The Hiders
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The Hiders

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Band Rock Americana

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There are ghosts, and they float within the 14 tracks of The Hiders’ Four Letter Town. Both spooky and concrete, the searching lyrics are clear and important, revealing stories of celebration and confusion, of love lost and wisdom found.
A ghost in its own right, the title track is one that lead singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser kicked around for years before The Hiders even existed. Although he calls it a “simple song,” he recorded various versions, enveloped in a tricky, drawn-out struggle to harness and reveal the tune’s true essence. Some songs sit and smolder before they rise up to burn and glow. Some apparitions do indeed come alive.

At times, the overall feel speaks of sweeping land, train tracks or the simplest row of straight trees that blend to touch. Other times, a curious, quiet night, a blue-green-gray sky or the echo of the cover of The Hiders’ first album — the black howling wolf. And then it just rocks out. Beyond the lighthearted crush, the lyrics dig into complex situations — the longterm lover by someone’s side and the rich history there, both dark and light. Sometimes a shadowy place, but it’s one you’ll want to revisit.

Between extra verses, catchy guitar riffs and lyrics, keys, sweet harmonies and more, this is The Hiders’ most artistically creative and dense album to date, packed with everything from Country to ’70s Rock to vintage, piano-driven dreams. Some could be called Americana with a melancholic vibe, but fresh and historic sounds spider-crawl out; each layered song telling its own story, standing alone as a musical painting with a definite place in time.

“The only thing I consciously set out to do on this one was to write a lot of lyrics,” Alletzhauser says. No three-minute rule here.

Blue-eyed Alletzhauser drinks Irish coffee, describing the real wolves he encountered recently at a nearby sanctuary. Wearing a simple plaid shirt and jeans, his hair sticks up, jutting out in the back. Even when quiet, it seems as if there’s a constant internal dialogue occurring, that he’s thinking hard. Or maybe he’d rather be playing.

Upstairs from his recording studio, The Batcave, he sits at the dining-room table and there is a strange secretive vibe, as if it’s not a home, but rather a captured hideout with many bizarre collectibles — a pine cone, an enormous painting by artist Victor Strunk, ancient Punk magazines and a random skull.

(Deer skull. There’s a full skull chart on the wall). Dr. Phil, the cat, sneaks into the room to check things out.
The Hiders’ current central core includes Alletzhauser, Beth Harris (vocals), Kevin Carlisle (keys) and Glen May (bass), although many others contribute. Always adding talent, The Hiders are very welcoming.

“Too welcoming,” Alletzhauser says, laughing (member turnover has been fairly high over the group’s history). “Yeah, it’s been ridiculously hard. I’ve tried to keep it together. I started this band in my thirties, and that’s a whole different ballgame. But the four of us, through this record, became a good core, so we’ve just tried to bring in people as we can. If people have the desire and they’ve done some homework, we can make it sound good.”

Originally, The Hiders skyrocketed out of Batcave jams, and after the 2006 debut Valentine was recorded in Nashville they gained a startling amount of attention, including being named an “Artist to Watch” on NPR's World Café. Many labels chewed on their work, leading to film score opportunities. Recently, from the 2008 Penny Harvest Field album, “Plastic Flowers” played in the 2009 film Adam. Penny Harvest Field ventured into heavier guitars and drums, a sound influenced by a massive snowstorm, when some musicians were trapped, missing recording sessions.

Alletzhauser explains, “We had to make a lot of decisions to flesh it out and we had to do it quick. That’s why it’s a little more diverse, I guess.”

But on Four Letter Town, The Hiders worked from home, recording at The Batcave and Ultrasuede. The result is an intricate, blended sound “with more overdubbing and experimenting” that gels with the first album’s longing, melodic songs as well as the Rock punch of the second.

“It’s kind of the first two smashed together,” Alletzhauser says, grinning.

Four Letter Town is bigger in scope and harder to grasp on first listen compared to the other releases. As shown in “Hesitation Wounds,” Alletzhauser explains the theme of the album’s songs as “more about conditions. They all seem to have a sense of place, an enforced condition and trying to survive in that condition … there’s a lot of luck involved in your life, where you’re born and when. Some people escape and some people don’t. And it’s hard. It’s not easy. I just think some people don’t get a fair shake.”

When times get tough, Alletzhauser says the band inspires him.

