Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Elusive Truth” Live in Denmark, 2000

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Hard to mess with Spirit Caravan in the year 2000. They were, by the time they hit Stengade in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the show from which this week’s Wino Wednesday clip comes, already past their landmark 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun, and moving toward their second outing, Elusive Truth, which would see release in 2001 on Tolotta Records as their final full-length prior to their disbanding in 2002. A short run, but one the repercussions of which continue to be felt today, and not just because the band — or two-thirds of the original lineup, anyway, with Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Dave Sherman joined by drummer Henry Vasquez in place of Gary Isom after an unceremonious falling out — but also because of the influence they had on the Maryland/D.C. heavy rock scene around them and the wider riff-loving sphere. The climate for heavy rock was different at that point, but even then, these dudes were prone to killing it.

We see that readily in the video below, in which, playing in front of their own banner, the trio of Wino, Sherman and Isom belt out what would become the title-track of Elusive Truth as well as “Powertime” from Jug Fulla Sun, with Wino plugging the new record before the former and Sherman shouting out the latter to oldschool metalheads, into Slayer, Venom, Mercyful Fate, and so on. I guess the song has some of that vibe, but with its lyrical theme of freedom and perseverance, it’s hardly as dark as anything Venom might put out there. Maybe Sherman was just feeling the elder metal and wanted to call it out. No further explanation would be required if that was the case.

Either way, the video captures Spirit Caravan (né Shine) at the arguable height of their run, and for that I’m happy to have it to check out. As always, I hope you enjoy:

Spirit Caravan, “Elusive Truth” and “Powertime” live in Copenhagen, Denmark, Nov. 22, 2000

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Live at Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, March 8, 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

When they first got back together last year, Spirit Caravan started off their first US tour in more than a decade at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. A more fitting setting would be hard to find. Baltimore, D.C., Virginia, the entire Doom Capitol region has been the center of Spirit Caravan‘s enduring influence, and for guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman and drummer Henry Vasquez, it was more or less a homecoming, or at very least as close as they were going to get on a touring circuit. Granted, they could’ve gone back to Wootton High School and done the show there, if they’d wanted.

The night after Baltimore, they were in Richmond, Virginia. Playing in front of their classic banner to an enthusiastic crowd who obviously well appreciated being there, they took on the venerable Strange Matter with due vitality and ran through a set full of staples, landmark riffs of “Sea Legs,” “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun,” “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” and “Dreamwheel” carrying their original rolling vibes both to those who were there the first time around and those who’d come aboard in the 12 years since the band’s original run ended in 2002, their reputation bolstered all the more by Sherman‘s subsequent work in Earthride and Wino‘s in The Hidden Hand and the reunited Saint Vitus. I wasn’t there to see it, but it looks in the video below like it was one hell of a time.

Whoever TubeVision is, they’ve been taping shows in and around Virginia for well over a decade. They were there at Strange Matter and captured the full Spirit Caravan set, a genuine moment of heavy rock history marking their return in a heavy rock climate no doubt more welcoming than there had been the first time around, and for that alone, I’d shake his/her hand if presented with the opportunity. Spirit Caravan headline at this year’s inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June with The Obsessed‘s Ed Gulli on drums (info here), filling in for Vasquez who’ll be on tour in Europe with Saint Vitus at the time, that band rejoined by original vocalist Scott Reagers.

Enjoy this full set and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, Live at Strange Matter, Richmond, VA, March 8, 2014

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The Obsessed’s Ed Gulli to Drum for Spirit Caravan at Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

spirit caravan

If you ever find yourself in need of some Maryland doom cred, being able to say something like, “I played on the self-titled The Obsessed record” is bound to help out. Of course, there are only three dudes who can actually make that claim, and drummer Ed Gulli is one of them. The other two are guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and bassist Mark Laue, but as news comes out that current Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez will be on tour with Saint Vitus at the time, it’s Gulli who’s stepping in alongside Wino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman to play in Spirit Caravan for their headlining set at the first Maryland Doom Fest this June.

Now, to hear War Injun drummer and fest-organizer JB Matson tell it, as he does below, Mark Laue will also be on hand helping Gulli run sound all weekend, so basically what you’ve got is the potential — not saying it’s happening, not saying anything’s been confirmed — for a scenario where self-titled era The Obsessed maybe gets on stage and does a song or two at some point either during Spirit Caravan‘s set or maybe after or who knows. Even if that doesn’t happen, having Gulli up there with Sherm and Wino is something pretty special, and it seems like a one-time thing exclusive at this point to the Maryland Doom Fest. Given just how much of a blueprint The Obsessed‘s The Obsessed has been for what’s followed in Maryland doom — second perhaps only to Pentagram in its influence — even just the potential of seeing that lineup together is noteworthy.

Here’s how JB put it, along with the fest’s schedule as previously announced:

maryland doom fest 2015

Henry will be on tour with Vitus so Ed Gulli will be drumming for Spirit Caravan at The Maryland Doom Fest and they will be playing multiple Obsessed songs from the purple album…..yes, The Obsessed Caravan.

