In 1998, Howard Herrick formed the "tHE mEsOmEoNeS" we had some well received songs on the Klaatu,Jellyfish and the Left Banke tributes. I changed the name to Minster Hill and immediately got a song on the Jeff Buckley tribute as well as released my debut cd "Minster Hill" in late 1999. It was well received and had airplay in New Jersey. We quickly sold 3000 units without touring via Not Lame, Jam Records, Amazon and in stores throughout New Jersey thanks to word of mouth and plays at WDHA.
Howard Herrick is a life-long music enthusiast, composer and musician, whose
influences and songs range from pop and rock (including hard and progressive) to Americana, Jazz, R&B, Blues, Hip Hop, Classical, Modern Dace, Pop and Indie.
In addition, to his band Minster Hill's releases, he produced and wrote music
for the critically acclaimed 2009 motion picture staring Renee Zellweger and
Kevin Bacon, , "My One and Only", and the new 2011 release "Vanishing on 7th
Street", directed by Brad Anderson and starring Hayden Christensen and has also
worked on several motion pictures as the Executive Music Producer. Currently,
Herrick is writing and recording for several major label artists.
Howard Herrick- songwriter and musician
Minster Hill (1999)
Capturing Clouds in a Bottle (2009)
All the tracks are great - all of them
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"All the tracks are great - all of them... just buy the CD - if you don't like it no more orders sho..."All the tracks are great - all of them... just buy the CD - if you don't like it no more orders should be allowed from you because you're an idiot."- EarBuzz.com
The territory of Minster Hill
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“Think 70’s progressive music, the pastoral, ethereal variety rather than the overblown and pompous....“Think 70’s progressive music, the pastoral, ethereal variety rather than the overblown and pompous. Think everything about Brian Wilson that Mike Love hated. Think Supertramp without the saccharine triteness. Think Jon Anderson if Van Dyke Parks had got hold of him and set him right. Think XTC and Jimmy Webb. Think Hermit of Mink Hollow. Then you’re somewhere in the territory of Minster Hill.”
“Previously met on the Left Banke tribute record where they essayed Evening Gown, this band, or concept, comprises songwriter Howard Herrick and studio whizz Christian Cassan. Minster Hill exude a sense of a never-never land or a magical mystery tour. Their songs are trippy and gadflyish, never at rest. The quirky melodies jump around, the instruments and effects slide in and around each other, constantly offering new vistas and new possibilities. The voices refuse to be pinned down; they drift away in and out of harmonies. Yet this is no too-clever-by-half sterile exercise, and there’s never a sense that sounds have been piled up to hide lack of inventiveness. This is plainly because the songs were the beginning point and not grafted on when they’d finished playing with the machines.
This is a record that requires concentration. It’s not a record to skip as you’ll miss something special. Let’s All Sing Our Song and A Place Called Freedom, for instance, don’t really show themselves until a good way in, and to miss the divine harpsichord on That’s Fine To Me would be criminal. So give it time and luxuriate in it. It’s worth it.” Joey Webb, Bucketfull of Brains Magazine
Songwriter Howard Herrick has created a near-perfect album
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"If you were left cold by XTC's latest, then this is probably what you were expecting! Great songs, ..."If you were left cold by XTC's latest, then this is probably what you were expecting! Great songs, quirky changes and a fine blend of acoustic and electric instrumentation. Man, if Colin Moulding released a solo album today (produced by Andy Partridge) then this is exactly what it would sound like. Although I don't think it would touch the majesty that this album possesses. Don't let the XTC comparison get in the way, though. They don't SOUND like them. They just have the same quirky musical stylings. Songwriter Howard Herrick has created a near-perfect album filled with everything that us pop fans want, need, desire and love. This is an album that is as enchanting as anything else you'll hear this year…fabulous".
Stephen SPAZ Schnee, All-Music Guide
one of the best Pop/Rock albums of the year
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What a refreshing delight this recording turned out to be. Pure pop pleasure by design with the all ...What a refreshing delight this recording turned out to be. Pure pop pleasure by design with the all ability and presence to put a good chunk of jumpy guitar licks in at all the right instances. Those critical elements just push along all the lyrical content in a convincing fashion. The key that gets this whole project over with a bang is an exceptional mixture of folk and electric guitar placed in all the right spots of each song to give it an extraordinary air of lighthearted exuberance with just enough attitude to push it over the edge into the alternative realm. Echoes of The Beatles, 10CC and many others is probably why this hook laden masterpiece of alternative pop caught my ear and kept my attention throughout the entire listen. Surely one of the most pleasant surprises of the entire year. If this gets in the right hands at the right time I am sure it will raise a few eyebrows. Another testament to the fact that labels and their highbrow executives haven't got a hint were the real talent is. Don't miss one of the best Pop/Rock albums of the year!”
