EM Drew’s latest release, Bohemian Blues, is an eclectic collection of Jazzy Blues with a touch of Folk and Country. This band creates songs with subtle original rhythms reminiscent of albums such as; Savoy Brown, Raw Sienna; Buffalo Springfield, Retrospective; and the Grateful Dead. EM Drew creates their sound with weekly practice jams that reflect participating musicians’ mood at the time. Each song’s style evolves though the weeks and the months, until we finally pick a session recording. We polish it up a little in George’s Kitchen Studio and the sweltering Hot Box Studio. Then we sort through our latest stash of songs, working together to select the ‘chosen ones’. Using minimal effects and very little dynamics we try to keep the sound alive, not metalized. Here are 14 songs we have created for you. Please read on for the song descriptions and band history.
The Bohemian Blues CD Songs:
The first song, Twirl Jam, reminisces about Grateful Dead concerts and the dancers who would ring the top of the grassy hill at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Adam & Eve Blues is the eternal story of Love; when we feeling a bit little foolish and sometimes downright nasty we still keep coming back for more. Two Blind Mice is a modern fairy tale of the Brothers Grimm tradition. The tale includes: the title characters, Little Boy Blue, a guitar playing Cat, and cloned sheep for Little Bow Peep.
The next song, 1000 Souls, is a simple allegory of the human struggle for identity. Next, we stray into a philosophical blues number with a slight country twist on the Chicago Blues sound, Lowdown Blues. The quest for avoiding disagreeable people and sticking by those we love is illustrated by Cancer Heart. At this point in the CD we choose to place a mellow country love song with hints of reality, Morning Sunshine. The next two up-tempo songs have a similar style; Hound Dog Blues, a song of love, betrayal, and the essential hounddog, and Long Hauling Baby; every truckers dream.
Some people just can’t deal with everyday life in this world. This song was something new we wanted to try, kind of neo-folk rap song. The song, Shooter, deals with those people who need to lose themselves anyway possible. The next song is a tasty little Pink Floydish tune, Morning Blues; that eternal quest of getting out of bed, a common ailment among many of us. However, once we’re “up, out, and about”, we can seek to enjoy the day with the song, Sunshine Blues, the next track.
As the years roll on, the days tend to crawl by and then they begin to seem the same; up and down, round and round; just like the Merry-Go-Round Blues; this song features a hard driving beat and dual guitars. We had a little help from George’s friend, Dave Branagan. Dave has stopped by a few times to jam, and by strange coincidence many of those tracks (5, 8, 9, and 13) ended up on the Bohemian Blues CD. Last, but not least, we saved a jazzy little blues number, Vegas Blues. This enjoyable song features some great vocals, harmonica, bass, and most especially, a lead guitar to help tell the tale. Tom really puts on a show for this one! Very tasteful, not loud or crunchy, just pure and simple, good old fashioned smooooth guitar.
The EM Drew band:
George grew up in Czechoslovakia where he attended four years at the music conservatorium. He enjoyed working in a recording studio for FISYO (The Czech Symphony Orchestra) and playing with local bands. But George wanted something more—like…Freedom! Then an opportunity presented itself and he was able to escape the communist government and come to America (he still says “I was Lucky, Lucky, Lucky!”) At the end of a long journey he landed for a short time in Oklahoma. Slightly dismayed at the flat, dusty, and deserted point of entry into the USA, he eventually found his way to the San Francisco Bay Area where he has played continuously in many, many bands and clubs (Car4, Organized Time, etc…) He plays Guitar, Bass, piano, and writes songs. He is also a painter and he has created many beautiful paintings and pen&ink drawings (two of which grace the front and inside cover of our Bohemian Blues CD.) He has been offered opportunities to exhibit his art but prefers to keep it as a “hobby”.
Mike grew up in a large musical family where it was commonplace to have violin, piano, guitars, and everyone singing at gatherings. Songs included old standards, folk & protest, and even original songs. Mike has been writing poetry since high school where he had 14 poems published. He sings, writes songs, and plays rhythm guitar. He met Erick many years ago and they founded ELM (With Lynn Douglas) then EM DREW (with a few other collaborations throughout the years.) They have been playing music together ever since. [Thanks to Erick’s wife Bonnie for encouraging (and letting) him play music on almost every Saturday night--She’s a keeper!] Erick’s dad was drummer in a Jazz band, but he learned to play Harmonica in a band with his brothers. He’s played with various bands through the years; Steel Head, Jawbone, Mickey Montana & the Gilroy All-Stars, etc… He sings, writes songs, and plays harmonica, piano, and percussion.
Tom and Mike’s families have been acquainted for many years and the two of them started playing music together occasionally. They began with cover tunes and practicing with various other musicians (including Erick.) At one point, Tom took a “sabbatical” to become a member of The Mighty Couch Potatoes Band. Some time later, George joined EM Drew. When Tom returned, after he found the time to play in both bands, he recognized George—turns out they had played together many, many, years ago (at least 3 dogs ago, according to Tom and George’s memories.) It is indeed a small world! Tom has had some of the best dogs around, not really pets, they’re too smart—they are really like part of the gang--just like Andy, Erick’s Dingo. One of Tom’s current dogs is a Ridgeback/Dobie named Augie and he is more human than a lot of people. Well... anyway, musically Tom has been playing guitar since birth and when he eventually found “Peggy”, his Peavey guitar, he knew she was the one. The two have been inseparable ever since.
...Oh yeah, and Tom writes songs too!
Thanks for checking out our story. I hope you enjoy our CD and all the Indie music on CDBABY.