Craig Smith began smacking Tupperware containers with chopsticks around age 7. Next up was a snare drum. Then, high-hat, bass drum, rack tom-toms, cymbals, and hand percussion were added to the mix. He's been playing drums and percussion and singing in front of audiences since the age of 14. He currently resides in Lancaster, PA.


Kyle Spendiff: Besides listening to his mother playing piano, Kyle's earliest musical memory is an unsuccessful attempt at trying out for the French horn in middle school. He was told that he was tone deaf and should try drumming, if anything at all. After ten years of beating on desks, garbage can lids, and anything else that made a cool sound, he was turned onto the mysterious and wonderful world of Afro-Caribbean drumming. "Everyone in the dorm went out drinking but instead, I checked out an African drum ensemble, the name of which I can't remember, though it changed me on a molecular level." Shortly afterwards he was able to trade $5 drinking money for a pair of bongos that were being used as a pencil holder. This solidified his interest in drumming. He would play until his hands were black and blue, and due to his apparent commitment, was accepted into the rhythmic universe by such greats as Barry Irving, Dave Henderson, Chino Roberts and Basha Alade. "I was tutored to be able to play along with some folks that are just off the hook!" Kyle has been a part in several musical ventures, most notably The Blues Bones, an original blues/jazz/funk/soul outfit from Queens, Grupo Iwa Dada (group of good characters) an afro-Caribbean drum and dance group, and now Moroccan Sheepherders which encompasses too many genres to categorize. His most prominent musical influences are Carlos Santana, Allman Bros, Poncho Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza, Frank Zappa and believe it or not, Rush.



Scott's earliest musical memory is banging a tamborine at age 4 to his parents tragically un-hip music while barricaded inside a record-sleeve constructed wall of his own design. First cathartic musical experience was listening to "Walk Away" by the James Gang. First purchased album was "James Gang Rides Again", followed by The Beatles "White Album", and "Who's Next". Scott played in his first band (on drums) at age of 12, where he was the only one in the band under the drinking age. Although obsessed with all things percussive, he picked up guitar and learned how to improvise single note leads on an old nylon string classical to songs like the Abros "High Falls". The world changed upon hearing The Mothers "We're Only In It for the Money." While "Freak Out" was an important listen, it was the third Mothers album that had the most impact. The interesting juxtaposition of free-form improv, underlying structure, studio as an instrument, album as song, and humor had a profound impact. Around this time he played with a nucleus of similar-minded musicians, and a constantly rotating group of guest musicians, who would converge in the "opium den" (Scott and floutist roomate's pad/makeshift studio) on Saturday nights, usually starting at midnight. These sessions were total free-form, merry prankster-type affairs, where first-thought/best-thought ruled and all was recorded to tape. The extended version of "Way Too Long" was an often repeated and constantly evolving favorite. During these sessions, Scott initially manned the guitar but it was here where he first started playing bass, which to him turned out to be the perfect blend of melody, percussion and low-end balls. He never did learn to play the bass the way you are supposed to and he never tried either. The many years of single-note soloing, power-chording on guitar combined with a percussive bent came to define his approach.

 


Steve's first real musical experience was sitting with his great-grandmother at her piano during family visits to her home in Vermont. A few years later, after playing 1st Baritone horn in his school band, he still wanted more. He longed for the rock and roll life. He was first introduced to rock music at the age of ten when he heard Queen's "News of the World" album. This was music that not only he could enjoy, but also could his mother. When he heard Led Zeppelin for the first time, there as no going back. His first guitar, a 12-string, was purchased for one purpose, to play "Tangerine" by the mighty Zep. In his freshman year of high school his brother brought home "Permanent Waves" by Rush, and his musical existence was changed forever. His guitar tutelage was brief (30 minutes), as Steve wanted to learn "Stairway" but the old fart wanted to teach scales. "I feel as though my lack of knowledge of musical theory lends itself to more original-sounding music." Throughout his high school and college he played in mainly cover bands until he first jammed with Craig in 1990, forming Sound and Body. His musical influences include Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Police, U2, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, and of course, John Denver.

