High Street
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High Street

Winnetka, Illinois, United States | SELF

Winnetka, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues

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Remember when turning 21 meant finally acquiring access to clubs and bars to see live music? Things have changed as more venues host 18-and-over gigs or all-ages shows and with young local talent like Purple Apple, The Rift, and Spencer Tweedy’s (yeah, he’s sired by you-know-who) The Blisters spilling forth tunes more sophisticated than the average high school talent show lineup. Joining that list is High Street, a collective of Wilmette natives ranging in age from 13 to 15. The band cites Rush and Led Zeppelin as influences, but we just marvel at the technical precision of the riffage. Catch them on Dec. 9 at 8 pm. at Beat Kitchen. - Illinois Entertainer


Members of a blues-rock quintet from Chicago’s North Shore aim to make the city all theirs—by age 15. Click here for entire article - Time Out Chicago


Winnetka teens High Street may range in ages from 13-15, but the quintet unveils plenty of old soul on their second EP Nocturnal, of which the band is celebrating the release tonight. Upon first listen of Nocturnal it is very apparent that High Street are quick studies of classic rock legends Led Zeppelin and Rush. The EP’s title track in particular mirrors the work of those hard rocking legends with wall-to-wall rusty blues riffs, well-executed solos and plenty of Midwestern twang. These kids are definitely ones to watch. Also appearing Purple Apple, The Rift.

7:00 p.m. Thursday, 8/2. Subterranean. All Ages. $10 - Loud Loop Press


When you see the five members of the local teen band, High Street, standing on stage — all well-coiffed and confident, looking ready for a cameo at next year’s Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards — there’s a temptation to write them off as yet another bubble-gum teeny-bopper kid’s band.

Which teen idol, you wonder, are they going to imitate? Justin Bieber? Selena Gomez? One Direction? Or dare it be even written? Those Hanson kids from the ’90s?

But then you hear their sound — a bit mature for a band made primarily of freshman high school students — and you think, given enough time, and the right coaching, that perhaps their manager, David Findling, just might be right. Maybe they are Led Zeppelin meets Adele. Maybe they are something rare: a teenage band dedicated to blending the soul of blues with the passion of rock ‘n’ roll.

“They are going to mature along with their audience,” says Findling, father to Erik, the band’s guitarist, and Kurt, its drummer. “I think they have range. They can appeal to everyone from 15 to 50.”
Only time will tell, but the band’s origins are the stuff rock ‘n’ roll fairy tales are made. It’s a classic story, really. A couple of kids from the neighborhood — middle schoolers who are interested in music of all stripes and eager to create unique sounds — get together for jam sessions in an attic fully equipped for musical experimentation.
In the beginning, it’s all fun. But then they start reaching to become something more. They take lessons. They dedicate a specific time every week — usually Sunday afternoons or Wednesday nights — to coalescing their sounds. They gain confidence by playing cover songs — think, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns & Roses and “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones — during a free neighborhood concert for friends and family. And then suddenly they want to be a band, naming themselves High Street in honor of the street they stared at while jamming together in that fateful attic.

What can’t be denied is that the band has been busy earning its stripes on the local music scene, performing everywhere from Soldier Field and U.S. Cellular Field to local spots like The Alley in Highwood and Nova HP in Highland Park. They’ve got one EP under their belt — named appropriately enough Out of the Attic — followed by a second, “Nocturnal,” which debuted in March.

There’s also a high-end music video on the way, which they hope will go viral on YouTube, plus a date to play Great America on Sept. 2. Add that to the fact they won a coveted spot at last year’s Michigan Summer Festival — beating out a plethora of older, more experienced bands for the prize — and you can see why buzz is building.

But for now, says Annette Findling, who is the band’s communications manager and “snack caterer,” it’s simply about living in the moment. “We treat it no differently than a travel sport. Maybe it will grow into something bigger, but right now they’re just enjoying the opportunity to play together.”

The band’s next local concert will be during Wilmette Summerfest on July 14 at 7 p.m. on the Central Avenue stage near the train station. But in the meantime, here’s an insider’s look at the band’s five young members: Billy, Jimmy, Kurt, Erik, and Jenny. For more information and samples of the band’s music, visit http://highstreetrocks.com.
A group of local teens from Winnetka, Kenilworth and Glenview have banded together, with impressive early success, by rejecting the typical sounds associated with their generation for more mature beats that borrow from the rhythms of their parents’ (and grandparents’) music collections.

