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photo by Ron Richman
New Monsoon’s exhilarating blend of acoustic and electric instrumentation shines in an irresistible blend of sophisticated song craft, inventive musical exploration and down home rock-n-roll.
San Francisco rock quintet New Monsoon is the collaborative vehicle for the vocal and instrumental prowess of founding members Bo Carper (acoustic guitar and banjo), Jeff Miller (electric guitar) and Phil Ferlino (keys). Now well into its second decade of national touring, the band also features the muscular rhythm section of Marshall Harrell (electric bass) and Michael Pinkham (drums).
Released in 2014, Diamonds and Clay, the 5th studio album from New Monsoon, features 10 original tracks that capture the innovative songwriting, soulful instrumental interplay, lush harmony vocals and soaring energy that have become New Monsoon’s trademark.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2013, recording for Diamonds and Clay began at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael, CA. This state-of-the-art environment enabled the band to play the songs together, giving the record a live feel. With the foundation for each song in place, they went on to Charlie Wilson’s Sonic Zen Records in Berkeley, CA to record additional tracks including lead and harmony vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and various keyboard parts. The end result is a deeply textured sonic experience marrying the band’s raw energy with the sensitivity and craft that is afforded in the recording studio environment.
“Diamonds and Clay affirms New Monsoon as torchbearers for rock & roll with something substantive to say about the human condition. Made of sturdy muscle & heart, they stretch rock in the same winning ways as Traffic and Little Feat, where great skill, undisguised passion, and well-weathered soul combine for nourishment for folks who seek music that’s more than mere entertainment.”
– Dennis Cook (Dirty Impound/JamBase)
New Monsoon has shared the stage with heavyweight guests Mike Stern, the late, great Martin Fierro (Zero, Legion of Mary), Steve Kimock, and Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), to name a few. They’ve toured with String Cheese Incident, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Umphrey’s McGee (Big Summer Classic Tour), supported Moe, The Wailers, etc. and are a featured headliner in venues such as the Fillmore (SF), Gothic Theater (Denver), and the Warehouse (Houston). They are also a perennial favorite of the festival circuit including marquee festivals like Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Langerado, High Sierra, Telluride Bluegrass, Austin City Limits and many others.
The band’s quality associations continue with their recorded output. 2007’s V was produced by Grateful Dead engineer John Cutler, and 2005’s The Sound was helmed by original Santana percussionist Michael Shrieve and Paul Kimble (Grant Lee Buffalo, Luna).
“They have a collective power that comes off as a real unified force on stage. It’s not just a band, you know? It’s something transcendental.”
– Michael Shrieve (original drummer, Santana)
Miller and Ferlino have also formed a supergroup collective, The Contribution, along with Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth) Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident) Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra) and Sheryl Renee (Black Swan Singers). SCI Fidelity Records released Which Way World, The Contribution’s inaugural album, in 2010. Miller released his first solo album, Ancient Wisdom, in 2011. Carper performs as a solo act and as half of the duo, Bo & Lebo, with Dan Lebowitz of ALO.