Swami Lushbeard
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Swami Lushbeard

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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Mar
24
Swami Lushbeard @ Trip Bar- Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, California, USA

Santa Monica, California, USA

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Swami Lushbeard is Don Sprouls on guitars and vocals, Danny Kopel on keys, accordion and backing vocals, Andre Howie on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Ian Michaels on the drums. Residing in Los Angeles, Swami Lushbeard believes in creating good rock n’ roll music as well as always having a good time. “We needed a way to describe what we felt right at that moment… We needed someone or something to guide us and show us the way. An all-inclusive idea that would match our desire to master our inner-selves while looking cool doing it.” This quote from the band represents the birth of Swami Lushbeard and where the band plans to go with the project.

The band recently released their latest EP, titled A Burning Desire. This EP dropped in late March 2013 and includes three all-new tracks. The opening track, titled “Stay Lost,” is an alternative rock song that encourages the listener to tap his or her foot to the beat. With vocals that sound like those of your favorite alternative bands and a great guitarist soloing away, “Stay Lost” is the perfect introduction to Swami Lushbeard. The lyrics written by Sprouls include phrases like “Why’s it such a tragedy if I won’t look inside of me?” The meaning behind each lyric represents emotions that are commonly felt by the human race in today’s age.

In “My Best Thinking,” the soft sound promotes positive feelings and the listener’s actual best thinking. “Is this one more chance to finally grow some wings?” Lyrics like these encourage the listener to truly spread their own wings and make a change in their lives. One of the most distinctive traits of this track is the variety in sound; the beginning and the near-ending of the song sound nothing alike, adding a twist to the average alternative rock song.

The third and final track, titled “The Bottom,” makes a grand entrance within the first ten seconds. Being the longest track on the album, this is the song that will close your acquaintance with A Burning Desire. With a style that resembles that of Queen, “The Bottom” proves to be a versatile and ever-changing song. An earth-shattering guitar solo makes its way into the track almost suddenly and acts as the calm before the storm that soon closes the song.

Listening to Swami Lushbeard will only expand your musical horizons as this band does not stick to musical norms as many musicians seem to do today. Check out A Burning Desire to feel what these guys feel and to explore yourself as well. - Jordan Mafi


Swami Lushbeard is Don Sprouls on guitars and vocals, Danny Kopel on keys, accordion and backing vocals, Andre Howie on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Ian Michaels on the drums. Residing in Los Angeles, Swami Lushbeard believes in creating good rock n’ roll music as well as always having a good time. “We needed a way to describe what we felt right at that moment… We needed someone or something to guide us and show us the way. An all-inclusive idea that would match our desire to master our inner-selves while looking cool doing it.” This quote from the band represents the birth of Swami Lushbeard and where the band plans to go with the project.

The band recently released their latest EP, titled A Burning Desire. This EP dropped in late March 2013 and includes three all-new tracks. The opening track, titled “Stay Lost,” is an alternative rock song that encourages the listener to tap his or her foot to the beat. With vocals that sound like those of your favorite alternative bands and a great guitarist soloing away, “Stay Lost” is the perfect introduction to Swami Lushbeard. The lyrics written by Sprouls include phrases like “Why’s it such a tragedy if I won’t look inside of me?” The meaning behind each lyric represents emotions that are commonly felt by the human race in today’s age.

In “My Best Thinking,” the soft sound promotes positive feelings and the listener’s actual best thinking. “Is this one more chance to finally grow some wings?” Lyrics like these encourage the listener to truly spread their own wings and make a change in their lives. One of the most distinctive traits of this track is the variety in sound; the beginning and the near-ending of the song sound nothing alike, adding a twist to the average alternative rock song.

The third and final track, titled “The Bottom,” makes a grand entrance within the first ten seconds. Being the longest track on the album, this is the song that will close your acquaintance with A Burning Desire. With a style that resembles that of Queen, “The Bottom” proves to be a versatile and ever-changing song. An earth-shattering guitar solo makes its way into the track almost suddenly and acts as the calm before the storm that soon closes the song.

