Sam Arnold and the Secret Keepers — Listen to Your Mind
(Bandcamp no#, 2017, DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-30
The cover art is a nightmare vision of an insane god’s melding of various creatures into a single entity. I’m not exactly sure how this relates to the music, but Austin’s budding art and progressive rock community is small, the bands all know one another, mixing and matching talents to form new musical collectives. In this case, Sam Arnold from Opposite Day has a side project called Sam Arnold and The Secret Keepers assembling Andy Nolte on keyboards and backing vocals (Super Creeps, Zissou, and Mostly Dead), Leila Henley on woodwinds and vocals (Invincible Czars, Poon, Stop Motion Orchestra), Greg Yancey on bass and baritone guitar (Opposite Day), Dave Irish on drums and percussion (The Baffles), and Mohadev on electric guitar (Stop Motion Orchestra and Obnositicon) into a coherent unit. The music is complex, yet deceptively simple to hear, integrating Americana, Mid-Eastern themes, funk, jazz, Afro-pop, progressive rock, and a tab of psych. Leila’s outstanding woodwinds effortlessly intertwine with Sam’s and Mohadev’s guitar solos and Dave’s intricate drumming. Despite their surface simplicity, these twelve tracks are intelligently composed, orchestrated, and rehearsed, so much so that the entire band sounds relaxed. The entire album is great, with the tracks “The Captain Is Dead” and its 60s gothic western vibe and ethereal wordless vocals, and the pop-psych “Creatures Are Sleeping” really grabbing my attention. We at Exposé are doing our best to let the rest of the world know about the excellent music coming out of Austin, TX. Sam Arnold and The Secret Keepers, along with their other respective musical projects deserve a broader audience and recognition!
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more