Press/Reviews – Sheriffs of Schroedingham

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PT Gazell (seminal Nashville-based studio musician/solo artist)
    “I’ll cut right to the chase…this is a seminal work of art by two very talented individuals, Ross Garren & John Schroeder. Known collectively as “The Sheriffs Of Schroedeingham,” they have exploded on to the scene with their second full length project, Going To The Sun.    First off, it’s extremely rare to hear such maturity, experimentation, tasteful playing, restraint and studio awareness from instrumentalists, much less those under the age of 35. I sure as hell did not arrive there (if I’ve ever arrived) till much later.    I was struck by a couple of things in particular. The entire project is enjoyable on a song-by-song basis, but also has the cohesiveness of a film score. There are several short interludes that are so cool and tie the whole thing together. Their willingness to try things that only the studio allows, not only works, but also at times, is reminiscent of The Beatles. Check out “Blues Bacharach” to see what I’m talking about. It’s easy to be over indulgent when it comes to this sort of thing, but Garren and Schroeder do it with such taste that it only heightens the experience.    Both musicians are willing to explore their instruments and use the best of what they find. However, not one single note is wasted by either player, and there is no self indulgent “Musical Masturbation” to be found. YES!Standouts for me include the title track, “Going To The Sun,” “Whitefish,” ” Stonefly,” “Big Mountain Boogie,” “Columbia Falls,” & Stumptown Black And White” which features a bass polyphonia harmonica that knocked me smooth out!    I highly recommend this project and personally think we are witnessing the start of something quite remarkable in the Indie music world.”

Michael Ross (curator of Guitar Moderne online zine and frequent contributor to Guitar Player and Premier Guitar Magazines)

   “Thanks to Andre LaFosse for turning me on to these guys. John Schroeder on guitars and Ross Garren on harmonicas and keys serve up a roots instrumental record full of atmosphere, whimsy, and technical wizardry both on their instruments and in their use of the studio. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee for the new millennium.”

Jack Conte (Pomplamoose, solo artist, founder of Patreon)

    “The new Sheriffs of Schroedingham is in my top 3 for BEST albums of the year. I’ve listened over a dozen times”

Brendan Power (legendary harmonica virtuoso/studio musician/inventor)

    “The Sheriffs concoct a tasty fusion of two disparate and often mutually exclusive sides of musical expression: the cerebral and the visceral. Guts and Brains, Heart and Head. These clever fellas can read all the notes but don’t play off a piece of paper: they improvise with passion, groove and respect for the history of the genres they traverse with such ease. Music to be savoured in the stomach and the synapses”.

Pat Kelley (prolific studio musician and solo artist, USC Thornton School of Music faculty member) 

    “Hats off to the Sheriffs of Schroedingham for creating such a quirky and thoroughly enjoyable collection of fantastic music with their new CD, Going to the Sun.  The songs are a mosaic masterpiece of sounds, textures, moods and emotions.  There is nothing forumlaic here.  Thank you John and Ross, for your cleverness and organic originality.”

David Barrett (founder of Bluesharmonica.com/world’s most published author of Blues harmonica education material)

    “Ross Garren and John Schroeder’s latest release Going to the Sun is a feast for the imagination—each song conjuring imagery like that of the most artistically shot film. Their use of stereo imaging, layering of parts and mixture of unexpected instrumentation paints a unique picture for each song. Harmonica players will enjoy Ross’ mastery of the instrument, particularly in the songs “Going to the Sun,” “Big Mountain Boogie” and “Stumptown Black and White.” “Big Mountain Boogie” showcases his precise execution of bending on the diatonic harmonica and use of its entire range. Ross also plays a surprising array of harmonicas…diatonic, chromatic, chord, bass and even polyphonia. John’s guitar playing is texturally interesting in his accompaniment and singularly powerful in his solos. This is a powerhouse of a writing team and this release showcases those talents at their highest level.”

Russ Freeman (Rippingtons founder/bandleader/composer)

​    “I’m a big fan of this CD. Rich, organic textures, punctuated with beautiful playing by both Ross Garren and John Schroeder. I love the unpredictability of the songwriting and production, and the innovative use of instrumentation and percussion. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a project defy a specific genre or style. For me, it’s all about the moods and textures. Love it!”

Tom Ball (Legendary Southern California-based studio musician/solo artist/author)

Hi Ross,    Well I finally got a chance to tuck into this stuff and give it all a listen. Quite a varied sonic palatte here. The mix of traditional Americana with contemporary electronica, loops and pads is not often heard, and is a fresh concept. I dig it! Big time!    In fact all of this stuff is interesting and exciting to listen to! Quirky, well-played, expertly recorded. What’s not to like, I ask you?    Big congrats to you and John!”

Peter “Madcat” Ruth (Grammy Award winning harmonica player/solo artist)

    “I had a chance to listen to the whole CD twice last week while driving to a gig.    I can tell you guys had a great time in the studio!  I especially like your lush and creative use of electronic effects.  The production and the recording is excellent. In “Big Mountain Boogie” I love the contrast of the clean guitar and the distorted harp.  And I especially like how all the layers were mixed, with some reverb sounds pushed so far back in the mix.  Very nice harp playing and nice bass harp too.    “Going to the Sun”, “Big Mountain Boogie” and “Stumptown Black and White” and “Whitefish” were my favorites.    It’s an excellent CD.  Highly recommended!”

Tim Kobza (Modereko, USC Thornton School of Music Faculty)

    The Sheriff’s album, Going To The Sun, creates an evocative sonic landscape that, while it would work beautifully accompanying picture, it stands on it’s own.    Loaded with texturally pleasing, roots-infused cinematic vignettes, ranging from sparse Ry Cooder-esque guitar arrangements to full blown orchestral moments, this collection takes you seamlessly from the Mississippi Delta to a Morricone-esque lonesome cowboy’s endless sky. There’s a good bit of Jazz influenced stretching and improvisation throughout and a healthy dose of funk. Tasteful modern production touches, in the form of loops and ambient textures, help to bridge the gap between the  musical eras. What really shines through on this album is the compositional depth and the instrumental mastery demonstrated by Ross’s Harmonica playing and John’s dazzling guitar work.

Slim Heilpern (noted harmonica promoter)

Going To The Sun, the new album by The Sheriffs of Schroedingham (Ross Garren & John Schroeder) exudes playful intelligence from front to back. It ebbs and flows ever so naturally like the tide, and is deliciously impossible to pigeonhole with respect to style as it moves seemlessly between what I would call noveau old timey blues, funk, swing, acoustic electronica, and movie music. 
From front porch pickin’ to dance grooves to lush musical landscapes, this album is a fantastic musical journey with plenty of soul, humor, and sophistication along theway. Ross’ work on various types of harmonicas is top flight and unique with wonderful tone and chops throughout, while John’s slide/dobro/steel guitar work is a constant delight (also great chops!). The whole album is beautifully conceived and well produced — a real treasure. These Sheriffs definitely deserve your ears!”