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The Henrys


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Impossible to pigeonhole any one way. Among our standard keywords, I can see some overlap with alternative, blues, country rock (though to a lesser degree than the others), folk rock, jazz, and progressive rock. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Status:

Most recent release, Quiet Industry (2015)

See also:

The Henry's site

Comparisons:

All comparisons are necessarily inexact; these guys are unique. But artists with whom I see some partial overlap include Fleetwood Mac in their early days as a blues band, Ry Cooder, Leo Kottke, Jethro Tull, Les Paul (for some of their guitar work), Stereolab, and possibly the Mekons' ventures into country or country rock. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Covers/own material:

Mostly own; some covers

General comments:

Having only heard Joyous Porous, I don't know for sure if it is representative of all their albums. But if it is, this band is the epitome of the word "originality." They synthesize a variety of musical idioms into something that sophisticated and adventurous listeners should find very appealing. Admittedly, it may be too esoteric for the tastes of some; to really appreciate this requires a certain amount of patience and concentration. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Recommended first album:

Joyous Porous

Recordings:


Puerto Angel

Release info:

1994—Trainrec (Canada)—Trainrec 007

Availability:

Canadian sources, through CDRoots, or see website

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for kona and lap steel guitar and/or Mary Margaret O'Hara fans

Group members:

Don Rooke—kona, steel drums, lap steel, dobro
Kim Ratcliffe—acoustic guitar, national guitar, nylon-strong guitar, electric guitars, high-strung guitar
Howard Gaul—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Michael White—trumpet
Paul Pasmore—electric bass, fretless bass
Mary Margaret O'Hara—vocals
Victor Bateman—acoustic bass
Mike Billard—rainstick
John Geggie—acoustic bass
Hugh Marsh—violin
Michael Dunston—vocals
Kirk Elliott—accordion
Ernie Tollar—soprano saxophone

Produced by:

The Henrys

Comments:

I got this because Mary Margaret O'Hara sings on two of the tracks (one of which she wrote). This is kind of country rock flavoured stuff, the musicians are all really good, like jazz quality. The bass player gets an extremely thick, rich tone and he's really funky too. Hugh Marsh plays on this too, and the tracks with Mary are very country-ish, kind of like "Dear Darling" from Miss America. I can never get enough of this woman. I think I'm now a converted Henrys fan as well. (RedWoodenBeads@aol.com)

love Mary Margaret O'Hara's contributions but it's a shame that the rest of the album is so boring. (woj@smoe.org)


Chasing Grace

Release info:

1996—Bar/None Records, PO Box 1704, Hoboken, NJ 07030—AHAON-081

Availability:

Canadian sources, through CDRoots, or see website

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for kona and lap steel guitar and/or Mary Margaret O'Hara fans

Group members:

Don Rooke—acoustic Hawaiian guitars
Monte Horton—electric guitar
David Trevis—electric, acoustic bass
Michael Billard—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Mary Margaret O'Hara—vocals
Michael White—trumpet, conch shell
John Sheard—keyboards

Produced by:

John Sheard

Comments:

Amazing guitar work and the amazing Mary Margaret O'Hara doing vocals on several tracks. What more could anyone want? (Neile)

Desert Cure

Release info:

1998—Trainrec

Availability:

Canadian sources, through CDRoots, or see website

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for kona and lap steel guitar and/or Mary Margaret O'Hara fans

Group members:

Don Rooke—acoustic Hawaiian guitars
Monte Horton—electric guitar
David Trevis—electric, acoustic bass
Michael Billard—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Mary Margaret O'Hara—vocals
Michael White—trumpet, conch shell
John Sheard—keyboards

Produced by:

John Sheard

Comments:

A third difficult-to-find album by Toronto's legendary Henrys with more of the same incredibly beautiful slide guitar work of Don Rooke & possibly the best Mary Margaret O'Hara material yet! (ABershaw@aol.com)

Joyous Porous

Release info:

2002—Trainrec

Availability:

Canadian sources, through CDRoots, or see website

Ecto priority:

If your tastes run narrowly to traditionally ectophilic music, this may be a bit far afield for you; but if you're willing to try something new, it's well worth it. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Group members:

Don Rooke—weissenborn, kalimba, percussion, national steel, electric guitars, lap steel, 12-string octave guitar, sonar zombie, kona, guitar loops, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, steel drums, toys, vocals, maestro chain
David Piltch—the log (bass), acoustic bass, drums, percussion, electric bass, Hogner bass, fuzz bass, arco bass
Michael White—trumpet, arp synthesizer, modcan, mellotron, synth, quarter-tone trumpet, prepared piano, maestro chain
Jørn Andersen—drums, percussion, toms, snare
John Sheard—pump organ

Guest artists:

Mary Margaret O'Hara—vocals
Hugh Marsh—baritone violin, pizz baritone violin, Elise's violin, violin
Christ Bennett—theremin, maestro chain
Grace Rooke—vocal loop

Produced by:

Michael White and Don Rooke

Comments:

The band does an excellent job of putting an eclectic array of instruments together to create a listening experience unlike any I've heard. The tracks on Joyous Porous variously evoke the album-oriented progressive rock of the 60s and 70s, jazz, folk, country, Hawaiian, Japanese, and probably some genres I've missed. Mary Margaret O'Hara does guest vocals, as it were, on several tracks. On one of these she seems to be scat singing, and I had trouble making out the lyrics on the others; but that's perfectly OK because the vocals are essentially icing on the cake anyway; this is first and foremost an instrumental act. If you're up for something new and different, try this one; there's an excellent chance you'll like it. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Further info:

Email hencorp@sympatico.ca

Their mailing list is by far the most hilarious thing I've ever subscribed to! (ABershaw@aol.com)


Thanks to Mitch Pravatiner for work on this entry

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Entry last updated 2016-07-21 14:03:33.
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