Honor Among Thieves
01 Honor Among Thieves
02 Time To Be Somebody
03 See Myself In You
04 Jesus, Chicks & Politics
06 Doin’ It For You
08 On To Something
09 Can’t Get You Out Of My System
10 Lefty’s Boys
13 One Heart
The Music Monthly, June 2003
by Karen Liebowitz
What do you get when you put three eminent well-respected singer-songwriters together? The listener receives a well-crafted CD of uplifting songs with plenty of hooks and strong lyrics. The name of the trio is especially fitting since Sherpas are actually a group of Himalayans who live in Nepal and Sikkim and are considered experts in guiding travelers on mountain expeditions. Although none of the three musicians hail from that region, they do provide a wonderful guidance through life’s paths and journeys through the tunes they play.
The players who comprise Sherpas are Tom Kimmel, Michael Lille, and Tom Prasada-Rao. All three are familiar names in the local music scene. Tom Kimmel has written songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt, among others. Michael Lille plays frequently on his own as well as being a member of SGGL. Tom Prasada-Rao has guested on many a musician’s album. Even though they’ve known each other for some time now, this is their first collaborative effort.
It kicks off with the title song “Honor Among Thieves”. Acoustic guitars and a rhythmic funky vibe courtesy of drum loops provide the backbone of this bouncy tune. The lyrics speak of both Jesus and Buddha being serious about their beliefs although things aren’t always straightforward. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and see what life has dealt you. A jazzy guitar break makes the song a very apt opener.
On the topic of religion, “Jesus, Chicks AND Politics” provides a light-hearted look at the usage of certain images such as women and beliefs that are used by politicians to curry favor and win votes. It points out that the candidates will stop at nothing to get what they want including appearing on Larry King and supporting the NRA. Subtle wah-wah guitar hovers in the background with some nice acoustic licks thrown in there as well.
The spiritual side of life manifests itself on “Gitanjali”, one of the CD’s loveliest songs. Tabla and tambora help set the scene for this litany of salvation. It has a very light, almost ethereal sound that conjures up the thought of perhaps India or the Orient. The haunting melody lodges firmly in your brain and it truly soothes the soul. It is a great song to decompress the day’s ills!
For those who prefer a little more pop and romance in their listening pleasures, Sherpas provide that as well in the form of “On To Something”. A great Beatley melody envelops the words of positivity about a relationship. Chunky guitar and delightful harmonies push this beyond the typical pop tune. Again, another hummable memory is created!
There are also a few songs here that have been performed by SGGL live. “Lefty’s Boys” and “One Heart”. Both versions are done well and it’s always good to hear these favorites again. Finally, “Angels” may express the greatest affirmation of love yet. The thought of a love so powerful that angels bless the union is a strong one indeed. With both piano and guitar working hand in hand to back up the vocals, this song has a gospel feel to it that makes it hard to resist.
With all the angst and anger pervading so many popular songs today, it’s refreshing to hear a CD that provides inspiration and hope without resorting to preaching. Besides that, you can’t find fault with sparking melodies, great singing, and sympathetic backing. Sherpas has given each one of us musical travelers a truly enlightening, wondrous experience!