Listening to Swami Lushbeard will only expand your musical horizons as this band does not stick to musical norms as many musicians seem to do today. Check out A Burning Desire to feel what these guys feel and to explore yourself as well. - Jordan Mafi


Swami Lushbeard’s story began at an airplane mock-up facility in Los Angeles, transformed into a rehearsal space. A few friends with a desire to be a part of something much larger than themselves gathered to make music, and before any of them realized it, they had started a new journey.

The band says that: “There was the idea of not so much believing what we’ve seen, but in seeing what we believe. We were ready to commit art. We needed a way to describe what we felt right at that moment… We needed someone or something to guide us and show us the way. An all-inclusive idea that would match our desire to master our inner-selves while looking cool doing it.”

Thus Swami Lushbeard came to life, bringing together two of rock n roll’s most beloved and essential instruments, the piano and the guitar, which are featured throughout the band’s music. They have recently released their Ep “A Burning Desire” which contains 3 tracks namely, “Stay Lost”, ”My Best Thinking”, and the “The Bottom”.

The three songs work great together, almost like it’s a concept Ep, and reading the band’s synopsis on the creation of “A Burning Desire”, this is not too far from the truth, considering that Swami Lushbeard describes the songs on the Ep as taking “…a journey to the desert of the truth, the whole truth and nothing even remotely close to the truth.” Clearly alluding to their interrogatory statement; “In today’s world of instant messaging, ego massaging ergonomic success stories, the mundane is the divine! Is there anything we won’t share about? What about our truth?”, they ask.

Every track on this Ep bristles with energy and passion. They truly sound like a band on a mission. They don’t spout off empty sarcasm and arrogance, like many of their counterparts, but truly examine the collective psyche of society. What amazes me most about Swami Lushbeard is the fact that they do what they do, no matter what the trends in music are currently dictating. While the mainstream is desperately seeking out the next trendsetter, Swami Lushbeard keep busy making great rock and roll on their own terms.

The Ep kicks off with “Stay Lost”, a relentlessly catchy and to-the-point opener. “My Best Thinking” is a colorfully sprawling, mid-tempo, acoustic guitar arrangement. “The Bottom”is my favorite track on the Ep; it represents the band at their atmospheric best, and includes some oblique counterpoint breakdowns, that remind me of both the golden grunge era and classic 70’s rock.

All throughout the Ep, there are nasty grooves and killer playing from Don Sprouls on Guitar (and Vocals), Danny Kopel on Keyboards and Accordion, and Andre Howie on Bass. Ian Michaels on drums plays tasteful and innovative beats and fills, rather than hammering out the usual tasteless, powerhouse fodder.

Overall Swami Lushbeard is a powerfully strong unit and seem to have full control of their music, making everything sound really catchy and inspiring on “A Burning Desire”. Intelligent dynamic energy is on hand here, while the band has it’s finger on the pulse of what makes good rock n’ roll, and why it ever came into being in the first place. - R. Jamm - www.jamsphere.com


“A Burning Desire” begins with ‘Stay Lost’, featuring a strong verse, a marvelous intro, and a unique groove. This song sounds like something you’d hear on ’90s radio, with a unique, individualistic twist. The keys and moving bass line add fullness to the song, and the lead guitar lines are tasteful and don’t step over any of the other instrumentation. The guitar solo is especially a highlight, along with the contemplative lyrics in each chorus.

‘My Best Thinking’ follows with a great guitar intro that leads into a musically diverse and extremely theoretical composition. Swami Lushbeard uses challenging time signatures and dissonance to their advantage, while always seeming to resolve musically at the appropriate place and time. Everything fits and works so well together in this song, as none of the instruments fight against each other for the spotlight, and allow the vocals to shine through strong and clear.


The EP concludes with ‘The Bottom’, an ever-flowing number with stellar instrumentation.
Each track is mixed and produced very well and it is almost impossible to classify the music of Swami Lushbeard by genre. I heard many genres and eras in their material, making this EP a breath of fresh air in the world of over-produced, auto-tuned, computerized recordings. Nothing seems out of place on this EP, as everything is so different in the best way possible. Most bands that I review on this blog have issues in their recordings, whether that be poor musicianship, undeveloped songwriting, or bad production. None of these problems were found on this EP, which was extremely ambitious and lives up to the billing, going far above and beyond my expectations.

