Biography

Stormy Mondays 2016
Jorge Otero - vocals, guitars, harmonica, mandolin. Pablo A. Bertrand - piano, organ, background vocals. Danny Montgomery - drums. Juan Flores - sax, clarinet, flute. Miguel Herrero - trumpet, flügelhorn, glockenspiel, percussion. Héctor Braga - cello, hurdy-gurdy, violin, bagpipes, harp. Juanjo Zamorano - bass, background vocals.

Stormy Mondays in 20 seconds

We are an indie folk rock band, hailing from Spain’s rainy northern coast. We play Rock, Folk Rock, Americana, Soul. Acoustic and electric. Classic and modern. That’s not important. What’s important is that we don’t make “fast food”.

Our music is always slow cooked. It’s not for everyone, but it could be precisely right for you.

We have released 15 records, which include songs in English, Spanish and Asturian, the endangered language of our homeland. The ace up our sleeve is our live shows: intense, fun and always surprising, with eight musicians and more than 20 instruments onstage.

And yes, all the stories are true: Our song “Sunrise Number 1” was chosen by NASA to be played in space. We have played live with both Slash and Springsteen, and, in 1999, were the only Spanish band to ever play at the Woodstock Festival. We are pioneers of internet music distribution (since 1996) and the use of Creative Commons licenses.

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Manifesto: Slow Cooked Music

There’s a recent book that details the techniques behind the manufactured big hits of the last few years. We have taken that manual and turned it inside out.

They say a song needs a “hook” every 7 seconds. Really? We make music for people, not for distracted chimpanzees.

They say you need a team of writers. A dozen is not unusual. We write our own songs. Our way. We are songwriters, it’s what we do.

They say you don’t even need to learn how to play, the computer does that for you. We enjoy playing our instruments. The more, the better. We are musicians, it’s what we do.

They say you don’t need to be a good singer. “Autotune” will make you sound perfectly in tune (and robotic). We sing with human voices, imperfect by nature. And real. We are singers, it’s what we do.

They say, they say… We don’t care what they say!

We make real music for real people. Slow cooked. It’s not for everyone, and that’s alright.

What do we sound like?

We share common influences with some current bands that we like, such as Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers, Dawes, The Lumineers, Ryan Adams, and Wilco.

We mix the electric sound of a rock band with all sorts of acoustic instruments, from a horn section to the hurdy-gurdy, an instrument from the 12th century that seems to come from the future.

Some people say that we sound like Springsteen, Counting Crows, Tom Petty, The Waterboys, and R.E.M., and we like that. You can also find echoes of The Band, Dylan, Neil Young, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The latest: a Compact Vinyl EP

Vinyl and CD on the same disc

On June 21st, coinciding with the Summer Solstice and the European Music Day, we released our new EP: Suitcase Full Of Dreams.

It’s being released on Compact Vinyl, a surprising format. There’s only been another release like this in the world.

One side carries a song in vinyl, which can be played on a turntable. The other side is a CD with the whole record, which can be played in a regular player.

It’s a hand-numbered edition limited to 500 copies.

The album cover photo was made in Asturias, Spain, but that’s not the biggest surprise. It’s a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado, and the incredible part of the story is that it belonged to Ava Gardner!

The songs

The title track, “Suitcase Full Of Dreams”, could be a trip on that Cadillac, through the red leaf forests of New England. There’s also a notable detail: it’s sung in both English and Asturian. Don’t be fooled by the soft beginning. There’s a lot of music and emotions ahead.

Everybody Came To Your Party (But You Were Gone)” begins with some foot stomps in the wooden stage of Ca Beleño (Asturias, Spain), drenched in echo. It’s a song about those who have gone, and those who stay to bid them farewell.

Another surprise: “Thirteen”, originally recorded by the legendary Alex Chilton-fronted band Big Star. It’s the first time we record a cover in the studio. A fantastic horn section, with Juan Flores and Miguel Herrero, is here to stay. We wanted to pay homage to Big Star creating a full-band, electric version of this song.

Finally, Don’t Count Me Out”, the song that also appears on the vinyl side of the disc, and possibly our favorite. A battle cry and a celtic-soul mood that will take you to another era. The wood of the guitar and the metal of the horns. And our 1959 Hammond organ, brought from the USA to Spain by boat.

The album and the recording studio

This is the first album conceived from start to finish in our own recording studio, Satélite Estudios. We have custom-tailored the studio to our band, carefully choosing every piece of equipment in order to achieve the sound that we were looking for.

We take full advantage of both digital and analogue technology. Every mix goes through transformers and tubes, that “obsolete” tech that it’s still as current today as it was in the Fifties. And the recordings all start with the band playing together, face to face.

The album was recorded and mixed by Jorge Otero and Juanjo Zamorano, except the horn section recorded by Miguel Herrero at Acme Estudios. As is customary with our records, Jorge Otero is the producer.

