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Published: 2006/02/17
by Andy Tennille

Used with Rose Hill Drive

_A walk through the used record bins of some of the countrys finest music stores with musicians, both famous and infamous. _
Im a pretty open person when it comes to music, so theres nothing really thats too embarrassing. Ive got the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and, oh, IummmIve got Guys and Dolls too. Im into musicals.
Jake Sproul looks sheepishly at me to gauge my reaction as I consider what hes just confessed. The bass player in Rose Hill Drive, one of the great young power rock trios in music today, likes musicals?!? Before I can even ask which Rogers & Hammerstein production is his favorite, drummer Nate Barnes and brother and lead guitarist Daniel Sproul bust into laughter and immediately begin razzing the bassist.
Im into musicals, man, Jake repeats smiling under the barrage of assaults from his bandmates. Heavy into musicals.
Inspiration comes in all shapes and colors. Jim James is a big fan of Fraggle Rock, Vince Herman collects 78s and Derek Trucks digs Sufi poet Hafiz, so Jakes confession isnt all that strange in comparison. The inspiration behind Rose Hill Drives sound is apparent within seconds of hearing them. Nate Barnes lays down a punishing rhythm for Daniel Sproul to rip sprawling guitar solos over while Jake lays down a steady bass line. Their heritage is unmistakably pure guitar rock.
Im into Sabbath. Love Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Its just a totally kick-ass record. Ozzy had a great voice back then and Geezer Butler wrote awesome rock songs, Daniel says. Im a huge Allman Brothers fan. My dad introduced them to me at an early age, so I grew up listening to a shitload of that stuff. Duane Allmans guitar playing is one of my biggest influences, along with maybe Stevie Ray Vaughn. I like Derek Trucks playing a lot, but the thing about the new Allman Brothers and a lot of the new rock bands is that its so slick and not nearly as raw.
If there is a Holy Grail of classic rock, it may be the complete remastered studio recordings of Led Zeppelin released by Atlantic Records in 1993. A ten-CD collection of Led Zeppelin’s nine officially released studio albums along with a few rare cuts and outtakes, the box set will cost you more than $100, but Daniel says its lived up to expectations.
I went ahead and made the purchase, and its totally been worth it, Daniel says cradling the behemoth Zeppelin box set. I just dumped it all onto my iPod so that I can listen to it whenever I want. Its kind of funny, but we all got into Led Zeppelin through hearing Big Head Todd cover Tangerine. No one ever told us to listen to them, so we kind of discovered it on our own. The BBC Sessions album is one of my favorite albums, cause it just shows you that they could pull off what they did in the studio live onstage. Weve worn out that DVD they put out a few years ago of them playing in the 70s (_Led Zeppelin_, Atlantic, 2003). It literally wont play anymore. Its unbelievable.
Thats a sick record right there, Nate says pointing at Grand Funk Railroads 1971 album Closer to Home as I walk down the aisle from the Zeppelin. My father is a pastor, so most of my first records were Christian rock or something. But the Funk, man. The first three songs on this record just kick your ass right off the bat. The fourth one kind of sucks to be honest. I mean, theyre cheesy, you know, but its still great. The guitar player rips, and the rest of the guys are real good at their instruments. I think when they added their keyboard player, thats when it got to be cheesy, but this records when theyre still a trio. Weve been talking about covering Nothing Is The Same.
A store clerk makes her way down the aisle carrying an armful of Use Your Illusion I & II, the classic 1991 Guns N Roses double album. Daniel spots it as he walks up to Nate and I checking out the Grand Funk and grabs a copy off her stack.
Guns N Roses were pretty huge for me. There was a period of time earlier in my life where I was totally obsessed with Slash, Daniel says. Not so much anymore, because Im more into experimental stuff nowadays, not that Slash isnt experimental in his own way. But how can anyone whos my age that plays the guitar not be influenced by Slash? He was rock guitar in the 90s.
As we wander through Amoeba Musics Used Rock section, talk of the great classic rock bands eventually leads to the band members current favorite musicians.
The Mule are one of our favorite bands, especially back when Allen Woody was in the band. We were in the front row for a couple shows at The Fox in Boulder before Woody passed away. It was loud as shit, man. I loved it. Woody played the bass like no other bass player his approach was totally unique. Ive tried to take a little bit of his approach into my own playing, Jake says holding Govt Mules tremendous 1998 album, Dose. Theyre a lot calmer now than they were back then, but they still just rock. Daniel sat in with them when we opened a show a while back. The Crowes have that same kind of rock n roll attitude that the Mule, Zeppelin or Aerosmith has. They write great songs that have good, rocking melodies. I really like Amorica. You know, the one with the chicks bush on the cover? That one rocks.
2005 caught a glimpse of the ghost of rock n roll past as Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce reunited as Cream for a series of high-profile shows at Royal Albert Hall in London and Madison Square Garden.
I really dig Creams music, but Im not sure how you can recreate what three young guys did locked up in a mansion in England 30 years ago, Daniel says. Weve been listening to Cream since even before we were a band. Theyre a huge influence on us musically, you know. But it just seems kind of weird to try and recreate that music more than 30 years later.
I guess its no worse than Willie Nelson doing On the Road Again or Michael Jackson doing Thriller now though, I offer.
We dig Michael Jackson, man, Jake says with a laugh. We listened to Michael a lot actually. I think Dangerous was one of the first records that Daniel bought
I dont want to talk about it, Daniel says, smiling while adamantly trying to keep quiet on his childhood love of The Glove Ones 1992 album Dangerous. His bandmates have each just fessed up to listening to Christian rock and Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, but Daniel wants no part in owning up to his very private and apparently sensitive Jacko fetish. Both Jake and Nate laugh at the guitarists expense.
Im not talking about it, he says slyly.
Rose Hill Drives Picks Aerosmith, Nine Lives The Beatles, White Album Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath David Bowie, Hunky Dory Grand Funk Railroad, Closer to Home

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