Sleepy Sun @ Casbah 7-25-10 Sleepy Sun @ Casbah 7-25-10

Sleepy Sun @ Casbah 7-25-10

Sleepy Sun @ Casbah 7-25-10
Photos by Big Ben

Open Eyes by Sleepy Sun

I’m on record saying the Casbah is one of my favorite places in the world to see a show; it is not however the place you expect to find yourself immersed in a psychedelic rock concert.  I’ve previously been escorted out for getting a little too familiar with a spliff, so I know firsthand it’s just not that kind of place. Lucky for us Sleepy Sun isn’t your typical psychedelic rock band.

It’s been 40 years since the California Bay Area was the epicenter for the counter culture movement of the sixties, and that flower power, child of the earth energy is still very much woven into their tapestry. The Bay’s beauty is in its contrast. On a summer day you’ll often be greeted by a lingering cold Pacific mist that dances with the wind to create a piercing bite. However it’s the earthy and open energies of its inhabitants that provide warmth on these days. Sleepy Sun has managed to capture the romance of the Bay within their sound.

Undeniably Sleepy Sun wears several of their influences on their collective sleeves. Harmonica and deliberately expansive guitar tones are reminiscent of Led Zepplin borrowing from Chicago Blues legends like Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. There’s a healthy dose of Otis Redding-esque Southern / Memphis soul incorporated into the music, invoked much in same way Janis Joplin used to. You’ll even find thicker sounds that seem like and amalgamation of King Crimson and Django Reinhardt.

There should be no questioning Sleepy Sun’s musical prowess. The critics of their newest album Fever point to a lack of differential from lesser bands that have many of the same influences. Those critics cursory evaluation makes me feel they listened to the album once and missed out on several layers and intricacies. Like any good psychedelic it comes on slow before it claims you for its own.

By the time Sleepy Sun got on stage at Casbah that Sunday night it was 5 minutes until Monday morning; no one seemed to care. They managed to keep the energy going through a 75 minute set that seemed like it ended right after it started. As the band prepares to travel to the east coast before doing an extensive set of dates in Europe the next time we see them may be on a much larger stage. Ultimately Sleepy Sun has the ability to bring the best parts of Northern California to the rest of the world.

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