In 2008, keyboardist and improvisational musician John Medeski and scientist and “ceremonial folk healer” Jeff Firewalker Schmitt met by chance as they were both traveling in the Amazon. Now, 12 years later, the two have joined forces as Saint Disruption, “a spirit-driven, soul-inspired new musical collective led by Medeski and Schmitt.” (Quotes via press release.) The project have announced their debut album, Rose In The Oblivion, due out Apr. 8. In addition, they also shared the first single from the album, “Choke A Man.”
“This song was born amid the tragic death of George Floyd and the release of The Social Dilemma movie,” said Schmitt (via press release). “My artistic process involved asking how I might express the anguish of the oppressed. I spent three days in the space of prayer and reflection. There isn’t a word in the English language that adequately describes my feelings about the corrupt brokenness of the US government – so I mashed up the words ‘democracy’ and ‘debacle’ when I wrote “sham debocracy.”
The album features musicians such as Lyric Jones, Umar Bin Hassan, Agent 23, Debrissa McKinney and Datrian Johnson. It was recorded at Schmitt’s home studio in Asheville, N.C., as well as Nomatic Studios (also in Asheville) and Applehead Studios in Woodstock, N.Y.
“Just as much about ancient struggles as current conditions, ‘Rose In The Oblivion’ is born from the world of spirits but void of the trappings often found surrounding that terrain. “I’m not looking for spiritual music,” said Medeski (via press release). “I’m looking for Spirit to come through.”
A portion of the proceeds from “Choke A Man” will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Watch the new video below.