Mark Laue (purple album bassist) will also be present at the fest as Ed Gulli will be the stage manager and Mark is also helping keep things rolling. You never know what could happen having all three members present at the same festival.

The Maryland Doom Fest 1
June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Caravan-Official/684094061621546
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

The Obsessed, The Obsessed (1990)

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Maryland Doom Fest 1: Nagato Added; Final Schedule Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

nagato (Photo by Rachel Ellen Morton)

It turns out Pull had to them-out (get it?) of the first-ever Maryland Doom Fest, but they’ve been replaced by reunited riffers Nagato, who got back together last year after a cessation of activity in 2012. Thick on vibe, they’ll add progressive atmospherics and gorgeous tone to the lineup of the fest, which takes place from June 26-28 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland. I’ve only been fortunate enough to see the four-piece once, at Stoner Hands of Doom XI in 2011 (review here), for which they also played on a Sunday, but that set left enough an impression that four years later I keep hoping I’ll hear some news about them putting out a record sooner or later.

They might get there. I know the members of Nagato are involved in a few other projects as well, so maybe their playing Maryland Doom Fest is enough for the moment. They’ve joined a killer lineup, for which the final schedule has just been announced.

And just so we have it all in one place, alphabetically, here’s the full lineup as of now (there are still a couple months to go, things can change) for the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest: Apostle of Solitude, Balam, Banned from H.E.L.L., Foehammer, Foghound, Into the Void, Iron Man, Lord, Mangog, Mind’s Eye, Nagato, Outside Truth, Primer Grey, Project Armageddon, Season of Arrows, Serpent Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Slaves B.C., Spirit Caravan, The Skull, Unorthodox, Valkyrie, Weed is Weed.

Poster by Audrey Mantel and running order follow, along with Nagato‘s return show last August:

md doom fest flyer

The Maryland Doom Fest 1

June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

Nagato, Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Aug. 23, 2014

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Live at Emissions from the Monolith II, May 2001

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

The last Emissions from the Monolith festival took place in 2007 in Austin, Texas, but the fest will always be associated with Youngstown, Ohio. A beaten, post-industrial burg off Route 80 on the other side of the Pennsylvania state line, there wasn’t much to see in Youngstown, and that was part of the point. Nestled deep in a street that, on any given day, someone might rob the deli down the block, the Nyabinghi itself was a mirror of dropped-out culture. Not the glorified kind, but the kind that actually didn’t give a fuck. From 2000 through 2006, Emissions from the Monolith was held at the Nyabinghi and its lineups looked an awful lot like the shape of heavy to come.

I only went to one. The last in Ohio, in 2006. A little band called Baroness opened one of the days and to date it’s the only US appearance Colour Haze have ever made. There was some blowup with SunnO))) that resulted in thrown monitors. To tell you the truth, there’s a lot of it I don’t remember. Apparently Orange Goblin and Scissorfight‘s tour took them out that way. Awesome. I remember seeing that in New York, but if I caught it at Emissions, it’s news to me. It was that kind of a thing. A blackout weekend every Memorial Day. There was very little fashionable about heavy rock and doom at the time, and barbecue sandwiches sold on the back patio. It’s hard to write about without glorifying it, but maybe it should be glorified. Probably not if we’re judging by standards of public safety. I remember handing one of my band’s demos to Greg Barratt, who owned the place and booked Emissions. He was polite enough.

Wino was a regular fixture at the fest, between Spirit Caravan in 2000 and 2001 and The Hidden Hand in 2003 and 2004. The year this week’s Wino Wednesday clip comes from is 2001. Spirit CaravanWino, bassist Dave Sherman, drummer Gary Isom — were joined on the bill by Warhorse, Bongzilla, Halfway to Gone, Weedeater, Witch Mountain, Disengage, Pale Divine, Tummler, Sherman‘s own Earthride and many others. I imagine it was a hell of a weekend. At the start of their set, Wino thanks Barratt for putting the thing on and says something about police activity the night before. That sounds about right.

Not sure who filmed it, but the audio is by Michael “Lucifer Burns” Lindenauer. Enjoy:

Spirit Caravan, Live at Emissions from the Monolith II, May 2001

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Live in Baltimore, July 22, 2000

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Spirit Caravan‘s reunion last year earned them no shortage of love on both their US and European tours, and while that will no doubt continue in 2015 as the band comes together to headline gigs like the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June (info here) along with The Skull. The prospect of new material looms pretty large when it comes to Spirit Caravan. Their most recent outing, such as it is, is the 2003 MeteorCity compilation The Last Embrace, which culled together the bulk of their discography from their early singles as Shine on through to their final recorded tracks. That was, however, 12 years ago, and we’re even further removed from Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. What would become a landmark in Maryland-style heavy will be 16 this year — old enough to drive in some states — and while Wino certainly showed with Saint Vitus‘ 2012 reunion album, Lillie: F-65, that such outings can produce righteous results, particularly with Vitus/Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez propelling them, it remains to be seen whether Spirit Caravan will even get to the point of writing new material.