Swami Lushbeard makes their sound work so well as a group, and I know there are only positive adventures ahead for the band. “A Burning Desire” is highly recommended, displaying a soft rock edginess not found in other music, whether it be from today or yesterday - Tom Lohrmann www.tomlohrmannmusic.com


Music can be much more than just sound transferred to awaiting ears. When there is a meaning behind the music that a group puts together it can become much bigger than itself. Sometimes a band of talented musicians will have the same ideals in more than just music and great ideas can be hatched. This seems to be the situation with the fabulously named Swami Lushbeard.

The Los Angeles based 4-piece combine elements of classic rock with the diverse musical and geographic background of each of its members. Swami Lushbeard brings instrumentation not heard together much in today’s musical landscape. When you put together band members Don Sprouls (Philadelphia) on guitar and vocals, Danny Kopel (Los Angeles) on keys and accordion, Andre Howie (Virginia) on bass, and Ian Michaels (Chicago) on drums the mash up of styles creates something much bigger than the sum of its parts. This is a group of people ready to express their thoughts and make art.

The latest release by Swami Lushbeard is the 3-song EP “A Burning Desire”. The concept is about letting out the thoughts burning inside and being unafraid of the world and its consequences. The band says the record “takes a journey to the desert of the truth, the whole truth and nothing even remotely close to the truth.” The opening track ‘Stay Lost’ has that LA grime feel as it builds and builds. The musicianship is phenomenal especially the guitar and drum work throughout the song. On mellow and thought provoking ‘My Best Thinking’ the group slows it down slightly to let the listener enter into the bands mindset. This reviewer’s favorite track has to be the unique ‘The Bottom’. Beginning with an accordion and spooky sound it sucks you in and then turns to a 70’s style slick vocal play. Again the band members show off their skill with their instruments in creating something that can be truly appreciated throughout each part of the almost schizophrenic song. Great listening.

Go enter the world of Swami Lushbeard, you will not be disappointed. - Indie Band Guru


Based in Los Angeles but hailing from various parts of the country, Swami Lushbeard is comprised of Don Sprouls (Philadelphia) on vocals and guitar, Danny Kopel (L.A.) on keys and accordion, Andre Howie (Virginia) on bass, and Ian Michaels (Chicago) on drums. Coming from a variety of regions and backgrounds, this quartet has combined their backgrounds, influences and talents to create the album Who You Were? It begins with “Silver Bodycase” and Swami Lushbeard makes it evident that their sound is comprised of much piano and guitar. Don’s vocals are solid and his pleasing voice can bring to mind a young Bon Jovi.

“Another Reason” kicks off with a nice bass line from Andre and some screaming guitar work from Don. Danny on keys keeps right up and Ian on drums makes sure everything stays up-tempo and rocking. This track has an edgy feel to it and Don’s vocals are rugged at some parts and seductive in others. The overall sense this track gives is one of excellent collaboration amongst the band members. “Legion” is a slower piece with solid instrumentation throughout. The twangy guitar rhythm in the background is a great touch and there is a melancholy vibe to this one that will make it a listener favorite.

“Memories & Bills” is a lyrically sound piece that many people will be able to relate to. Don’s voice is reminiscent of Vinnie Dombroski of Sponge and his guitar solo is excellent. The rest of the band does not disappoint and this song cruises right along. “Broken Record” starts slowly with some exceptional acoustic guitar work with a western flair. Don’s vocals are perhaps the best we’ve heard so far and this is when the listener will truly appreciate his talent and that of the other gentlemen of Swami Lushbeard. With its catchy rhythm and intriguing lyrics, this will be a song that fans clamor to hear performed live.

