http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/newmonsoon/new-monsoon-time-wont-wait Just 7 DAYS to GO on the New Monsoon Kickstarter campaign! We are so thankful for everyone who has contributed thus far... if you still want to contribute, there are alot of great rewards left...this is a rare opportunity for us and we want to knock it out of the park! Anything we make over goal goes to further promotion for the new album and tour support... we need it!
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR NM IN SAN RAFAEL SATURDAY 4/16/2011 http://murphyproductions.inticketing.com/events2/140399/-New-Monsoon-with-James-Nash--The-Nomads-opening-
Lib at Large: New Monsoon's balancing act -- jamming and fatherhood
By Paul Liberatore Marin Independent Journal
Posted: 04/15/2011 06:21:00 AM PDT
WHEN I REVIEWED the "New Monsoon Live" CD a while back, I called the group one of the best jam bands to come out of Marin County. And I meant it.
The problem was, if you wanted to hear them live, which is the way to hear improvisational rock, you had to put on your traveling shoes. Now a quintet, New Monsoon came together in Bolinas during the El Niño storms of 1997, when every day brought a new monsoon, and the name of their band. But they've been road warriors for the past decade (their live CD, for instance, was recorded in Texas).
That's why the April 16 show at the Palm Ballroom in San Rafael is something of an event, a one-off chance to catch them on their home court in a venue they've never played before.
Lead guitarist Jeff Miller, who lives in Forest Knolls, couldn't remember the last time the band played here.
"We're excited about the Palm gig because we haven't played that room yet," he said. "For me, it's fantastic, because it's right in my backyard."
For this show, the band will be breaking in a new drummer, Michael Pinkham, who lives in Bolinas and has experience with the San Francisco Mime Troupe and various Afro-beat groups.
On the jam band circuit with String Cheese Incident, Umphrey's McGee, Keller Williams, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Tea Leaf Green and all the rest, New Monsoon made a name for itself with Grateful Dead-inspired improvisation, pipe organ vocal harmony and an ability to blend diverse styles — rock, jazz, blues, world music, acoustic folk, you name it. In 2007, I described one of their songs as "a kind of raga-style rock accented by a didgeridoo."
To date, they've released five albums, all favorably reviewed, and have a cult of fans who call themselves "storm chasers."
As time has gone on, though, the band's tabla player and percussionist left the group to settle down and raise families. And New Monsoon's touring schedule got trimmed in the past year or so when acoustic guitarist and banjo player Bo Carper tended to the duties of new fatherhood.
Carper, who gave the band its name when he worked at a residential home for troubled teenage boys in Bolinas in the '90s, has been busy with his 1½-year-old boy. He and his wife have just become parents again, this time with a baby girl.
"Bo's got his hands full," Miller chuckled.
And so does he. For a while, he had enough spare time to join a musical collective, the Contribution, with his Forest Knolls neighbor, New Monsoon keyboardist Phil Ferlino; Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth and Keith Moseley and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident.
But now Miller and his wife, Dani, have their first child, a baby boy named Skyler, who'll be a year old in May.
"We're trying not to miss a beat," he sighed. "But it's been a little tight on time for Bo and me."
Now well into its second decade, New Monsoon has evolved into a mature band balancing family life and the traveling lifestyle of full-time musicians.
Shaking off some rainy winter torpor, they have a rigorous touring schedule over the spring and summer, flying in for shows in the various markets where they have strong followings, including the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Colorado. They'll fill in with a number of regional concerts, including ones at home sweet home.
"Because we've had babies in the past year or so, we've had to pull ourselves back a little bit," Miller said. "But now we're ready to go out in the regions again and re-ignite our fan base. So there will be more opportunity for our local fans to see us. And we'll be playing Marin on a more regular basis."