As most of you have probably noticed, SC&S has had the great fortune of gaining a new member: drummer/percussionist Chris Sies. He’s awesomely talented, a super cool guy, and generally worthy of everyone’s worship. Sam first met Mr. Sies while producing ska boundary-pushers Stacked Like Pancakes’ debut album, “We’re Not Insane” (Chris was SLP’s drummer), and the two quickly formed a mutual admiration society born from conversations about interesting sounds and a love of Wilco drummer and solo performer Glenn Kotche. Sam and Chris formed the experimental/instrumental duo Archisms and released an EP under that name in August 2011. Chris went back to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for the fall of that year, and Sam went back to focusing solely on the Sleepwalkers, but the two managed to reconvene and record and release a double single on New Year’s Eve.
When Brett Abelman announced his intentions to leave SC&S in spring 2012, Sam had only one drummer in mind to fill the emptied spot. Although he was still in Michigan, arrangements were made for Chris (now no longer in SLP) to come and rehearse/”jam” (ugh) with the Sleepwalkers. Throughout the early summer he played with the band, debuting publicly onstage as part with SC&S at IOTA in Virginia July 6th, and formally accepting the offered position that same night.
But, unfortunately, nothing can be that simple in Sleepwalkers land. Chris is still working towards finishing his music degree from the University of Michigan in December, and is generally a very in-demand man. This means that he will be, for the majority of his first official 6 months as a Sleepwalker, located nearly 500 miles from the rest of the band.
During that time, SC&S will be carrying on the best we can without him. For most upcoming shows, we’ll be playing with fill-in drummers, including Brett. We’ll keep in close contact with Chris in order to make the best use of any time he might have back in Maryland during the fall, and to formulate plans for after his graduation.
Anyhow, we just thought that the whole story deserved to be shared so that the somewhat strange situation of the upcoming months could make a little more sense. Everybody, please help us in welcoming Mr. Chris Sies into the fold. We are overjoyed at his enthusiasm and commitment, not to mention his pure, raw talent.
We have a few shows lined up for the summer, with maybe a few more on the way. Check out the SHOWS page for more info! See you there.
NEW TYPEWRITER MOON EP is officially being released on June 19th. It's been a long time in coming, and we hope/think you'll really enjoy it.
Drummer/percussionist Brett Abelman is leaving Sam Cooper & The Sleepwalkers.
We’ve had member additions and subtractions before, and have announced them economically and professionally and moved on, but this change seems to merit a longer post. Brett has been playing with Sam since early 2007—that’s five years of ups, downs, rebrandings, reconnoiterings, lineup overhauls, bad gigs, great gigs, exploration, recording, and musical friendship. His contributions to SC&S (and its predecessor, Grasshopper) were numerous and invaluable.
Brett has decided to follow a path in theater more seriously; he is a talented playwright and actor and has been active in the DC theater scene for some time now (two of his plays have been produced as part of DC Fringe Festival), and I hope you join us in wishing him nothing but success and happiness in these endeavors.
This parting is completely amicable; Brett informed us of his intentions a couple weeks ago, and we are still working together with him to play some great shows and release a long-overdue EP that will be Brett’s last with the band. We are grateful for the time he put in, and sorry to see him go, but very excited to see him so actively pursue his passion.
As for SC&S, we’ll be bringing on a new member to fill the drum throne that Brett leaves empty, writing lots of new material, recording here and there, and rocking on a stage near you!
We're now planning a whole TOUR around our upcoming performance at SXSW Festival in Austin, TX! We'll have all dates and venues locked down really soon, so stay tuned.
Jonesin' for some new SC&S music? Your craving is going to be satisfied in a big way very soon...
That's it for now. But there will be lots more to say in the very near future!
P.S. Happy Very Belated New Year!
We're still alive, and getting alive-r!
SC&S is playing South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, in March! We'll be part of the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie / In.gredients Unoffical SWSX Showcase! We are so excited, and will share more news with you as we have news to share.
We just played a show at Axum's Level X Lounge in Washington, DC, which was special for two reasons: one, it was John Middleton's triumphant return to the stage with SC&S! and two, it featured Chicagoan multi-instrumentalist Patrick Burke, who added pedal steel, mandolin, and another guitar to the band's live sound.
It was a great show, and definitely a re-energizer. Hopefully we can use this energy to do more and more awesome and fun things.
As always, stay tuned!
As many of you may have heard by now, John "Mr. Guitar" Middleton has had to take some time off from the band because of some health issues. Hopefully he'll be back in the fold real soon! Everybody send him good vibes.
Anywho, we're chugging along the best we can without him, practicing and writing and recording. Also, we're looking for a multi-instrumentalist (guitar and keys). Inquire within.
For those of you who thought the opportunity to see Sam Cooper play in a ska band would arise only in some alternate universe, start eating your words (thoughts?) !
This Friday, the 12th, Sam will be joining ska up-and-comers Stacked Like Pancakes onstage for their CD release show at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD.
As many of you know, Sam produced said CD, and provided some additional instrumentation on the recordings. On Friday, he'll be replicating those parts, as well as adding to the band's already monstrously huge sound and stage presence (without him, SLP is nine members strong!).
Anyhow, come to Recher Theatre on Friday to see SC bust out some crazy guitar, keyboard, and percussion parts with a group of seriously talented musicians. Who knows if you'll ever get to see something like this again?
Our show at Rock N Roll Hotel went fantastically. Many thanks to Petticoat Tea Room for having us, as well as the whole venue staff, but especially Dennis the Sound Guy and Brian the Bartender.
Anyhow, we have no shows on the immediate horizon, so we'll be taking some time to practice and record and generally do what we do.
That doesn't mean there's any excuse not to check up on us in the coming days and weeks; there are some exciting things on the horizon, and soon-to-come-to-fruition plans galore. Plus, there will surely be some shows coming our way.
Stay tuned, Sleepyheads.