“I don’t know what normal people do with their friends,” he says. “We get together and record or practice or play shows. I don’t have any othe - Citybeat


Since 2006’s Valentine, The Hiders have received acclaim outside of the city for their work, but it’s been hardly the attention they deserve. Temenos could be the one to right that injustice. It’s a natural progression from 2010’s stellar Four Letter Town — not a jarring change from singer/songwriter Billy Alletzhauser’s previous work, but a culmination of everything that works so well in his gifted hands.

There are rootsy elements to The Hiders’ sound, but labeling them “Alt Country” or “Roots Rock” never feels right. Like avowed influence Mark Linkous, Alletzhauser is one of those rare songwriters whose work transcends easy genre specification and magically takes the listener somewhere that feels familiar without resorting to retro-minded clichés. He also has a knack for working with exceptional, like-minded musicians who, especially on Temenos, take the moody, evocative qualities of his songs and create the perfect backdrop.

Each song on Temenos has a hypnotic quality and is loaded with exquisite soulfulness. There are no “rockers,” per se, on the album — each song gracefully melts into the next, buoyed by the band’s distinctive, slow-burning sway. Alletzhauser’s vocals and melodies (punctuated by the fabulous harmonies of singer Beth Harris) recall Neil Young and My Morning Jacket, but, while fans of both would certainly fall in love at first listen with The Hiders, over the course of four albums, the group has found and strengthened its own unique identity.

In a word, Temenos is timeless.


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Comet Bluegrass All-StarsKnife the SymphonySwear JarCincinnati musicBilly WallaceThe HidersTemenos
From those haunting melodies, flowing rhythms and some stellar guitar work to the unfussy production and the arrangements’ compelling structures and ornamentations (which include Mellotron sounds, pedal steel guitar and various organ and keyboard support), someone unfamiliar could be easily convinced that the album was released in 1972.
There are some fantastic individual tracks on Temenos — the soaring “A Love in Between” (which one could imagine a Joshua Tree-era U2 covering), the folksy, glassy-eyed, romantic opener “Under Shooting Stars,” the phenomenal, spooky, Neil Youngian closer/title track — but I highly recommend absorbing the album in full. Maybe not while driving — the album’s mesmerizing songs take you to The Hiders’ enchanted world and have the capability of grabbing and holding on to your undivided attention for Temenos’ entire nearly hour-long run time. - CityBeat


Opening with a slow waltz about ‘Aberdeen’ is a brave, move but The Hiders collective pull it off in grand style with their mid seventies sensibilities and shimmering guitar lines. ‘Running Back’ is a string driven singalong with a hint of vaudeville in the harmonies and style – frothy and Silversunny. ‘Widow’s Walk’ is again bright and full of acoustic guitar and harmonies but the distorted background strings give it depth and character. ‘Lighter than Low’ and we are getting the measure of this lot. An Andrew Gold West Coast sensibility through a very clever pop lens.
‘Don’t Rescue Me’ is heading back towards that West Coast and ‘It’s Alright’ is back where we started. This intriguing album will continue to open up for the curious listener. ‘Hesitation Wounds’ could be Sparklehorse with its whispered upfront vocals and slow pace as could ‘The Fate of Earl Mann’. The spirit of South San Gabriel haunts ‘Damaged Goods’ with its Youngian vocals. Oasis stalk 'Don't Tear Me Up'and Petty 'First and Last chance' and the title track could be Cracker There is a lot to take in and repeated listens are more than encouraged by this reviewer. They are demanded, it's that good. - Americana UK


" A truely remarkable band, a great live experience, tons of great songs...The Hiders are real contenders. They bridge the musical gap as well as any band I've heard in a long, long time..."
Dan Reed WXPN/WorldCafe'

.... very musically robust Americana ...that reminds me of Sparklehorse, Emmylou Harris, The Band, Kathleen Edwards, Detroyer, and folkie psychedelia of early VU.
....Anchored with Beth Harris's sweet yet aching harmonies, the album balances slow-burning love songs and full on rockers. Mesmerizing stuff.
Bruce Warren - WXPN
- Internet