Billy Hennessy | Guitarist, 15, Kenilworth
You know musicians like Billy Hennessy, a wise, old soul trapped in a young man’s body. He says things like, “I wasn’t made for this time” and “I should have been born in Chicago in the 1950s” and thinks the sweetest sound on the planet is listening to vinyl records of the Beatles in their heyday. It’s the result of - Quintessential New Trier


The members of Winnetka band High Street play like seasoned veterans. Their young faces, though, tell a different story. Brothers Kurt Findling,15, Erik Findling,13, Jenny Thompson,15, Billy Hennessy,15, and Jimmy Friedman,15, have to juggle doing homework with playing music. And they are especially busy these days. Click for More - Total Scene Chicago


Meet High Street. This up-and-coming young blues rock band out of Chicago's north shore just released their second studio album. They have been playing together for 5 years, something very unusual for their age. They're just highschool kids! High Street writes all of their own music, and these amazingly talented kids appeal to fans of all ages, including 14 up to 50.

They are starting to get some local radio play on Fearless Radio and Radio One Chicago. They cut their first EP "Out of the Attic" in 2011 and their second EP "Nocturnal" in March 2012 at Reelsounds Chicago owned by locally respected engineer/producer Mark "Mouse" Brunner.

The kids of High Street talked to us about their music and life in Chicago.

Tell us how you got started. Has music always been a passion?

Kurt: Music is in our blood. We were friends getting together jammin and started to get really good. We decided to take it to another level and write our own music.

The name "High Street" is an interesting one; what's the story behind it?

Erik: We rehearse in the Findling's attic which overlooks High Street. The street name on a beat up sign looked cool.

What are your influences?

Everyone: Zep, Adele, Black Keys.

We definitely hear a bit of Led Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs in your tunes; what's your favourite Zeppelin album?

Erik: Led Zep 1...power blues (Communication Breakdown).

What are the 5 songs you've played the most on your iPod?

Everyone: Green River by CCR, Rollin in the Deep by Adele, Limelight by Rush, Voo Doo Chile by Hendricks/SRV.

Can you tell us about your first performance? What was it like?

Jenny: Our first performance was like Woodstock. Hundreds of people came out to watch us on our street.

How would you describe your music in 5 words or less?

Everyone: Creativity, Excitement, Desire, Worry, Groove.

Tell us a bit about your first EP "Out Of The Attic." How long was it in the works and what can someone expect when turning it on for the first time?

Kurt: It took about six months to write the songs and record them. A listener will hear a very raw but truthful sound. Out of the Attic wasn't heavily produced. It represents the band in it's cleanest state when we were very young.

What can we expect to see next from you in the coming months? Is there an album in the works?

Our new album "Nocturnal" was just released....and it rocks! You can listen to it on our website or buy it on iTunes. We'll be writing more over the summer.

We've spoken with Marty Casey (of Chicago's Lovehammers, formerly of L.A. Guns), and he explained in Chicago you really need to create your own scene by dragging your friends and family out at first, and letting it grow from there. How do you feel about this statement? Is that what you've had to do? How did you make your own scene in Chicago?

Kurt: We agree. You have to invite your family and friends which we've done. If you want to go viral with a fan base, your friends have to pass it on.

Do you feel there are any advantages or disadvantages of being a Chicago band as opposed to somewhere like Los Angeles, Memphis, or Nashville?

Kurt: Chicago is a great launch pad...it's an advantage. We have a legacy here in our music style.

Chicago's got a lot of great stuff about it. What are your favourite and least favourite aspects?

Jimmy and Billy: The sky is the limit in Chicago...the hugeness of the city is the greatest aspect along with diverse groups of people. January is just too cold...that's our least favorite aspect.

Everybody needs good pizza. Where's your favourite place in Chicago to grab a slice?

Everyone: Lou Malnati's, Pizzeria Uno, and Gino's Pizza.

What's your favourite Chicago venue to play at?

Everyone: So far, US Cellular - Metroseeker.com Chicago


Click the link for the article on High Street - Make it Better Magazine


Playing with Cinderella and Jackyll - MLive


Click to listen to the podcast review - Feerless Radio


Tucked neatly inside an attic nook, five teenagers rehearse their latest songs for an upcoming album. High Street, a rock band formed in 2007, is comprised of four boys and one girl, all with one goal in mind: to compose and record music. "We'd like to get a record deal," said one musician, as the band members nodded their heads in agreement. "That might be nice." For five hours a week, the band members practice at the Findling home, where drummer Kurt Findling, 14, and electric guitarist Erik Findling, 12, live with their parents, David and Annette. The band's singer, 14-year-old Jenny Thompson lives down the street. Guitarist Billy Hennessy, 14, and basist Emre Erel, 15, commute from nearby towns. On Tuesday evening, High Street was interviewd live on Fearless Radio, a Chicago-based Internet radio station.* Listeners could also tweet questions to the band during the show. "What we're trying to do is build a fan base over a long period of time," said Kurt, noting Facebook as a social media tool. "Everytime I have a new friend on Facebook, I suggest he or she 'likes' us on Facebook." The band's page had 380 likes, as of Tuesday afternoon. His father, David, seconded him. "To get the band exposed, we have to be creative, especially with an online presence," he said. A guitarist himself, David Findling manages the band and built the attic studio with his sons. The band recently hired a publicist as well. Findling said the online radio interview lasted about an hour with DJ Dirty.

