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The Combined Effects of Caffeine and Alcohol - 2004 (Remixed and Remastered 2015)

by Matt Shupe

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Last to Know 01:28
The Moon 03:23
Whiskey 02:57
So Lovely 04:09
Carnival 05:18


I met Matt Shupe in 2000 at a meeting of the Colorado Music Association. He said, "I play guitar, banjo, fiddle, and write some." I hunted him down and insisted he join Mr. Tree and the Wingnuts. Matt lived in Fort Collins but he didn't have a drivers' license, which meant he had to take the bus to Denver for rehearsals. But there was no bus from Ft. Collins to Denver. So he took the bus from Ft. Collins to DIA, where he'd hop on the bus to Denver, where we'd rehearse in Shawn's basement, and then he'd make the same three-hour trip home.

Matt showed up to a Wingnuts rehearsal once and recited all eighteen minutes of Alice's Restaurant, WITHOUT EVER HAVING HEARD THE SONG. He said, "Well, my sister's an actress and I figured if she could remember all those lines, I should try to memorize something. I'd heard that Alice's restaurant was a long song, so I printed the lyrics and learned them."

This is dedication, kids.

After the end of the Wingnuts, Matt decided to make a solo album. Twelve years later, those sessions remain in a special cabinet in the trophy room of my mind:

The two of us dueting on guitars for Whiskey; the songs on which Mr. Tree and the Wingnuts made their final performances (I'm So Very Blue, and The Trees Aren't Green); Matt's way of hitting every single vocal in one take; his immaculate arrangements; his fiery fiddle on Little Black Bird; laughing as we recorded that goofy sax solo on Pear-Shaped Girls; sneaking into a rehearsal room at the DU music school to record piano for I'm So Very Blue; Shawn Sandler's steelish guitar on I'm Thirty; and the eight astonishing takes of Django's Dead, wherein Matt, Shawn Sandler, and Tom Hagerman sat around a single microphone and blistered the air.

I love everything that's come out of the garage, but The Combined Effects of Caffeine and Alcohol is special; it stands as a subtle, gentle, and sometimes silly portrait of a human whose goddamn soul runs deep.


released June 1, 2004

All songs by Matt Shupe.

Additional musicians:

Soapy Argyle - guitar, tenor saxophone, bass
Shawn Sandler - mandolin, guitar, bass
Mr. Tree - bass
Jason Kehl - trombone
Shawn Gilbert - drums, trumpet, keyboard
Tom Hagerman - violin, accordion


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Sparky the Dog Records Denver, Colorado


At the request of Jason and Jonathan, I am going to write liner notes for every freaking STD album. This will take some time.

Folk, rock, pop, psychedelia, holiday compilations, spoken word albums, and a pirate opera.

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