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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 8, “Leather Disaster,” a bluesy, classic-rock-sounding tune about creativity that pays oblique homage to the Grateful Dead’s “Casey Jones.” It mentions both a “cocaine hat” and a desire to “lose my train of thought and get the engineer off.”
The band’s singer, songwriter, and strummer, James Bruno, makes up for the lack of a guitar solo by mouthing the main riff for the song’s final 15 seconds: “Bah bom bom bompa wow bompa bowmph/Bah-umpa bow bow bompa wow bompa bowmph.”
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: “I’m certainly not like a, whatchamacallit, Deadhead,” says Bruno, 33, a Georgetown attorney. “I used to listen to them a lot. I guess, maybe in an unconscious way, I was putting that ol’ train and drug imagery in there.”
The true inspiration for the song, Bruno reveals, is a lot less trippy. “We had been covering a John Farrar tune, ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ from the movie Grease, and wanted a song of our own that kinda moves in a minor frame with a steady drumbeat underneath it.”
FABRIC SOFTENER: “It’s rare,” says Bruno, that folks at Strohs shows ever request the band’s originals, even the ones that don’t include scat solos. “Leather Disaster” is something of an exception—though fans, he points out, generally call it “the song about losing my train of thought.”
Bruno doesn’t blame ’em. “‘Leather Disaster’ isn’t really a great title,” he says, noting that the nonsensical phrase is basically “just two words that go together well.” Furthermore, “the song isn’t very leathery. It’s more, I guess, of a sweaty polyester.” —Chris Shott