The journey begins for ‘The Sage Project’
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The Dave Matthews Band is a timeless act that appeals to a broad audience. For a quarter century, the group has been putting on such mesmerizing live performances, that it has inspired young listeners to pick up musical instruments. That was the case with the members of “The Sage Project,” a six-piece jam band from Shrewsbury.
The group of high school musicians came together this past summer, and wasted no time making music. They practiced nearly every day, learning each other’s strengths and preferences along the way. Members include Sam Palermo (on drums,) Jack Palermo (guitar), Tim Evans (guitar), Hannah Rubin (vocals/piano), Kevin Chen (violin) and Colin Trabuco (bass).
After not too long, the band had booked a headlining gig at Shrewsbury’s Camp Sunshine benefit concert. A headlining gig the very first time they shared the stage together.
“Having never played a show together, we were by no means perfect,” Palermo said. “However, it provided us with experience, and gave us a chance to better learn each other’s playing styles in a live atmosphere.”
From there, The Sage Project booked several local shows, most at Route 56 bar in Oxford. They would predominantly play songs originally performed by their beloved inspirer, Dave Matthews, but they would also cover crowd-favorite can’t-go-wrong’s such as Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
Although cover songs tend to keep the crowds more involved, The Sage Project members have been busy writing their own original music. A team effort, the writing process usually involves one of the members bringing an idea to the table, and the others giving their own perception or twist. Members frequently show up to practice with lyrics and ideas written on napkins, or alongside notes from class.
Once the writing process gains some momentum, the band would like to release a full-length CD. Along with that, they hope to play shows outside of Massachusetts, consisting of all their own original material – no more cover songs. Although the band currently seems far from that objective, each member is dedicated to the common goal.
Who knows, one day The Sage Project may open for the Dave Matthews Band on a national tour. After all, Dave Matthews used to play in tiny Virginia bars, to no more than a dozen people. With a little persistence, the Sage Project could be next.
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