By Nicole Fitzgerald
Who: New Monsoon
When: Saturday, Feb. 10
Sitting back to listen to New Monsoon’s latest album, The Sound , is like hanging out in a world market where wafts of Indian tunings, old world mandolin and American rock ’n’ roll ebb and flow in a colourful display of interest.
Latin, Brazilian and Indian percussion, drum set, didgeridoo, electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and keyboards all unite in one global-spinning torrent of sound the San Francisco band has become famous for.
“We are doing what happens to come naturally,” said Bo Carper, band founder, drummer and percussionist. “It just happens we seemingly have a crazy mix of stuff…. With seven guys and all those instruments, you would think we might have a wall of inarticulate sound, but people come away having experienced all these different textures. It doesn’t come off as music cinema or pretentious. Analysis fades away to an organic experience of being moved by the music…. It’s not an ethnic music ecology experiment. It comes more organically out of live performances.”
Tune into New Monsoon’s edgy world rock Saturday, Feb. 10 at Dusty’s.
Two thousand and six has been a busy year for New Monsoon with the eight-piece band recently acquiring bassist Ron Johnson of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. The San Fran band also continues a rigorous touring schedule with performance highlights including the Wakarusa Festival, Michael Franti’s Power to the Peaceful and Austin City Limits Festival.
The New Year is looking even better with the band performing three sets on board the legendary Jam Cruise with both guitarist Steve Kimock and percussionist Jason Hess of String Cheese Incident fame joining the show.
A New Monsoon show carries a distinctly rock ’n’ roll sound influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. While at the same time, the progressive use of melody and rhythm winds its way around the rock core with underlying notes in Latin, Brazilian and Indian musical styles.
The band is traveling further away from their world-beat roots, however, seeking to achieve a more multi-facetted rock ’n’ roll, most notably illustrated in The Sound . Vocals for the first time also shape the New Monsoon experience on the album.
“We wanted to make a record that was a little heavier,” Carper said. “The album is designed to chronicle subjects ranging from life on the road to socio-political perspectives about our world and experiences.”
High-energy, freewheeling improvisations and formidable songwriting skills to artful arrangements are what these musical explorers are all about.
Tickets are $16 and available at ticketmaster.ca.