Welcome To The Realm Of Dr. Mary’s Monkey
Dr. Mary’s Monkey is a mod/punk/power-pop/soul movement from New Orleans, Louisiana based around the songs of singer-songwriter Shawn Gwin, nicknamed “The Sage” by his band and producers. The four-piece band is Sage, guitar, vocals; Robin Sherman, bass, vocals; Yano, keys, vocals; and David Shirley drums, vocals; plus special studio guests. Combining a love of music from Motown, Memphis, London and New Orleans with Sage’s distinctive songwriting craft and lead vocals, their unique synthesis of styles makes for rock music that catches the ear, engages the mind and never forgets it’s got to roll. Velvet Dreams was tracked in legendary New Orleans studio, Neutral Sound Studio; produced by Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated record producer and mixing engineer “Bassy” Bob Brockmann (Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Prince); and features an A-list of New Orleans sidemen.
The jolt of inspiration to write and record this sprawling punk rock ‘n’ roll opus came when Sage took a 4-day vacation to San Francisco and visited the Beat Museum. There, inspired by the heady cocktail of art, literature, social commentary, anti-establishment ethos, and psychedelia, Sage began to envision the music and conceptual arc of Dr. Mary’s Monkey’s Velvet Dreams. The album took 10 days to track, but a year to finish due to the pandemic. It is one of many out-of-his-hands career setbacks and natural disasters Sage has endured over the years.
Prior to forming Dr. Mary’s Monkey, Sage had been playing original music in New Orleans and abroad since he was 16, when he started sneaking into punk clubs as a member of seminal teenage punk band East Cambodia. Sage went on to start The Numbers, join The 5:30 (also known as Five Thirty) in England, and form a number of bands back in New Orleans.
Dr. Mary’s Monkey debut album, Velvet Dreams, is a portal into the psychedelic experience in reverse. The 12-song collection of finely-crafted, mind-frying Nuggets-style rockers; psych-soul ballads; tuneful vintage punk; and dreamy Motown is a loose, semi-humorous concept piece about living through life in our dystopian world. Velvet Dreams releases November 11th on Audio Platter Limited. Welcome to the realm of Dr. Mary’s Monkey. Viva the revolution, and the evolution!
“This album is about waking up and seeing the social order, and all the propaganda for what it is, but the ‘velvet dream’ always draws us back because we all have to survive out in the world,” Dr. Mary’s Monkey’s mad scientist, singer-songwriter-guitarist Shawn Gwin aka “Sage” shares. He continues: “But there is a lot of humor here—it’s just rock n’ roll, after all—turn it up, play some Chuck Berry, and dance.”