And it was three years before Vitus got to that point as well, so even if they do, there’s no guarantee such a thing would happen in 2015 or even 2016. That’s not to say it can’t — Wino‘s certainly a prolific enough cat, and one imagines bassist Dave Sherman would be on board despite his commitments with Weed is Weed and Earthride — but I’d rather err on the side of caution and call it unlikely than expect it and not have it show up. Fortunately, there’s enough documentation of both Spirit Caravan‘s reunion tours and their original run to get by in the meantime. We turn to the latter for this week’s Wino Wednesday, and find the original Spirit Caravan trio — Wino on guitar/vocals, Sherman on bass and Gary Isom on drums — live on stage at The 8×10 in Baltimore, Maryland. We don’t get the full set, or at least it looks that way since they’re tuning at the end of the video as opposed to breaking down the backline, but it’s certainly enough time for them to get their point across in cuts like “Black Flower,” “Dreamwheel” and “Retroman.”

Enjoy:

Spirit Caravan, Live at The 8×10, Baltimore, Maryland, July 22, 2000

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Sea Legs” Live in Athens, 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Been doing a lot of 2014 wrap-up stuff this week, so it seemed only fair to include a Wino Wednesday post that included the biggest Wino news of 2014, i.e., the reunion with Spirit Caravan this past spring and summer. Wino, together with bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman (also Earthride and Weed is Weed) and drummer Henry Vasquez (also Saint Vitus and Blood of the Sun), the latter brought in for original member Gary Isom (also in Weed is Weed) after an apparent falling out during the rehearsal stage, hit the road in the US and Europe both for significant tours. The States was more than a month if I recall, and Europe included festival stops at Desertfest and more. The timing didn’t work for me to catch a show, but there’s always next year.

To that end, Spirit Caravan will headline next year’s inaugural Maryland Doom Fest along with The Skull and Apostle of Solitude. The three-day festival was announced last week and boasts the aforementioned as well as a slew from the Maryland doom scene and area surrounding including Iron Man, Valkyrie, Lord, Unorthodox and many others. That’s set for the end of June, the 26-28, just as the humidity is really settling over the Eastern Seaboard, so should be an excellent time. I’m hoping to be able to make the trip south for it, got it penciled into the calendar, so the chance to make up for missing Spirit Caravan in 2014 is something I’m relishing.

But, in the spirit of wrapping up this year — next Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, so this isn’t technically the last Wino Wednesday of 2014, but it’s close enough, so go with me on it — here’s Spirit Caravan performing “Sea Legs” from the classic 1999 album, Jug Fulla Sun earlier this year in Athens, Greece. The clip was filmed in July, and you can see all three members of the band, Wino, Sherman and Vasquez, on stage and kicking ass.

Enjoy:

Spirit Caravan, “Sea Legs” Live in Athens, Greece, July 4, 2014

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The Skull, Spirit Caravan, Apostle of Solitude and More Confirmed for Maryland Doom Fest 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There isn’t much more to the Maryland Doom Fest 2015 at this point than a list of bands, dates and a place, but that’s really all you need. In true Maryland doom style, no bullshit, no one-at-a-time teasers, just “here’s this awesome thing” and you can either show up or suck. The inaugural edition of the Frederick-based fest will take place at Cafe 611 and bring together a killer assemblage of acts, headlined by The Skull and Spirit Caravan and also boasting Apostle of Solitude and War Injun-offshoot Outside Truth.

To that point, while Maryland itself is well represented — Spirit CaravanOutside TruthIron ManWeed is WeedFoghoundMind’s EyePull, Daydreams with Nightmares, etc. — the festival’s reach is immediately wider, not only pulling in Lord and Valkyrie (the latter of whom should have a new album out by then, on Relapse) from nearby Virginia, but reaching up the Eastern Seaboard to nab Rhode Island’s Balam and into the Midwest for The Skull and Apostle of Solitude, who together supplied some of 2014’s best doom in their latest albums.  What’s consistent throughout the lineup is the spirit of doom. There’s some variety around sludge, stoner, heavy rock and so on, but it’s a riffer’s delight front to back and it looks like it’ll be one worth traveling to see.

I’m not sure if more bands are being added, but presumably there will be a change here and there one way or another — June 26-28 is a long time away — and if I hear anything, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s the poster and lineup for the first Maryland Doom Fest:

maryland doom fest 2015

The Skull
Spirit Caravan
Apostle of Solitude
Outside Truth
Unorthodox
Iron Man
Valkyrie
Weed is Weed
Balam
Project Armageddon
Foghound
Pull
Mind’s Eye
Slaves BC
Foehammer
Season of Arrows
Lord
Daydreams with Nightmares

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100
http://cafe611.com/

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