Who You Were? continues with “Woman: Disassembled,” which really showcases the eccentric rhythm that this collective has mastered. It tends to feel slightly choppy from time to time, and not quite comfortable, but this is precisely why people will love it. It’s unique and Swami Lushbeard combines a plethora of sounds and rhythms into their own signature melody that is unmistakable. “Obligatory Pop Song” is exactly what it should be. Every album needs a pop song. This is it. And it’s just about perfect too. The band really comes together in this piece. Everything about this track is mired with talent and it simply sounds wonderful. The “Obligatory Pop Song” is what the fans will want to hear, and this should be the first single. It would also be a treat to see performed live. “Out of Soul” is another classic Swami Lushbeard track with eccentric and almost out of tune coordination, but not quite. There is so much going on in this piece that the listener may not be sure what to grasp first, but the overall effect is one of chaotic harmony and the lyrics carry a subtle sense of humor that should not go unnoticed. When the song slows down and Danny on keys takes over, this track goes from mediocre to exceptional. When Don shreds the guitar to hell and back, this track goes from exceptional to excellent. Some of the best instrumentation on the album is contained in this song. “K-Town” gives Ian on drums his chance to shine, and shine he does. This song starts off mellow and there is some great harmonizing going on in this one. This piece goes up, down and all around in the best Swami Lushbeard fashion and fans won’t know what to expect next.

“Jesus Christ Handle” has a fantastic guitar hook and the lyrics are intelligent and well written. The beat of this song is slightly smoother than other pieces. The vocals are the front-runner in this track, but the instrumentation is stellar too. “Turn Signal” may surprise listeners, as it is a bit off the usual Swami Lushbeard path. The guitar rhythm at the start is catchy and Don’s vocals are strong and confident. The piano kicks in and then this track takes off. The beat of this piece is more uplifting that most of the preceding tracks despite the deeper lyrics. We’ve already discovered that this band is an enigma and their music is a wonderful experience of orderly chaos. This piece is just one more original song on a whole album full of them. “Revolving Door” carries some of the best piano work yet and a beat that gets the feet tapping. This track is a crowd pleaser all the way. There isn’t so much going on in this piece that the listener’s head is in a whirl, and there is a perfect balance to this piece with regards to instrumentation, vocals and background noise. This is a cleaner sound that perhaps Swami Lushbeard should utilize more often. The album begins to close with “Innocent,” a soft piece with excellent guitar work, stellar piano playing, and a slick bass line accompanied nicely by the drums.

Who You Were? ends with “Wishful Thinking” and it’s a good choice for the closer. The lyrics are in - reviewyou.com


Based in Los Angeles but hailing from various parts of the country, Swami Lushbeard is comprised of Don Sprouls (Philadelphia) on vocals and guitar, Danny Kopel (L.A.) on keys and accordion, Andre Howie (Virginia) on bass, and Ian Michaels (Chicago) on drums. Coming from a variety of regions and backgrounds, this quartet has combined their backgrounds, influences and talents to create the album Who You Were? It begins with “Silver Bodycase” and Swami Lushbeard makes it evident that their sound is comprised of much piano and guitar. Don’s vocals are solid and his pleasing voice can bring to mind a young Bon Jovi.

“Another Reason” kicks off with a nice bass line from Andre and some screaming guitar work from Don. Danny on keys keeps right up and Ian on drums makes sure everything stays up-tempo and rocking. This track has an edgy feel to it and Don’s vocals are rugged at some parts and seductive in others. The overall sense this track gives is one of excellent collaboration amongst the band members. “Legion” is a slower piece with solid instrumentation throughout. The twangy guitar rhythm in the background is a great touch and there is a melancholy vibe to this one that will make it a listener favorite.

“Memories & Bills” is a lyrically sound piece that many people will be able to relate to. Don’s voice is reminiscent of Vinnie Dombroski of Sponge and his guitar solo is excellent. The rest of the band does not disappoint and this song cruises right along. “Broken Record” starts slowly with some exceptional acoustic guitar work with a western flair. Don’s vocals are perhaps the best we’ve heard so far and this is when the listener will truly appreciate his talent and that of the other gentlemen of Swami Lushbeard. With its catchy rhythm and intriguing lyrics, this will be a song that fans clamor to hear performed live.

