Buy This Release
- Song for Marie
- Copper Mine
- Neon Block
- Water Vein
- Other Side
- Rattlesnake Ride
- White Sky Rain
Lean and mean, San Francisco’s rock quintet, New Monsoon, has been transforming audiences across the country into dedicated fans with a relentless touring schedule. Their exhilarating marriage of acoustic and electric instruments comes together in an irresistible blend of sophisticated songcraft, inventive musical exploration and down home rock-n-roll.
In January 2007, New Monsoon sold out the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, and continued to play to huge crowds all over the country. In the summer of 2007, the band released their fifth album, titled New Monsoon V, which was co-produced with John Cutler, best known for his time with The Grateful Dead, which includes work as a recording engineer, Front of House sound engineer, and co-producing the platinum selling Grateful Dead album In the Dark, as well as Without a Net, and the Jerry Garcia Band’s How Sweet It Is.
Bo Carper – acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals
Phil Ferlino – piano, organ, keyboards, vocals
Ron Johnson – electric bass
Jeff Miller – electric guitar, vocals
Marty Ylitalo – drums
Recorded at Laughing Tiger Studios
Produced by New Monsoon and John Cutler
The press wrote.
The music on V is great with each track telling a different story in its own way. NM has a great sound that differs from other jam bands that are out there now. I’ve seen them once live and it would be great to see them again. All the spirit this band has on stage comes alive on this CD. There isn’t one song I don’t like on this disc and that my friend is a rarity. I’m bringing this CD out on my next road trip: Bonnaroo.”
With their latest release, V, yet another slightly modified incarnation of New Monsoon have asserted themselves as a tight, focused rock machine that jams with purpose and intensity. There’s no aimless noodling going on here, no heady organic electronic jams either. New Monsoon is certainly comfortable taking a song out around the woodshed and back, but they do it in such a way that keeps things moving forward, never stagnating, never lingering too long before blasting into the next leg of the journey.
The smooth and buttery stoned funk of the opening “Greenhouse” sets the tone of the album, essentially letting you know “We’re here to drive all over the musical map, and we’ll have a blast doing it.” With “Song For Marie” you really get the feel this tune is probably a heavy hitter in New Monsoon’s live arsenal. On songs like this it seems they have mastered the essential
jam-rock heavyweight art of crafting hope-filled beautiful songs that
simultaneously rock your socks off and lull you into a hazy dreamlike
feeling of security and warmth.
The gritty and twangy urgency of “Copper Mine” slowly grows stronger and
stronger until the tune reaches flat out rocker status. “Neon Block” starts
off with a few bars reminiscent of Keller Williams’ “Callalou and Red
Snapper” before finding its own bright yet sleepy island sound. In an
interesting juxtaposition, “Neon Block” is one of the more mellow tunes on
the album, yet lyrically it’s about a crazy city neighborhood, and all the
wild shit that goes down in such a place.
With this album one really starts to get the sense of New Monsoon’s musical maturity, as they showcase the incredible range and depth of their
songwriting, composition skills and vocal arrangements. If you don’t get the infectiously catchy chorus of “Water Vein” stuck in your head almost
instantly after first hearing it, you simply have no soul. Just accept it.
“The Other Side,” with its creeping funk, bouncing vocal cadence and soaring guitar work seems almost unfinished, giving the impression that this song is probably a great live jam vehicle.
The instrumental “Romp” lives up to it’s name, a lively bluegrass-inspired,
well… romp, with ripping banjo, guitar and piano solos. “Alaska” is an
incredibly impressive lyrical epic. Musically it doesn’t go to too many
crazy places, but it really doesn’t need to, as the story is where the
journey takes place. The lyrics tell of an outlaw who’s daughter grows up to
be a fiddle champ, and she is so loved by her fans that when Pops gets
locked up they rally together and bust him out.
With 10 tracks clocking in at around 60 minutes total, one thing that
immediately stands out on V is the fact that there isn’t a shred of filler
on the entire album. Every song is strong, masterfully crafted and could
hold its own against just about anything other jambands are doing right