Spindrift recently released their first studio CD of original material, called Who We Are. The San Francisco quartet is made up of Dave Olson on bass, Matt Lauer on acoustic guitar, Ned Patchett on electric guitar, and Mo Sardella on drums, with each band member contributing vocals to the mix. Special guests Phil Ferlino from New Monsoon adds tasteful keyboard textures to the first six tracks and Dave Walker plays banjo on the last song.

Spindrift's music is an interesting hybrid of bluegrass, reggae, and psychedelic rock and this album showcases all of these styles. The combination of Lauer's acoustic picking coupled with Patchett's more rock-oriented leads, backed up by the solid bass lines of Olson and Sardella's drumming, are a pleasure to hear.

The rocked-heavy title track "Who We Are," written by Patchett, extends into the 13-minute realm, from a reggae ballad into Grateful Dead-style jamminess and back. Two bluegrassy romps, the Lauer-penned "Underworld" and "Engineer," are reminiscent of String Cheese Incident, with "Underworld" extending into a long jammed out segment of psychedelic space. Showing the band's versatility, "Coming Home" is a southern rocker with an Allman Brothers influence and a catchy acoustic lead. The introspective "Someday Soon" again features a reggae beat over which Sardella sings, "Someday soon, we will find our way." Let's hope this wonderful new album from Spindrift helps them find their way to more notice from jam band fans and critics alike.

Susan J. Weiand
JamBase | California
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[Published on: 9/24/04]

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