Who You Were? continues with “Woman: Disassembled,” which really showcases the eccentric rhythm that this collective has mastered. It tends to feel slightly choppy from time to time, and not quite comfortable, but this is precisely why people will love it. It’s unique and Swami Lushbeard combines a plethora of sounds and rhythms into their own signature melody that is unmistakable. “Obligatory Pop Song” is exactly what it should be. Every album needs a pop song. This is it. And it’s just about perfect too. The band really comes together in this piece. Everything about this track is mired with talent and it simply sounds wonderful. The “Obligatory Pop Song” is what the fans will want to hear, and this should be the first single. It would also be a treat to see performed live. “Out of Soul” is another classic Swami Lushbeard track with eccentric and almost out of tune coordination, but not quite. There is so much going on in this piece that the listener may not be sure what to grasp first, but the overall effect is one of chaotic harmony and the lyrics carry a subtle sense of humor that should not go unnoticed. When the song slows down and Danny on keys takes over, this track goes from mediocre to exceptional. When Don shreds the guitar to hell and back, this track goes from exceptional to excellent. Some of the best instrumentation on the album is contained in this song. “K-Town” gives Ian on drums his chance to shine, and shine he does. This song starts off mellow and there is some great harmonizing going on in this one. This piece goes up, down and all around in the best Swami Lushbeard fashion and fans won’t know what to expect next.

“Jesus Christ Handle” has a fantastic guitar hook and the lyrics are intelligent and well written. The beat of this song is slightly smoother than other pieces. The vocals are the front-runner in this track, but the instrumentation is stellar too. “Turn Signal” may surprise listeners, as it is a bit off the usual Swami Lushbeard path. The guitar rhythm at the start is catchy and Don’s vocals are strong and confident. The piano kicks in and then this track takes off. The beat of this piece is more uplifting that most of the preceding tracks despite the deeper lyrics. We’ve already discovered that this band is an enigma and their music is a wonderful experience of orderly chaos. This piece is just one more original song on a whole album full of them. “Revolving Door” carries some of the best piano work yet and a beat that gets the feet tapping. This track is a crowd pleaser all the way. There isn’t so much going on in this piece that the listener’s head is in a whirl, and there is a perfect balance to this piece with regards to instrumentation, vocals and background noise. This is a cleaner sound that perhaps Swami Lushbeard should utilize more often. The album begins to close with “Innocent,” a soft piece with excellent guitar work, stellar piano playing, and a slick bass line accompanied nicely by the drums.

Who You Were? ends with “Wishful Thinking” and it’s a good choice for the closer. The lyrics are in - reviewyou.com


Based in Los Angeles but hailing from various parts of the country, Swami Lushbeard is comprised of Don Sprouls (Philadelphia) on vocals and guitar, Danny Kopel (L.A.) on keys and accordion, Andre Howie (Virginia) on bass, and Ian Michaels (Chicago) on drums. Coming from a variety of regions and backgrounds, this quartet has combined their backgrounds, influences and talents to create the album Who You Were? It begins with “Silver Bodycase” and Swami Lushbeard makes it evident that their sound is comprised of much piano and guitar. Don’s vocals are solid and his pleasing voice can bring to mind a young Bon Jovi.

“Another Reason” kicks off with a nice bass line from Andre and some screaming guitar work from Don. Danny on keys keeps right up and Ian on drums makes sure everything stays up-tempo and rocking. This track has an edgy feel to it and Don’s vocals are rugged at some parts and seductive in others. The overall sense this track gives is one of excellent collaboration amongst the band members. “Legion” is a slower piece with solid instrumentation throughout. The twangy guitar rhythm in the background is a great touch and there is a melancholy vibe to this one that will make it a listener favorite.

“Memories & Bills” is a lyrically sound piece that many people will be able to relate to. Don’s voice is reminiscent of Vinnie Dombroski of Sponge and his guitar solo is excellent. The rest of the band does not disappoint and this song cruises right along. “Broken Record” starts slowly with some exceptional acoustic guitar work with a western flair. Don’s vocals are perhaps the best we’ve heard so far and this is when the listener will truly appreciate his talent and that of the other gentlemen of Swami Lushbeard. With its catchy rhythm and intriguing lyrics, this will be a song that fans clamor to hear performed live.