 

Herbi

Herbi Freeman started playing music at the age of eight, taking up drums in third grade…and has never looked back since. Singer, songwriter, percussionist and actor, his over thirty years in the business has covered a wide spectrum in the performing arts, ranging from local theater to sharing the stage with the likes of Carlos Santana, Tommy “Bones” Malone of The Blues Brothers fame, Paul Reed Smith, Bruce Springsteen, and Ray Charles..to name a few during his tenure as a manager with the Hard Rock Café in NYC and Atlanta. From his first band Fidelity, to his current involvement with the Moroccan Sheepherders, he continues to “sing songs, and beat the congas”…with gusto!

 

Mike

Mike James Sakowski started formal lessons at the age of years old and continued til 13..He cut 4 full length albums with Exxplorer with the first one in 1983 and last one in 2011. He has been playing on the cover circuit since 1992..Mike has also been teaching drums for 33 years and owned and operated MJM Music Studio from 1991 to 2014....

 

Kendall

Kendall Scott has been playing both guitar and keyboards from an early age, and after his first junior high gig he was hooked for life. Music study took him to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and afterwards to New York for private study with original Return To Forever guitarist Bill Connors. In the 80's, he moved to Washington D.C. to become a session keyboardist and synth programmer for the likes of famed dub producer/engineer Scientist and Robin Rose, of the Brian Eno produced Urban Verbs. After a few years playing in the L.A. scene, he got a healthy dose of original CBGB's New York funk rock with the short lived Cyphaz Godz, who's final lineup included Spin Doctor bassist Mark White. Now back on the Jersey Shore, he enjoys performing and writing a wide variety of music from jazz, prog rock, fusion, classical, electronic, as well funk and a few indie film scores. When he's not with the Sheepherders he is out and about with the Frank Zappa band Project Object, The Red Bank Blues Band, Poppa John Bug, The Working Men and a myriad of other endeavors.

 

Adam

Adam Glenn graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Synthesis. After college he worked at Atlantic Records as an assistant recording engineer and Quality Assurance Manager, working with such artists as Neil Young, George Carlin, Mike Myers and Yes. Adam also co-founded Hit Men Music Productions, where he composed music for the NBA, A Current Affair, and the Winter Olympics. For the past 17 years Adam has been teaching piano and music theory, currently at Music University in Freehold. Adam has acted as musical director and pit pianist for dozens of plays at various schools and community theater groups. He is currently vocal director/pianist for Manalapan High School, where he was nominated for a Basie Award for best Musical Director. Adam has backed up performers such as Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, John Cafferty, Badfinger, The Bay City Rollers, John Ford Coley, and Vini Lopez. He currently is the keyboard player for Eryn Shewell and the Whiskey Devils, and is delighted to be playing keyboards for the rockin' Moroccan Sheepherders.

 

Laura

Laura Catalina Johnson is a vocalist who has been singing with the Moroccan Sheepherders as a 'Junior Sheepherder' since the summer of 2011. A Pat Benatar wannabe since the age of 13, Laura has been singing for herself and anyone within earshot since she can remember. Laura is one half of the local Jersey Shore acoustic duo, Strumberry Pie, but gets her ROCK on singing songs by classic hard rocking artists like Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, The Pretenders and more with the Sheepherders. She also shakes a mean tambourine anytime one is available. ;)

 

Alan

Alan Manzo, also known, as the Doors legend is part of The Moroccan Sheepherders & Carnival Dogs. Alan's passion for singing has him breaking on through to the other side.

 

Darren

Darren Johnson, AKA Cobra, is a singer-songwriter who's been performing in front of audiences for decades. High-energy enthusiasm has been his trademark during his stints as lead singer for Industrial Ave, Last Train Out and Omega Train.

 

Pat

Pat Murphy is a Pennsauken native who's been singing in rock bands for over 30 years. The Moroccan Sheepherders allow him to stretch his voice on great songs from Boston, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC. Pat is active in several other bands and he's always looking to play some Rush!

 

Aaron

Aaron Manzo is a Sheepherder in training as well as the band roadie and videographer. He likes to pick flowers and milk cows as well, and is ear marked for a trip to outer space in the year 2020.

 

Bill

Bill Doyle is officially the band's first fan. He supported us way back in 1998 at shows and still comes out to most of our gigs. Bill appreciates all forms of music especially those of the rock variety. He is also a hell of a nice guy!