Lullaby and Good Night

Morphine is touring "just to have some fun" and to hit territory they've previously missed -- like Florida. Original drummer Deupree joins the trio on the road this time (and maybe more) to help Conway and double Morphine's rhythmic assault. Sandman sounds more than ready to hit the road.

"Recording is just such a tedious process, and time can fly by without a lot to show for it," he says. "But playing live is great, because you can just go right out there and play."

Morphine has certainly done its share of touring over the past six or seven years, including playing massive shows for crowds of up to 75,000 people at Britain's Glastonbury and Reading summer festivals. But Sandman prefers smaller venues for more intimate shows. And if you've ever seen Morphine, it's easy to understand why. A darkened room is the perfect environment for this band. Sandman hovers tall onstage, his cheeks gaunt in a chiseled, near-expressionless face, and his gaze roving across the crowd with a mixture of Humphrey Bogart's cool and the Addams Family's Lurch's ominous stare. Colley blows air through one, maybe two saxophones at a time, then stands motionless as Sandman sings of Day-Glo orange life preservers with the straight-faced humor of comedian Steven Wright. At the back of the stage, Conway settles in at the drums, popping and rolling his sticks off his snares, pinging his shimmering ride cymbals, which break through the deep, dark music as his arms and legs move in a graceful, trancelike dance.

"At first we thought a band with a name like Morphine would be destined to stay local forever. But for some reason, it worked out," Sandman says. "No one minded the name; I guess it just really fits the music."

Morphine performs 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 19 at the Carefree Theater, 2000 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach. Tickets are $17 in advance, $19 day of the show. Call 561-833-7305 for details.

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