Eclectic sound of Sage hits stage

Friday, December 02, 2005
The Express-Times

Listening to New Hope-based rock band Sage, it's hard to stop images of dancing Phish-heads cavorting through your head.

But then you listen to the next song, and you picture a kicking rock band. And with the next song, you hear reggae and then an electronic interlude.

"We're a true rock band that plays a lot of different eclectic styles. The heart is funk, but we do play some reggae and everything from salsa to jazz," rhythm guitarist/co-vocalist Tim Nayfield says.

The varied sound is a result of the collaborative way each song is created and written, he explains.

"We all have tunes we bring to the table and bring to fruition amongst ourselves," lead guitarist Marc Gallow says. "We're like mad scientists."

The band -- who's name is open to interpretation, according to Gallow -- is comprised of Gallow, Nayfield, Dave "Tree" Ryden on bass and Gabe Rohmann, who pounds the skins and shares vocals with Nayfield.

Nayfield says he's been playing with childhood friends Rohmann and Ryden for the past 11 years. He met Gallow while working at a counter culture shop four-and-a-half years ago.

"The band just happened. We started playing shows and it began snowballing," Nayfield says.

In 2003, Sage released a two-CD live sampler. Last month, the band released the fruits of their first foray in the studio with a neat little package called "Up From Below."

In its 11 tracks, "Below" takes Sage's eclectic roots and watches them reach from the ground to form branches of blues, funk, rock and reggae with a touch of electronica.

In the disc's seventh track, "Moonshine," there's a sprout of old-fashioned bluegrass.

"It's happy, fun-loving music that gets dark and mysterious at times," Gallow says.

Beginning Saturday, Sage hits the road to share these new sounds with audiences at The Moose in Doylestown, where they play with The Happy Dog.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Sage's annual Jam at the Grove, which saw a soggy reception at its fifth annual presentation in October.

The tour will continue to Killington, Vt. From there, fans will have to check the Web site, Nayfield says.

"The phone has been ringing off the hook," he says. "The buzz is definitely in the air."

Reporter Kat Main can be reached at 908-475-8044 or by e-mail at

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2005 The Express-Times. Used with permission.
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