step beyond their roots. Throughout it all, Teleska's supporting musicians (Jeff Beale: flugelhorn, Michael Ives: vibes; Kristen Shiner: marimbas, percussion; and Sessum) attack the music with a common dream. The last cut, Song for a Dancer, might just qualify as one of the five prettiest songs ever written for the guitar, with Teleska playing on heartstrings instead of the usual steel.

To offer the listener such a variety of sound is not just uncommon; it is the stuff of which dreams are made. Unself-conscious virtuosity like Teleska's is the stuff that makes people want to learn to play the guitar in the first place. Teleska listens to what he plays and realizes that the listener is listening, too.

-Jack Garner, Democrat and Chroncile, 1989

John Teleska's new album is a blend of sounds
Rochester guitarist John Teleska has made a quantum leap forward with Follow the Moon, his second self-produced album on his own Heartland label.

Teleska, who has developed a reputation for sensitive, thoughtful New Age compositions, here opens the door to elements from other musical idioms, including jazz, slide-guitar blues, and even 15th-century Italian Renaissance music. The amalgam is a joy to hear.

While his first album, Heartland, was a polished solo effort, solidly in the New Age mode, Follow the Moon expresses much broader ambitions, which he shares with a small, but talented ensemble of players. In a few of the songs, he also gets an ensemble feel through tasty double tracking.

The most enjoyable exchanges on Follow the Moon, however, are between Teleska and Rochester bassist George Sessum, who contributes smooth, melodic statements on electric bass. Sessum, who is known for his work with Cabo Frio, here demonstrates a strong sympatico to Teleska's meticulous, yet lyrical playing.

The album's highlight, in fact, is You Should Know, a medium-tempo, bluesy excursion, with Teleska on slide, electric and acoustic guitars, underscored by Sessum's bass, Bill Cahn's restrained percussion, and Jan Rhody's slide-like scat singing.

Other special pleasures include Laughing Blues, a fast-picking acoustic solo in the Leo Kotke/Mason Williams tradition which really isn't a blues at all; and Big Ben, a textured sonic excurion that blends Teleska's chord changes with Sessum's rhythmic bass, and the melodic accompaniment of Sonam Targee on recorder and Kristen Shiner on marimba.

Ordering Information

Prices listed include shipping and handling and all applicable taxes. Send your order via snail mail to: John Teleska, 38 Parkridge Drive, Pittsford, NY 14534. Make checks payable to John Teleska. Sorry, no credit cards or on-line ordering. Additional info: Call John at (585) 264-9497

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Copyright © 2005 by John Teleska. All rights reserved. Updated 1/23/2005.