A big favorite
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A big favorite. Complex song structures and instrumentation, melodies intertwining around songs that...A big favorite. Complex song structures and instrumentation, melodies intertwining around songs that involve you from the outset. Minster Hill instantly brings bands like XTC, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Beatles, et al…. every bit the equal while standing out among the new POP brigade of artists following their lead. This is the kind of stuff that leaves me battered by superlatives and if you're looking for something fresh I'd say you found it. Count us among the throng of reviewers writing/singing your praises. Awesome stuff!”-Bryan Baker, Gajoob.Com
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“I just received my copy of "MiNsTeR HiLL" from NOTLAME! Put it on the Cd player in the kitchen wh... “I just received my copy of "MiNsTeR HiLL" from NOTLAME! Put it on the Cd player in the kitchen while I started to make dinner. Half way into the first track, I had to stop working on dinner and sit down and really LISTEN to this thing man! My wife and kids HAD TO WAIT FOR DINNER BECAUSE OF YOU! I am in awe my friend! I was not prepared for this audiowhirlwind of flavors! Outstanding Howard! I am standing and applauding as I write this (and that's not easy to do!!).
If I had the talent to write and record a CD.....this is what I would have wanted it to sound like!!! Bravo! Bravisimo!”
Mark Hershberger, Bullseye Records of Canada
An exceptional piece of work
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“After a couple of stellar compilation contributions, the one-man-band Minster Hill unleashes their ...“After a couple of stellar compilation contributions, the one-man-band Minster Hill unleashes their (uh, his) full-length debut. Exceeding this reviewer's expectations (which were pretty high, really), I find this CD to be nothing but entertaining, heart-warming, evocative, and one of the finest of it's kind this year.
What "kind" is that? Minster Hill favours full and lush arrangements, often venturing into the exotic - the most apparent cross-reference here would be the likes of XTC (with a little bit of Jellyfish thrown in). Songs like the beautifully paced opener I've Been In A World Today (This Time), the Celtic-tinged Unconscious Kitchen, and the ultra-smooth Limelight Vivian paint vivid portraits indeed. Minster Hill clearly is not interested in playing by any rules. Anything goes - and it all works wonderfully. The Eastern feel of That's Fine By Me makes for a lovely and exotic number while the disjointed rhythm on the chorus of My Dear makes the ballad all the more interesting and enjoyable. These tasteful touches abound on Minster Hill - again, all to great effect. Minster Hill lets the songs and arrangements do the bulk of the talking and lets them take on a life of their own - rather than turn this into a "look what I can do" exercise. Get to know Minster Hill - you'll be all the richer for it. An exceptional piece of work.”
(**** out of 5) , Claudio Sossi , Shake It Up
Minster Hill could easily emerge as a leading proponent of retro-pop for this decade
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“If you enjoy the melodic pop of XTC or Jellyfish then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll dig the 14...“If you enjoy the melodic pop of XTC or Jellyfish then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll dig the 14 cuts on this platter. As seen on opener “I’ve Been In A World Today”, Herrick has a sure knack for sensible pop writing though with a strongly personal point of view. He’s no hack lyricist either, with each song unfolding to deliver an intimate yet friendly view into his mind’s eye. Strong traces of the Beatles or Brian Wilson are conjured up admidst songs like “That’s Fine To Me” and “Ripe” and Herrick employs all of the melodic muscle he can muster both in the arrangements and the vocal lines. Minster Hill could easily emerge as a leading proponent of retro-pop for this decade.” Paul Hightower, Expose Magazine
Very Highly Recommended!!-
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“Hard to pin down, hard to ignore, hard to not praise...CD's like this don't arrive on the shores of...“Hard to pin down, hard to ignore, hard to not praise...CD's like this don't arrive on the shores of Colorado too often...pastoral, sleepy pop that vamps spirits of mid/late 70's AOR giants like Supertramp, Yes touring with XTC as an opening band. Fine blending of quirky, swervy melodies and solid balance of acoustic and electric guitars. Soft pop fans of June & Exit Wounds, Jiffipop/Cloud Eleven and Cherry Twister should find this lovely confection of lilting vocal layering and easy-to-digest(re: not distracting) quirk their cup of tea. Progressive pure soft pop for now people. Very Highly Recommended!!-Bruce Brodeen, Not Lame Records