Having taken their name from Morpheus, the Greek god of Dreams, the ’90s
band Morphine pioneered a new type of music – “Low Rock” – that had fans
grooving worldwide. Seductive, sultry and intoxicating sounds flowed from their wildly
innovative lineup: a baritone saxophone, a 2-string slide bass and drums. It was their
unprecedented fusion of blues and jazz elements with alt-rock arrangements that gained
them critical acclaim and five studio albums in under a decade’s time.
Morphine burned bright and fast but their flame was snuffed out when front man, Mark
Sandman, passed away suddenly on stage in 1999. From those ashes have risen Vapors of
Morphine and they’re playing with a new fire. Following the internationally acclaimed
documentary, Morphine – Journey of Dreams (2014), this new act fully emerged. A mutual
passion for experimental & exotic music pervades Vapors of Morphine’s 2016 debut album,
“A New Low”, while their love for live performances continues to fuel thrilling tours across
Europe, Russia and South America.
Original Morphine members Dana Colley (baritone sax) & Jerome Deupree
(drums) formed Vapors of Morphine with transplanted New Orleans’ blues
guitarist – vocalist, Jeremy Lyons. In 2019, upon Jerome’s departure, Boston
area drummer, Tom Arey, joined the band. They continue to seduce audiences with
dreamy soundscapes, applying inventive arrangements to the unique instrumentation of
electric baritone saxophone (evocative of Jimi Hendrix’ guitar), the Sandman-style 2string
slide bass or electric guitar and mad jazz-rock drums.
A typical Vapors of Morphine show encompasses the noire-tinged Beat generation
influences of the Morphine era sound; in one evening, you’d likely hear Morphine originals,
Delta blues, heady African beats and the psychedelic jams that keep their audiences
These ethereal soundscapes are an incense offering to Morpheus, the Greek
God of Dreams who was Sandman’s muse: “…we were dreaming, Morpheus
came into our dreams…and we woke up and started this band.” – Mark
Solid Bronze is the brainchild of two New Jersey musicians, Ian Everett and George Miller. The band began solely as a recording project as the two had bonded over their love for deep soul and funk music and were looking to tap in to a new sound. They wrote songs as a rhythm section, Miller on drums and Everett on bass or guitar. Friend, musician and songwriter Chris Harford was called in and took a producer’s role, leading to the recording sessions that took place over the next year at Mickey Melchiondo’s (Dean Ween of Ween fame) studio.
Their debut album “The Fruit Basket” is the result of a year of recording and mixing in and out Deaner’s studio. Guests such as Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton (Parliament/Funkadelic), Dana Colley (Morphine), Glenn McClelland (Ween), to name a few, were called in to the sessions to beef up the vibe. With clear influences from heavy soul and funk, out-there jazz & loud and swirling psychedelia to less obvious interests like reggae, library and exotica & hip hop, their music takes on different personas while still keeping its own identity.
The live band is comprised of Tommy Heutmaker on guitar, Mark Gallagher on baritone saxophone and Kerrin Pantelakis on vocals & percussion, with Miller on the drum set and Everett on bass guitar. They’ve been locking in and are making a name for themselves on the stage as they continue to play out supporting “The Fruit Basket”.