Finally, we took a trip to Metropolis Mastering (London), to get the seal of approval of one of the world’s best mastering engineers: the legendary Tim Young. And, of course, to enjoy the pleasure of listening to our work in his spectacular, 2-metre tall PMC monitors. Such an experience!

Suitcase Full Of Dreams
Stormy Mondays
Satélite Estudios

Story, adventures and bragging bio

– by Jorge Otero (singer, guitarist and songwriter)

We are independent

The internet is our ally. We are not members of any copyright organization. We embrace the use of new technologies to help us spread our music. We have always been our own record label.

All our songs can be listened to and downloaded on our website. You can also buy our limited edition albums and other cool stuff, directly from us.

Rocking in space

 Of all the Stormy Mondays accomplishments, this is the most amazing.

Our song “Sunrise Number 1” was used as a wake-up song for the astronauts aboard the Endeavour Space Shuttle, on the last day of the last flight of the ship, May 31st 2011.

We entered a contest sponsored by NASA, called Space Rock. A total of 1,350 contestants from all over the world submitted songs with NASA choosing 10 finalists. Nine of them were from the U.S.A., and the tenth was from Spain… us! The winner of the contest was decided by popular vote.

Thousands of people supported us from around the world. Fans from all of Europe, and as far away as Africa, China, Mexico, South America, and the U.S., voted for our song “Sunrise Number 1”. Ultimately, we won! The credit really is theirs, not ours.

We got almost 790,000 votes. Did I mention that we have the best fans in the world?

Sunrise Number 1

Onstage with Bruce Springsteen and more

My musical journey has often crossed with many American rock legends.

Elliott Murphy had a guest appearance on our first album Rainy Days And Broken Hearts (1998). We played live together on several occasions. Later I joined his band as a bassist and mandolin player. We played more than 100 concerts throughout Europe, and recorded a live DVD.

I played on several tours and concerts in Europe and the U.S. as a guitarist with Willie Nile, Joe Grushecky and Cindy Bullens, with whom I recorded a double live album.

And in case you are wondering, there’s no Photoshopping involved in the picture on the right…

In 2006, I was invited on stage by Joe Grushecky to play with Bruce Springsteen at the Light Of Day festival in New Jersey (don’t miss the pictures and the story).

Jorge Otero y Bruce Springsteen

Click to zoom

More adventures: Woodstock ’99 and jamming with Slash in ’92

Let’s go back to the beginning.

In 1999, thanks to having our songs available on the internet, we became the first and only Spanish band in the history of f Woodstock to play at the festival. We played in front of more than 50,000 people. It was a blast.

By then, though our music was available on the internet, our first CD was being sold only in Asturias and in a couple of shops in Madrid.

In 1992, Slash (yes, the Guns N ‘Roses guitarist) crashed our stage to play with us, during the festivity of San Mateo in Oviedo. We were 17 years old and we had only written a couple of original songs. We jammed for twenty minutes, but it felt like twenty seconds.

Woodstock '99

Click to zoom

Copy our records

Back in 2000, we got fed up reading manipulated figures in the media, and we declared ourselves against the “anti-piracy” campaign and in favour of Napster. Our Spanish website is full of articles about this topic.

We believe that copying music is good. That’s why we offer our songs with a Copyleft or Creative Commons license, which lets you copy our songs with peace of mind. We’ve been doing this for more than 15 years and it’s still news for some people.

Discography

  • Suitcase Full Of Dreams (compact vinyl EP, junio 2017)
  • Wading The River / The Lay Of The Land (double EP, September 2015)
  • Stormy Mondays Sketchbook (illustrated book + CD, May 2014)
  • Tú y yo / A las 9 (vinyl single, April 2012)
  • Dormi ya (digital single/video, March 2012)
  • Sunrise Number 1 (digital single, March 2011)
  • Radio (vinyl LP, November 2010 – CD, June 2011)
  • Días mejores (EP, November 2010)
  • On My Radio (EP, May 2010)
  • Concierto: Jardín Botánico (2009)
  • On The Run (EP, 2007)
  • París (EP, 2004)
  • Días de lluvia, corazones rotos (2002)
  • Winter Songs (EP, 2002)
  • Rainy Days And Broken Hearts (1998/2000)

What about that name?

Stormy Mondays started in Oviedo in 1991. Our first gigs were on the street.

We did the same thing the Rolling Stones did way back: we decided to take our name from a blues classic. Ours is “They Call It Stormy Monday” by T-Bone Walker, published in 1947.

Creative Commons license

Licencia de Creative Commons

You can copy, distribute and broadcast our songs, as long as you atrribute the author, have no commercial purposes, and don’t alter the work.

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Our new EP is being released on a surprising format: the Compact Vinyl. One side carries a song in vinyl, which can be played on a turntable. The other side is a CD with the whole record, which can be played in a regular player.
Stormy Mondays
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