The freewheeling creative conspiracy known as the Flying Other Brothers, dedicated to breathing anarchy, energy, enthusiasm and fun into modern music, are at it again, with a new collection of original tunes on their latest studio CD, "San Francisco Sounds." From the smoldering wreckage of the San Francisco dot-com economy, the band has emerged as modern-day Merry Pranksters, conjuring up an intoxicating blend of neo-psychedelic music and seamless ensemble jamming, with a large repertoire of original tunes, classic covers, and a healthy sense of humor.
Roger McNamee, a "survivor of Silicon Valley" according to the San Francisco Chronicle, leads an ensemble with a broad musical palette. The band features keyboardist Pete Sears (Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, John Lee Hooker, Steve Kimock, Jerry Garcia), pedal steel and lead guitarist Barry Sless (David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz, The Rowan Brothers (Peter, Lorin & Chris) and drummer Jimmy Sanchez (Dr. John, Roy Rogers, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Tom Waits, Boz Scaggs). McNamee plays rhythm guitar, along with Ann McNamee on percussion, Bill Bennett on bass guitar, TBone Tony Bove on harmonica, and Bert Keely on guitar, all of whom contribute vocals and original songs. The band has played with ex-Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Billy Kreutzmann, as well as Hot Tuna founders Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, rock legend Country Joe McDonald, and Sat. Night Live bandleader and guitarist G.E. Smith.
Founded in 1997, the Flying Other Brothers devote considerable time to performing benefit concerts for groups as diverse as SEVA, Camp Winnarainbow, the Stanford Children's Hospital, the Rex Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The band's signature tie-dye T-shirts are in evidence at rock shows and laundromats throughout the West. Its groundbreaking Pay It Forward program- in which the band provides free live concert CDs to fans who promise to make copies for their friends -has spread recordings of shows to thousands of fans across four continents.
2005's "San Francisco Sounds" follows a very successful year for the FOBs: In May 2004, they were joined at a San Francisco performance by The Dead's Bob Weir and Warren Haynes for a set of Grateful Dead classics to benefit ex-Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden, and in September they were asked by Weir and Mickey Hart to back them up at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. As the Presidential campaign peaked, the band's single of "Dubya" received substantial non-commercial airplay, and even broke through on a few commercial stations (yes, in blue states!). Last year they toured with Leftover Salmon as well as sharing concert bills with Little Feat and the Steve Kimock Band. With a rising tide of appreciative critical response to their live concerts, the Flying Other Brothers continue to build momentum.
"San Francisco Sounds" takes the Flying Other Brothers into high orbit. This studio album delivers the instrumental brilliance and huge fun for which the Flying Other Brothers' live shows are renowned. The CD includes the most popular songs from the band's live set, including Nick of Time, Devil's Kitchen, Blip in the Life, Spillin' the Blues, and Wise Man in the Desert. The album is also laced with the instrumental jams, harmony vocals, and political satire that are the band's trademark. "San Francisco Sounds" is an enhanced CD. In any web-enabled Mac or PC, this CD provides exclusive access to free music downloads, lyrics, and other fun stuff.