When Republic-Times editor Corey Saathoff is not busy keeping the community aware of news affecting Monroe County, he’s writing songs and performing them with his original country rock band The Trophy Mules.
A project nearly two years in the making, Saathoff’s band just released the 10-song recording Sorry Motel. A downloadable version of the album is now available through most online music retailers, including iTunes. The physical CD may be purchased at CDBaby.com, or at the Republic-Times newspaper office in Waterloo.
A CD release party celebrating the band’s new effort takes place this Friday night at Stagger Inn Again in Edwardsville.
A Monroe County transplant, Saathoff, 37, currently resides in Columbia. Born and raised near Highland, Saathoff recently moved to the county in which he works after having spent a few years living in south St. Louis city.
Saathoff is no stranger to the St. Louis area music scene. His first two bands — Jerkwater Junction and Brain Regiment — performed many concerts over the years and released multiple CDs.Pictured, from left, bassist Dan Huffman, singer-guitarist Corey Saathoff and guitarist Larry Rosenhoffer of The Trophy Mules perform an acoustic show at Lau-Nae Winery in Red Bud last year. (Alan Dooley photo)
The singer-songwriter-guitarist formed The Trophy Mules in 2009 with mandolin-guitar player Larry Rosenhoffer of St. Louis and bassist Dan Huffman of Belleville, who now resides in Columbia. A new drummer (Dave Clark) and part-time fiddle and pedal steel players round out the current band lineup.
The Trophy Mules combine classic country, rock and folk elements to deliver a distinctive and timeless collection of material that stretches across musical boundaries.
Monroe County and the surrounding area is well-represented in Sorry Motel.
The album’s title and cover art comes from the rusted old motel sign that can be seen just north of Hecker; the songs were recorded, mixed and mastered by Dan Mehrmann at Jettison Studios near New Athens.
There are local references in Saathoff’s song lyrics on the album as well. The rocking number “Were You Alone?” is loosely based on the murders of a Columbia mother and her two sons by husband and father Chris Coleman in 2009.
In fact, critically acclaimed true crime author Michael Cuneo credited The Trophy Mules for “affording (him) much-needed musical inspiration during the early stages of research” in his novel One Last Kiss, which he wrote about the Coleman murders. Cuneo met Saathoff during the trial and attended one of the band’s concerts in St. Louis during his stay.