Savage Henry
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Savage Henry

Bellingham, Washington, United States

Bellingham, Washington, United States
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"Savage Henry"

by Jessica Harbert

The local jammers of Savage Henry began playing together in May 2003, and the youngest member of the band is still in high school, making this band’s longevity pretty impressive. Members include guitarist Jordan Watson, guitarist Todd Smith, bassist Andrew Merlina, percussionist Chris Stainback, drummer Eli Watson and Alex McKay on keys and vocals.

All the members went to Ferndale High School, which is where they met. The band has been playing shows in Bellingham for a few years now and also has played in Ferndale, Blaine and Port Townsend.

The band hopes to get some funds together to head out on a weeklong West Coast tour next summer. Savage Henry released an album in 2005, selling all 50 copies. The band recently has been recording again and is planning to release an album this summer. Frank Zappa, Phish, Yes and Miles Davis are a few of the band’s influences.

Savage Henry is playing with jazz funk artist Garaj Mahal at the Wild Buffalo, 208 W. Holly St., tonight. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Music starts at 9 p.m. - The Bellingham Herald


"Better Living Through Reckless Experimentation"

by Jeff Kirby

I have never seen this band live, but rumor has it they get the kids to dance. Which in and of itself is quite a feat in this town.

Savage Henry has a tight sound. This record is an impressive recording of their talents, touching on a large pool of musical influences. For the most part, imagine Bellingham’s own version of the Allman Brothers. Intertwined in the many, long jams are scale breakdowns similar to Yes, hints of Jethro Tull, and definitely a healthy appreciation for jazz. For the most part, this is a “jam” band, but the jams never stick around long enough to get stagnant.

Not all the tracks are winners though; I have a hard time wanting to follow along as the band shifts genres. The majority of the tracks are showcased with some really impressive guitar lines and interesting structures, others fall flat when they try too hard to incorporate other types of music. The second song on Better Living Through Reckless Experimentation turns into cheesy metal with a curse word chant, but then saves itself by dissolving into odd changes. The fifth song starts out like a ska nightmare, morphing into a reggae nightmare, then trances off into slow, discordant pieces. For the most part all of the instruments have a good tone and sound pretty professional, until the vocals kick in. It’s amazing how good a band can play technically, but once poor sounding vocals are introduced the whole thing loses credibility. Luckily, the vocal parts are few and far between, and the instrumentation is left to carry the album the rest of the way.

There is no doubt these kids are good at sweet jams. With a little work locking in a signature sound—learning which of their jams are unique and which have been done a few too many times before—they have the chance to do some seriously impressive stuff.
- What's Up Magazine


"The Gathering 2005"

by Jabez Richard

I’m talking about two straight days, 12 hours each, of rock and roll! I’m talking about pirates blasting off metaphorical song cannons! I’m talking about Jason Webley getting the entire Dreamspace to spin in circles until they’re wasted enough to sing drinking songs. What am I talking about? The Gathering 2005!

The Gathering 2005 was the brainchild of local promoter Forest Wilson, whom, along with WhAAm, New Regard Media and others put on this rock ‘n’ roll onslaught. On the bill were Bellingham favor­ites such as Camarojuana, Cast of Characters, the Mark, the Contra, FFA, Pirates R Us, Axes of Evil, All The Filthy Animals, Fogey, Road To Ruin, Final Hour, After Midnight, and Birch. While others trav­eled for the festival, includ­ing Seattle’s, The Ruby Doe, The Hollowpoints, The Valley, Jason Webley, Space Cretins, as well as Portland’s Trauma le Tron. Juxtaposed against the usual suspects were newer groups such as Platypi and the Sympathetic Nervous System, as well as my personal favorite all-ages band, Savage Henry.

Saturday Highlights:

Savage Henry’s lead sing­er Alex chasing percussion­ist Chris off the stage, with drums still in hand, and run­ning through the dancing crowd, heedless of the ongo­ing boogie.

Camarojuana = broken ear drums and blown mind.

Jason Webley and his afore mentioned drunk spinning, as well as great accordion play­ing, guitar crooning/growling, and a creepy-ass ghost story about a swingset and a guy with a dead battery and falling asleep with the radio on...

The first time I’ve ever seen people waltz to Pirate’s R Us’s MP3 Waltz. And a fine waltz it was, yaaaargh!

Sunday Highlights:

Personally, what I want to hear first thing in the morn­ing (i.e. noon on a Sunday) is some beautiful music that isn’t too sappy, but definitely strums my hearts strings a little bit. If you haven’t heard Fogey yet, please don’t hesitate to check these guys out. Switching between bass and accordion, whether having fun, or hav­ing somber moments, this trio holds your attention in capable hands.

Leading into: All The Filthy Animals and the sweet rage that accompanies them. When amplified to the limits of a PA system and enormous double stacks, this band sounds really amazing. And beautiful, first thing in the morning.

Dancing on stage for Cast of Characters with the rest of the audience (well, really like three other guys).

Guinness dedicating “That’s My Nigga” to Tamara, the man­ager of the Pickford Dreamspace, and then proceeding to tear the roof off the building.

Elijah Nelson from the Wizards of Wor’s playing a surprise acoustic guitar perfor­mance of some Wizards songs, as well as a couple Volkov Tusk and Old Rawler tunes, thrown in for good measure.

That’s what happened (the short version). If you were there you know what I’m talk­ing about and if not, be sure to check out all of these bands at the next show. For what I’ve seen of all-ages events in B-ham, The Gathering kicked some ass for the team. Forest Wilson, wherever you are out there, I salute you. Keep making these shows happen and we’ll keep coming to them.
- What's Up Magazine


Discography

You Are Very People to Meat is our most recent effort released Oct. 1st 2008. This is our first offering of a Full-Length Studio Album. Released alongside it was a live album entitled "Savage Henry... In the Buff" which our complete set at the Wild Buffalo on 2/8/08.

"Better Living Through Reckless Experimentation" was released in October 2005. Only 50 copies were pressed and sold out within a few months. It was an LP consisting of 4 studio tracks and 6 live tracks.

Currently our songs get airplay at 89.3 KUGS and 92.9 KISM in Bellingham. Live shows are available for download at the Live Music Archive. www.archive.org

Photos

Bio

Once known as the Hairiest Band in Bellingham, Savage Henry is a unique entity of six lost musical souls that came together by fate in the summer of 2003 to command the cowering masses to rock and dance and get naked to the infectious groove! We espouse originality in our compositions, which encompass progressive rock, jazz, funk, avant garde, humor, and other portions of various sporadic and disparate elements within the far reaches of the endless musical spectrum. We also incorporate extended collective improvisation within our compositions and take off into completely different directions at every show...Our live show is alternately groovy and grotesque and is guaranteed to make you sweat. We have shared the stage with many of our Bellingham friends such as TapHabit, Acorn Project, Captain Seahorse: Revenge Upon Humanity, The Growers, and many more. In addition we have also opened up for Garaj Mahal and Panda Conspiracy (Seattle).
Our Influences include but are not limited to:
Frank Zappa, Phish, Grateful Dead, Aquarium Rescue Unit, James Brown, Parliamaent, Captain Beefheart, Rush, Primus, Allman Brothers, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti, John Zorn, Tin Hat Trio, Bill Frisell, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, John Cage and much more.