Though it's semi-billed as a Jarboe album, this double-set is actually a selection of 28 psychedelic and freak-folk songs that only sometimes include the participation of the legendary chanteuse herself. "Mystagogue" features, for the most part, a revolving door of artists and personalities, Jarboe being just one of many.
Opening with a re-recording of Jarboe's own "Ode To V", there's also a curiously straight-forward cover of Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" (also sung by J. herself). "First Utterance" is a realistic audio portrait of a smoky opium den, both intoxicating and mysterious. Other standouts include Antic Clay's lovely and anthemic "Take This Tongue", which in my world would be a radio "hit". Henry Derek's "The Big Mouth" is cool and charismatic haunted blues. Derek's "Ballad For Blind Joe Death" refers to, and is most certainly an homage to, legendary guitar master John Fahey, and it all closes out with the voodoo blues-folk of "The Clasping Of Hands". A solid and trippy set of tunes for end times and new world awakenings alike.