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Happy Birthday, John Tesh!

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Tesh_lFormer TV host and current New Age musician John Tesh turns 55 today, and I have to confess, I’ve always thought of his music as just a punchline, even though I’ve never actually heard any of it. To make amends, I decided to give the gift of an open mind (and two open ears) to the one-time Entertainment Tonight presenter.

Over at Tesh’s MySpace page, I found the tracks “Avalon” and “Bareclona.” Aside from a jarring mid-number breakdown complete with pan flute and rattlesnake percussion, the former track is the sort of midtempo froth that would be best paired with the opening credits of a mid-80s sitcom, or perhaps with the sound of a dentist’s drill as it connects with one’s screaming teeth. “Barcelona” is an altogether different story. It opens with the cheers of a moderately excited crowd, and then swiffers its way magically across the musical floor, using tinkling piano lines and an enthused string section. If this had been available back in Midori Ito‘s time, girlfriend would’ve taken home the Olympic gold. It’s awful, yes, but energetically so.

Still, neither song prepared me for Tesh’s video, “Emerald Bay,” from 2000’s One World DVD. There’s a fiddler in leather pants! Tesh sporting some roguish facial hair, pointing dramatic commands at a group of sprightly Irish step dancers! There’s even a castle so enchanted, I half expected to see Enya and an army of faeries descend from a nearby mountaintop in an effort to claim it for themselves, and along with it, the crown of New Age supremacy. Whether it’s good, bad, or heinous, I won’t say. It’s the dude’s birthday, after all, so view the clip for yourself, after the jump.