One of the most important indie bands to come out of Boston is Morphine. Mark Sandman’s mash-up of Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Lounge music won over critics instantly and created the ultimate hipster sound twenty years before its time. Jerome Dupree, the drummer, was a part of this band’s creation, and thus a co-architect of its sound.
Sandman cut back drastically on the band’s instrumentation: by reverting to a minimalist lineup of just saxophone, drums, and his own special two-stringed bass, he pushed his witty songwriting to the front. But this also meant that meant that Jerome was up front as well, and there would be no room for errors of any kind. Clearly he was up to this task, as the band’s unique sound merges flawlessly with the songs.
The band became a favorite in Europe and Australia, as well as among musicians and critics. The music found its way on to films and TV scores, too. But before they could break out commercially in the US, Mark Sandman collapsed on stage at a concert in Italy and died, leaving the commercial potential of this unique sound untapped.
The music lives on, though. Members of the band, including Jerome, have coalesced into the “Vapors of Morphine” project, touring occasionally (they are just back from Austin, TX as we speak), and taking on other projects like a performance linked with the showing of the film, Morphine Journey of Dreams in San Francisco next week.A creator of the sound, Jerome is also a custodian and curator of sound— and as such, an ideal guest.
A creator of the sound, Jerome is also a custodian and curator of sound—and as such, an ideal Drummeradio guest.
Listen to the Jerome Deupree Podcast
Jerome Deupree Playlist
(I’ve Got A) Head With Wings — Morphine
Album: Cure for Pain, 1993
Drums: Jerome Deupree
West Side Story Prologue
Album: West Side Story Film Soundtrack, 1961
I Can See for Miles and Miles — The Who
Album: The Who Sell Out, 1967
Drums: Keith Moon
Purple Haze — Jimi Hendrix
Album: Are You Experienced?, 1967
Drums: Mitch Mitchell
Uptown — The Chambers Brothers
Album: The Time Has Come, 1968
Drums: Brian Keenan
Southern Comfort — Area Code 615
Album: Area Code 615, 1969
Drums: Kenny Buttrey
Drum Boogie (Part 1&2, 1952) — Gene Krupa Trio
Album: The Best of Gene Krupa on Verve
Drums: Gene Krupa
Sing a Simple Song — Sly and the Family Stone
Album: Stand, 1969
Drums: Greg Errico
Whipping Post (Studio Version) — The Allman Brothers
Album: The Allman Brothers Band, 1969
Drums: Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks
Apostrophe (‘) — Frank Zappa
Album: Apostrophe, 1974
Drums: Jim Gordon
Backwoods Song — Gateway
Album: Gateway, 1976 *rec.1975
Drums: Jack DeJohnette