Guest Blogger Wednesday: Eric Laine

The Deep Hello

Live @ Blondie’s, SF

March 6, 2006

Last summer, my pal Adam Schraft created a new band, The Deep Hello. This is not unusual for him. In the ten years or so that I have known him, Adam has created and fronted Our Backyard Butter Band, Sounder, Starseed, and The Astral Force, playing guitar, singing and writing songs for each outfit. In his spare time, Adam sang and freestyled for my band Here Are The Facts You Requested at live shows and parties, and most notably on our 2003 album FELT. Likewise, members of our band played on some of Adam’s recordings, so there’s always been an easy flow of collaboration among our groups.

That’s why it was so easy for me to hijack The Deep Hello from Adam in an attempt to turn it into a sort of underground music supergroup of superfriends. I noticed that we all had been working on recordings in various combinations of personnel throughout 2005. I decided to compile these recordings into a release project, and by the end of the year The Deep Hello had a 6-song self-titled EP (free downloads available at and a list of band members that no single member could completely reproduce. Some of the members had never even met—never even been in the same city at the same time—though they played together on the same track.

Well last Monday night Adam, along with LBill Miller on drums and Francois Egron on bass, took back The Deep Hello in a quietly funky live performance at Blondie’s Bar & No Grill in San Francisco. Francois’ stand-up bass and Bill’s brushed drums provided a jazzy rhythm section for Adam’s new acoustic tunes. The vibe was perfect, even if it took a few songs for the band to get comfy.

They stepped tentatively into the opener, “New Year Sky,” but by the time they reached “Everything Now” the band was cooking, mixing some improv noodling into Adam’s tight song structures. The high point came near the end with the new song “No Sleep.” Reminiscent of the brilliantly sleepy Sounder track “Milking the Madness,” this stripped-down jazzy-folk song hinted at majestic possibilities while absorbing the audience in its skip-along beat. Love that cowbell! By the end of the show, Adam had the audience in a call-and-response singalong to a delightful Francois’ tune, “Three Ducks.” It was a great moment, and The Deep Hello certainly left me, and the rest of the crowd, wanting more.

I’m not sure what Adam originally intended when he created The Deep Hello. I became enthralled by the idea of a loose-knit band of collaborators who occasionally met and produced recordings like atoms flying through space and collecting into molecules. I liked the idea of gathering these recordings under a faceless title, the enigmatic The Deep Hello. Last Monday night, Adam, Bill and Francois put a face to the name, and put a real band in front of an audience. It was a beautiful sight, and a cozy evening of feelgood music. Let’s hope this is just the beginning.

-- Eric Laine

Download the live bootleg of No Sleep.


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