SOB is available for purchase in The Shop
This project is one of my favorites, and I'm happy to be able to make it available again after so many years. Son O' Bop featured Dean Rosenthal (guitars & vocals), Jay Turner (bass), and me on a stripped down drum kit consisting of kick, snare, hi-hat, and the occasional tambourine, shaker, or other noisemaker in my right hand.
The band was originally put together by Dean to do a series of Monday night dates at Middleton's Tavern in Annapolis, MD in November 1992. We decided on the name because Dean's primary band at the time was called "Voo Doo Bop", and we did many of the same tunes with very stripped down arrangements. In fact, that was the premise of the band - stripped down, blues based groove music, with ample room to showcase Dean's voice and slide guitar.
I have to say I went through a few kit configurations before arriving at the one described above. I tried using a conga at one gig, but I've never been much of a conga player. I also recall taking a ride cymbal to the first gig, but it just didn't seem to fit. At any rate, it didn't take long for me to realize that I needed to get down to the very root of the groove in order for things to work, and the kit I ended up using helped me to do just that.
It also didn't take long for us to decide on recording this band - I believe it was at the 3rd or 4th gig. Our stay at Middleton's had been extended and people were asking if we had a record, so it seemed the logical thing to do. Within a few weeks of our inception, we were in the studio making this album.
The recordings were 99.9% live. The only overdubs I remember were Jay and I adding backing voices to "I Believe To My Soul", and there may have been a guitar overdub on one of Dean's originals. Everything else was live, just as you would've heard us at Middleton's. And there weren't multiple takes of everything either. We set-up, played the songs, and that was it.
CD reproduction was far more expensive then than it is today, so we released the album on cassette. I mastered the mixes to sound as good as they possibly could in that format, and I have to say that the cassettes sounded better than most major label cassette productions of the day. Jay did the cover design and Dean took the photos. It was a truly collaborative effort - and a lot of fun!
Son O Bop became one of the busiest bands I was in at the time, and I think it was that way for Dean and Jay, too. We did several steady gigs in and around Annapolis, including the infamous Sunday night jam sessions at the Acme Bar and Grill. I stayed on the band for nearly 4 years. During this period, I also worked with Danny Gatton, Paul Reed Smith's "Dragons", the Rick Whitehead Trio, and Nils Lofgren. After my tenure ended, the band continued on, with the drum chair being handled by the great Andy Hamburger and the legendary Roy Dunshee (AKA Floyd La Truth).
The CD release has been remastered from the original recordings, restoring the frequency response that had to be reduced for cassette duplication.