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The Shu Story

Shu is a five piece experimental genre-fluid band from Glens Falls, NY. The band formed in 1993, and for 30 years since have been entertaining hippies throughout the Northeast.

Here is the Shu story, as told by guitarist/singer, Bob Smith.

Do not scrutinize what follows too closely. This is a loose historical account of a quintet of musicians (Shu) and their extended family, as told by one member of the band… me, Bob Smith. It should be noted that I (now seven years sober) spent many of the years recounted below in a drunken stupor. So if you find inaccuracies or other offenses, blame them on the hazy memory of an overly-zealous young Irish-American alcoholic’s bruised and beaten brain cells.


Now without further adieu… the Story of Shu

In 1992, I lived in Orlando with my buddy Mato (Matt D’Ambrosio). We were both origianlly from Queensbury, NY and had moved to Florida to attend Full Sail Recording School. Mato and I were 2/3 of a band called The Distractions. Our best bud Todd Haviland (bass) was the other 1/3, but he was back home, 1,500 miles away.

Anyway, after a year or so of Florida, it was clear that I was never going to be able to afford school. So, I decided it was time to go home and start a new band. Mato stayed behind to finish school. As I departed, he said to me that if I were to play with any drummer other than he, I would be wise for it to be, Eric D. Hamell.

So I went home and called Todd, and then I called Eric. The three of us practiced sporadically. We were throwing around some band names (Asthma Hound is one that I recall). It was fun, but things weren’t exactly catching fire.

April 15, 1993 was my 23 birthday. We practiced that night. Afterwards, Eric invited us to join him at ‘Webster’s house’, which turned out to be the Glens Falls home of 19 year-old guitarist Chris Webster and his 23 year-old sculptor brother Dave. A small assortment of hippies in their late teens and early twenties hung around the Mason St abode as permanent guests. Everyone played an instrument, cigarette and pot smoke filled the air, and we drank beer like it was water. It was perfect.

That first night, we all traded songs and wrote new ones. A band was born in an instant. Within a few months, sax player Matty Carl had joined the group. We very quickly made a name for ourselves locally. We got attention because we were weird and we knew how to play. We became a staple at Elmo’s (the old Lake Theater), which had become a happening spot for original music in Lake George.

The first two years of Shu were pretty wild. This is before we went on the road. Aside from a part time job at Strawberries Record Store, my entire life consisted of making music and partying. The story was similar for everyone there. Eric delivered pizzas and I think Todd worked at a bike shop. Matty was going to school. Bry had not yet joined us, but that would soon change.

[to be continued]

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