One of the perks of writing this weekly column about local music is opening up mail and discovering a CD of well-crafted new music to ingest. Such was the case two weeks ago when a disc arrived from Merrillville songwriter/guitarist John McHenry, who has rocked, twanged and bluesed it up in the region for over thirty years in a variety of area groups, most recently with The Diamondback Band.
For his latest project, McHenry has partnered up very nicely with one of my all time favorite region singers, Heather Peters Bricker, herself a fixture on the local scene for two decades in such bands as Taxi, Vivid and Sadie’s Cage. Together on six acoustic songs co-written by McHenry and Natina Burns (who provides some backing harmony vocals), the duo prove quite an ear-pleasing pairing on this EP simply titled, “John McHenry with H.P. Bricker.
“I’ve been a fan of Heather’s voice since I first heard her perform with Taxi,” said McHenry. “I felt Heather’s vocal strength would really grab the listener’s attention and would greatly compliment my songs.” The EP was recorded at Dungeon Recording Studio in St. John, self-produced by McHenry and mastered at Digitrax Studio in Schererville.”
The two and a half minute opening track - “Do It” - reveals Peters’
vocals have grown during her hiatus from the club scene in recent years; becoming considerably earthier, smokier and more soulful than on past projects.
McHenry’s playing throughout the EP is crisp, clean and dynamic. Both artists shine respectively and collectively on this set of mature acoustic pop for those who understand “pop” music need not always be aimed at teens.
While the five remaining tracks are all strong offerings, personal favorites are “(You) Make Me Breath” and “Hopeless” (the latter features violinist Al Joseph). Subtle rhythm is aptly provided throughout the CD courtesy of percussionist Dennis Leahy and drummer Neil Holmquist. All in all, very tasty from start to finish. More: WWW.JOHNMCHENRY.COM
• Longtime local guitarist James Link has landed in the line-up of Alice
In Chains tribute group, Chains, after parting ways a few weeks ago with classic rock band, Dreamz.
“(I was) impressed with Chains’ musical ability and professional stage show. Eric Lundstrom’s vocals are a spot on match to the sound of the late Layne Staley and the band strives to make sure the sound is as close to the real thing,” said Link, who as a former guitarist of Led Zeppelin tribute No Quarter knows the importance of replicating well.
Rounding out the two-year-old Chains is guitarist Justin Mayberry, bassist Heath Rogers and drummer Jeff Triolo. Catch the new line-up Saturday at Sportsmans in Valparaiso and follow them on Facebook at: chainsAICtribute.
• Valparaiso University is looking for low brass players from the region
to be a part of their annual “TubaChristmas” concert on December 2 at the V.U. campus. TubaChristmas is an event created years ago by Harvey Phillips at Indiana University. A complete history of the event can be referenced at www.tubachristmas.com.
They are seeking low brass players at every level and at every age group
including: tuba, euphonium, baritone, tenor and sousaphone horns. The fee to participate is $5.00 per player. For more info, email Aimee Tomasek at Aimee.Tomasek@valpo.edu
• Look for this columnist to guest this Tuesday evening (10/16) on the
Valparaiso-based WVLP 98.3FM radio program, “Livin’ It Up!” hosted by John King, which airs 9 to 11pm. Tune in and call in to chat about music with us.
Though the station’s air signal is limited, the program can be streamed worldwide via the station website at: WWW.WVLP.ORG.
Email Tom Lounges at: firstname.lastname@example.org