GTC DEEP CUT: THE DISGRUNTLED SHERPA PROJECT
by Walter Price
The art of a finely crafted story song is the cat’s meow, to me anyway. Mellencamp, Springsteen, Afgan Whigs, Cash, and the like all have tracks that have stuck with me over the decades. And if you add a bit of smokey beer-stained chaotic barroom vibes in the mix, all the better.
Take The Disgruntled Sherpa Project’s 2015 hidden-in-plain-sight track “Strip Mall Bar Band Blues”. The band aptly sets the tone, if you will, for the song via their Bandcamp page, “Every struggling band’s worse nightmare summed up in song. Also, every bar patron’s worst nightmare summed up in song. A true story taking place in the state of Delaware.”
And the scene is an all too familiar one. Local patrons hit up the neighborhood dive to blow off a hard week’s worth of labored steam only to be disenchanted by the booked entertainment. “I want to hear some tunes from when I was in school/ Any other night you know we’d be shooting pool/ The songs they play are much too loud/ Don’t they know this is an older crowd?…”Ah, the beauty of forging your art in an unforgiving setting. If you’ve ever hit a small stage, you know the feeling all too well.
“Strip Mall Bar Band Blues” is taken from the 13-track interestingly instrumented barn burner of a set ‘Blessed Geography‘. Raw, plot-heavy tracks that’ll take you on many an episodic journey. And well worth a stream or two. To get you started, take this deep cut for a spin, here at the GTC.
The Disgruntled Sherpa Project Strip Mall Bar Band Blues
Band photo, artwork, and quotes via Bandcamp
Joe Boylan – rhythm and lead guitars in left speaker; ukulele; vocals
Walt Mamaluy – bass; vocals
Reginald DeJesus – lead guitar and rhythm guitars in right speaker
John Vasudevan – drums, percussion
Matt Jules Rhine – piano; keyboards; trumpet; French horn; vocals.
Betsy Colgan – vocals on Winnipeg, Yellowknife, So, Most Likely, and When Johnny Was a Crowe
Recorded September 2014 – March 2015 at Red Planet in Clifton Heights, PA
Recorded, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Joe Smiley at Red Planet
“Although not written as a theme album, it is a geographical journey that begins in the worn-torn jungles of Nicaragua and ends on a calm, warm midsummer’s night in North Wildwood, NJ with stops along the way in western Canada, suburban America, sunbaked Latin America, South Florida, rural Pennsylvania, Civil War era Virginia, Afghanistan, and the Midwest.” – bio