Indeed Disciples of California is a "friends & family" record. The theme of fraternity is not only represented lyrically but was also part of the recording process. It's the first album recorded outside the band's own studio (note: they NEVER recorded outdoors as some have reported) and it's also the debut of the SGL's rhythm section, the Skyband (featuring Jasmyn Wong on drums and Shayde Sartin on bass). Working in a studio with additional musicians allowed the band to record the basic tracks live, giving the music a ragged, stumbling, and honest life in contrast to the cut-up and cleansing methods much employed in previous days. Recorded in just a few sessions at Jason Quever's (Papercuts) San Francisco studio, the Leopards took full advantage of his arsenal of soft machines to create a batch of spacious three minute pop tunes.
For the first time on record you'll hear the Skygreen Leopards "Skyband Sound". A pleasure formerly reserved for denizens of San Francisco's haunted honky tonks where the Leopards developed much of Disciples songs. The swing and sway of this album is something totally unique to the SGL's discipline and owes a great deal to the work of Vaslav Treacy (Lindner School of Ballet), who instructed the band in modern dance for three months in order to perfect the pulse of the songs on the record. Grace & Beauty tumbling down Mt. Zion became the band's solemn motto.
Lyrically and conceptually, Glenn and Donovan continue down their twisted path. The ghosts of girl-beauties, whispering trees, swimming-hole cousins, crippled horses and human-faced animal-saints all join the dizzying parade.
Maybe the man from Hobo Splendor said it best when he called Disciples of California the Leopards' "biggest riverboat yet". And to be sure, there's room for us all on the Riverboat called Disciple!
The Skygreen Leopards - California's Family Band!!!