When you meet front man “Brother Sal” of The Medicinal Purpose you feel as though you have gone back in time and Jack Kerouac might walk in the door at any minute. Beatnik and blues and a power trio aimed at knocking your sox off, all you want to do is dance.
The Medicinal Purpose feeds you hand made tunes such as “Otis” a song in reverence to a rumored crush with Janice Joplin and Otis Redding and the ever driving “You need a better man” tapping into the nature of animal attraction and self destruction from the ever blind affliction of love. The Medicinal Purpose will give you a dose of healing that will take 10 years off your age, and bring a frenzied dance floor to hoots and hollers. Enjoy the candor and smoothness of our interview with Brother Sal, we sure did…
Q: What got you turned on to music?
A: “When I was around 5 or 6, a friend’s older brother played us AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds album, and I first felt ”the feeling”. Heavy, but bluesy- it made sense and I dug it hard, y‘know? Within a few years, I was drumming in basement bands, chasing that same dragon I still chase. Guitar came to me later, once I found Hendrix and Cream and Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf… this is the stuff that TOLD me what I am and who I’ll be. I’ll never forget the feeling I got, and still get, when you hear those amazing sounds for the first time- straight to the heart, purest love I know.”
Q: How would you describe The Medicinal Purpose sound?
A: “That’s never easy… but I’d like to think it sounds real… real bluesy, real together and soulful, real house-rockin’ funky stuff… but mainly, that it’s coming from way down deep, mama. Alive and breathing and real…if we’re doing it right!”
Q: How did you discover Western Mass?
A: “Chris Ball!” (Chris Ball plays bass for The Alchemystics, Joy Stick, The Mary Jane Jones, Llama Lasagne….just to name a few, lol)
Q: Do you have a stand out moment to date?
A. “It’s always the next one… we’ve had some great gigs, Rock and Roll Resort, the 4/20 show at The Arts Block (both events happened at the now Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, MA)… but the best feeling is picturing how good that next one’ll be, baby…(laughs).”
Q: Got any favorite places to play in the region?
A: “There’s a bunch. Theodore’s has that blues vibe we love, Hawks and Reed is really turning into something, Bishop’s is always a freakshow (in a that goooood way)… anyplace that’ll have us, really. Having a good show is on us, the band and the crowd, regardless of the venue. All the beautiful people in the valley make ‘em ALL pretty groovy., though.”
Q: How do you like touring?
A: “I’d be perfectly OK to never come off the road. It’s everything to me. I need it like I need air- the different people, places and things to see… ready?”
Q: Any advice for the youth?
A: “Of course. Stay in school! Be a plumber, or a teacher, or a firefighter or anything! But, if the sound pulls you in like it did us, be a lifer. Go all-in. Don’t half-ass it, man. Give your whole soul to this crazy thing, or any heavy thing, really, and what comes back at you is deeper still.”
Q: Who are your faves?
A: “Jimi’s (Hendrix) my go-to guy. Then Thurman Munson- he taught me a lot about soul. I’m also really moved by Mike Bloomfield, Crosby, Stills, Sherlock Holmes, Ike and Tina, King Arthur, old Stax and Chess records, Pops Staples… y’know, all the grooviest cats.”
Q: Is there a best kept music secret in the valley for players?
A: “If I told y’all that, it wouldn’t be … (hahaha). One thing that gets lost, I think, is you gotta love your band, man. Spend as much time with ‘em as you can, it doesn’t need to be practicing or writing. Just hang out and laugh and have a barbecue and trip out and talk and shit. It should be family. I feel like people can really tell when a band loves each other like family. You can just hear it, mama…you really can.”
Check out THE MEDICINAL PURPOSE with their self titled debut record on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp
THE MEDICINAL PURPOSE
Brother Sal vocals/ guitar — Chris Ball bass
Live Band: Jimmy Robitaille – drumsUpcoming Shows for The Medicinal Purpose:
March 2nd at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main St., Greenfield, MA
This performance will debut The Medicinal Purpose in their new full band ensemble featuring Ilana J. Morris on vocals (The Alchemystics, Ballads & Softcore Porn), Courtney Parker on vocals (rice: An American Band, Rodd Cummings & The Vibrators) and Darby Wolf on Hammond organ (Full Spectrum Dominance, Beast Mode).