Who You Were? continues with “Woman: Disassembled,” which really showcases the eccentric rhythm that this collective has mastered. It tends to feel slightly choppy from time to time, and not quite comfortable, but this is precisely why people will love it. It’s unique and Swami Lushbeard combines a plethora of sounds and rhythms into their own signature melody that is unmistakable. “Obligatory Pop Song” is exactly what it should be. Every album needs a pop song. This is it. And it’s just about perfect too. The band really comes together in this piece. Everything about this track is mired with talent and it simply sounds wonderful. The “Obligatory Pop Song” is what the fans will want to hear, and this should be the first single. It would also be a treat to see performed live. “Out of Soul” is another classic Swami Lushbeard track with eccentric and almost out of tune coordination, but not quite. There is so much going on in this piece that the listener may not be sure what to grasp first, but the overall effect is one of chaotic harmony and the lyrics carry a subtle sense of humor that should not go unnoticed. When the song slows down and Danny on keys takes over, this track goes from mediocre to exceptional. When Don shreds the guitar to hell and back, this track goes from exceptional to excellent. Some of the best instrumentation on the album is contained in this song. “K-Town” gives Ian on drums his chance to shine, and shine he does. This song starts off mellow and there is some great harmonizing going on in this one. This piece goes up, down and all around in the best Swami Lushbeard fashion and fans won’t know what to expect next.

“Jesus Christ Handle” has a fantastic guitar hook and the lyrics are intelligent and well written. The beat of this song is slightly smoother than other pieces. The vocals are the front-runner in this track, but the instrumentation is stellar too. “Turn Signal” may surprise listeners, as it is a bit off the usual Swami Lushbeard path. The guitar rhythm at the start is catchy and Don’s vocals are strong and confident. The piano kicks in and then this track takes off. The beat of this piece is more uplifting that most of the preceding tracks despite the deeper lyrics. We’ve already discovered that this band is an enigma and their music is a wonderful experience of orderly chaos. This piece is just one more original song on a whole album full of them. “Revolving Door” carries some of the best piano work yet and a beat that gets the feet tapping. This track is a crowd pleaser all the way. There isn’t so much going on in this piece that the listener’s head is in a whirl, and there is a perfect balance to this piece with regards to instrumentation, vocals and background noise. This is a cleaner sound that perhaps Swami Lushbeard should utilize more often. The album begins to close with “Innocent,” a soft piece with excellent guitar work, stellar piano playing, and a slick bass line accompanied nicely by the drums.

Who You Were? ends with “Wishful Thinking” and it’s a good choice for the closer. The lyrics are in - www.reviewyou.com


Discography

Album entitled "Who You Were?" released on September 9, 2009.

EP entitled "Who You Were?"(Acoustic Sessions) released on April 1, 2010

Single entitled "Every Inch" released February 14, 2011

EP entitled "A Burning Desire" released March 31, 2013

Photos

Bio

Our story begins in Los Angeles at an airplane mock-up facility transformed into a rehearsal space. A few friends with a desire to be apart of something much larger than themselves gathered to make music. A good time was had by all and before any of us knew it we had started a new journey. There was talk of who we were and what we’ve shown the world. There were conversations about life and double-life. There was the idea of not so much believing what we’ve seen, but in seeing what we believe. We were ready to commit art.

We needed a way to describe what we felt right at that moment… We needed someone or something to guide us and show us the way. An all-inclusive idea that would match our desire to master our inner-selves while looking cool doing it.

Swami Lushbeard brings together two of rock n roll’s most beloved and essential instruments in ways that haven’t been touched upon in the recent musical climate. The piano and the guitar are featured throughout and not only do they intermingle with the lush harmonies of the melody, but break down and lend texture to the sinuous bass lines that interact with the drum beat. Imagine if you will… Ben Folds with Stone Temple Pilots or David Bowie with an early Van Halen. Imagine if you will…

Members of the group are from all regions of the country and incorporate their own style and influences into the band. Over the course of the last several years, we have been actively performing at venues throughout the Los Angeles area. We continue to grow musically and spiritually and we’re totally enthusiastic about what the future holds.