Who Needs Trey?

We've Only Just Begun (SG Productions )

Sativa Gumbo

By David Lilly

You're in a convertible with Beverly D'Angelo. The top is down and you're cruising some highway out in the middle of nowhere, having a great time. Excellent driving music is playing. It gradually dawns on you that while the song reminds you of "Good Morning Starshine," it is not that song. You suddenly realize you're not in the film version of Hair and you're feeling just about good enough to be blown away by "Strong Winds." You're in a car, rec room, basement, bedroom, wherever, and you're listening to the debut CD of New Albany, Indiana's Sativa Gumbo. This jamming and progressive band consists of bassist Jared Williamson, guitarist Tommy Potts, keysmaster Ryan Pickhardt, and Shawn "I'm Not the Manager" Williams on skins.

As "The Gorge" begins, you might think of "Tempted," by Squeeze, but that suspicious organ tells you otherwise. These guys change tempos and styles on a dime and this song runs through a few different sections, a couple of which get repeated. Sometimes they pause somewhere (anywhere?) during a song and just when you wonder what's next, they pick up where they left off and keep going, maybe sticking to the basic song but with some sort of twist.

Of course, not all of the songs are so multifaceted. "Preacher's Son" has fewer tricks up its sleeve and but is uplifting. Let it play, let it flow over you and see if you can keep from smiling. It's like a dose of musical sunshine.

Sound confusing? Don't try to understand. It works and it's fun. This is an outstanding debut CD. And remember, it is a recording of the band playing live, which they ought to be doing more often. There's more info at