"During the interview there was some good lighthearted barbs poked at each other since the band is like a close knit family," said Findling. "The podcast will be available soon and we'll post on our Facebook page." "The playback will make the audience laugh for sure."

Recent work

Sandwiched between a mini-refrigerator, a lava lamp and instruments, the band talks about new songs. After releasing "Out of the Attic" in May 2011, the band, which describes itself as "blues-based rock," played gigs throughout the summer. In July the band perfomed for a crowd of about 13,000 at Michigan’s Summer Celebration, according to Findling. In August High Street made it to U.S. Cellular Field. More recently, they played at a smaller show and fundraiser for the non-profit, Chloe's Crew.

Back to the Drawing Board

With two freshmen at New Trier High School, one freshman at Loyola Academy, one sophomore at Niles North High School and one middle schooler at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, the band considers itself lucky to have found each other.

"It's hard to find talented players your age," said Kurt. "There's an emphasis on sports, which makes it harder to find kids in music." After meeting in middle school and recruiting Emre through school band directors, High Street said it is moving forward with its song-writing. "It's great to have the freedom to make whatever you want," Kurt said.
- Winnetka Patch


High Street will bring its bluesy rock to Hubbard Woods Park this Saturday for Skip in the Park.
In fact, it was above that from the very start, opting for a Winnetka attic as a practice haven instead.
Now, four years and about 40 crowd-pleasing shows later, the young, talented quintet has its sights set on releasing a second record and competing in the 95 WIIL Rock Battle Brunch Sunday, Sept. 25, in Arlington Heights. But before that happens, the band of Kurt and Erik Findling, Jenny Thompson, Billy Hennessy and Emre Erel will be able to again test out their music on the Winnetka community at Skip in the Park. The fundraiser for Chloe's Crew, which helps people in need by supplying school supplies, clothing and meals, begins at 4 p.m. in Hubbard Woods Park. High Street is scheduled to take the stage at 5 p.m.

Jenny, a 14-year-old Kenilworth resident, will wow the crowd with her impressive vocals, which she has been fine tuning for 10 years."Jenny has the voice of a gifted angel," said drummer Kurt, of Winnetka. "And Emre shreds on the bass." Emre, a 15-year-old from Skokie, joined the band in 2010 and has been playing bass for more than five years. He also plays guitar and saxophone on the side.
Billy, 14, of Kenilworth, has been playing rhythm guitar for five years and joined the band in 2009.
Kurt, now 14, founded High Street when he was 10 years old. He picked up the drum sticks at age 7, when he and younger brother Erik, 12, stumbled upon their dad's music equipment in the attic. Their dad, David Findling, started playing guitar when he was 5, so it wasn't surprising when Erik did the same.

Musical talent is strong in Jenny's family as well; her grandfather was an opera singer. In the band's early stages, others came and went, but the final five members have solidified a great lineup and a great relationship. "These guys are like brothers to me," said Jenny, who has two brothers aside from the four she found in her bandmates. "I went to preschool with Billy and Erik reminds me of my little brother." "We're talented, we're young and we get people going with us," Emre said. "Our music appeals to all ages. At our last show, we saw people in their 40s and 60s in the crowd."

With such a diverse crowd of fans, it's no wonder High Street, with its bluesy rock sound, took second place at Battle of the Bands in Muskegon, Mich., in April, beating out 16 adult bands. The group is certainly adjusted to the limelight. Thanks to its second place finish, High Street also landed a gig at Muskegon's Summer Celebration and played for approximately 13,00 people. High Street also performed at U.S. Cellular Field before the Sox game Aug. 21. "Lots of adults really like the music we play and I feel like lots of the younger kids look up to us," Jenny said. "It just shows you don't have to be a certain age to be successful." "They've got a vehicle that they can drive 100 miles an hour and it's time to hit the gas," David added. But don't take their word for it. Visit www.highstreetrocks.com to preview the band's first EP, "Out of the Attic," which is also available on iTunes. Or stop by Hubbard Woods Park this Saturday to hear High Street live.
- Winnetka Current


Discography

Out of the Attic (EP) - March 2011
Nocturnal (EP) - March 2012

Photos

Bio

High Street is an indi rock band from Chicago. Delivering a fresh spin on classic rock and Chicago blues with some current pop influences, the band blasts through the noise with a powerful punch. Brothers Kurt (Drums - 17) and Erik (Guitar-15) Findling and Julia Bosco (Vocals - 15) lead High Street’s attack innovating on the past while cutting a fresh path in today’s rock space. In post production on their third EP, produced by Sean O’Keefe (Fall Out Boy; Plain White T’s), High Street is preparing for the release of 5 new songs and several show dates throughout Chicago and the Midwest.