...Hovering in the Americana-sphere around artists from Neil Young and The Band to newer acts like Sparklehorse and The Thrills, Valentine is, in a word, mesmerizing. On opener "Everything I Wanted," Toby Ellis offers pedal steel swells that illuminate like a sunrise, wrapping around Alletzhauser's organic, melancholic melodies and Harris' perfect harmonies (she is Emmylou to Alletzhauser's Neil). There is a natural hypnotic glaze to most of tracks, as the acoustic and electric guitars and the sweeping rhythms combine to create a billow of irresistible ethereality.
...Other highlights on the album include the Greek mythology-referencing "Persephone," which rattles the cage a little more than most tracks with its distorted, lost-in-the-woods-at-night guitar stomp; the trembling, gently-rolling lullaby for a departing lover "Magic Show"; the twilight-twinkling "You Can't Hurt Me Anymore"; and "Bury Me," which recalls the earlier roots-rockin' days of Wilco. But highlights, shmilights there isn't a dud in the bunch here. The songs are full of drama and soul, possessing an imposing majesty and a vibe of sober sorrow that makes Valentine a perfect "shoulder to cry on" CD for anyone going through a soul-crushing breakup.
Mike Breen CITYBEAT
- City Beat


Hidden No More

Singer/guitarist Bill Alletzhauser stands and delivers with Cincinnati's The Hiders

Interview By C.A. MacConnell
Come into the Batcave. When the door cracks open, momentarily, visitors go blind. Squint, then widen the eyes, nocturnally adjusting. Colored lights web-cover the ceiling and walls. Stimulation is everywhere: a Patsy Cline poster, a sleepy sun, a winged, guitar-playing skeleton, superheroes and equipment -- amps, cased guitars, mic stands, all the gear. Notice the close silence. Left alone, studio air grows stale, needing a sound refill.

The Batcave is singer, guitarist and multifaceted songwriter Bill Alletzhauser's practice/recording space. A hypnotizing den, the atmosphere is similar to The Hiders' sound, which breathes an equally curious subtlety that festers, explodes and then circles back as soothing as a Band-Aid. A cry out, a cry answered. Two wolves that can't stop.

Alletzhauser turns on some Blues, handing me a Steely Dan album for a writing pad. He wears a camouflaged hat over scraggly hair. He sips red wine, announcing: "I like to dress like a homeless vet." When told that'll be printed, he shrugs, grinning.

A full-time musician, he says, "I'm just obsessed with music. I like recording other people. The shared experience is unique. As a musician, on one hand, you have to have a ridiculous notion of things, and on the other, you have to be grounded."

Soft-eyed, introspective, he thinks things over, looking down or around. But when talk turns to music, he engages eye-level, though slightly shy with a lurking sadness. Alletzhauser once recorded on a major label (A&M) with The Ass Ponys, has had Rolling Stone and Spin reviews and won a Cincinnati Entertainment Award for work with Ruby Vileos. But instead of reminiscing, he focuses more time on drawing me a map, suggesting a place to score cheap records.

As a kid, his parents split. He traveled from Cincinnati to Nashville frequently. Early on, he responded to Kris Kristofferson, KISS, Elvis and "the whole art package with songwriting."

Captivated by bands, he says, "I was in made-up bands for a long time before I played in one. I even drew pictures of them."

Mom had a passion for Country. Dad bought his sister a guitar when he was 10. "She quit, and I started screwing around with it," he says. Drawn to electronics, he became intrigued with the world of noise. At 14, he was in Rover, a Punk band that came alive when skateboarding boomed (later, he was singer/guitarist for the Dinosaur Jr.-esque Grinch). But Alletzhauser preferred the emotional content, the "high and lonesome feel," of more diverse music.

He never took voice lessons. Sometimes compared to Neil Young's unapologetic, nasal tone, Alletzhauser's voice strikes out with less abrasiveness and more naivety, both hopeful and wounded.

"It is what it is," he says.

On his role as The Ass Pony's guitarist from 1995 through 2003, he admits, "You can hide out there. There's more pressure as a frontperson." Holding an arm up, he compares the lead singer position to the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Harrison Ford, holding a staff, must "stand and deliver."

In 2002, Alletzhauser met his harmonizing match, Beth Harris, at The Ensemble Theater. Both performed in the musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

"I like singing with people," he says. "Gillian Welch, The Band, The Beatles ... they all have a lot of harmony."

The band began as informal Bluegrass jam sessions at Alletzhauser's house. Soon, a core group developed, including Harris (vocals, percussion), Todd Drake (drums), Toby Ellis (pedal steel, guitars), Victor Strunk (bass) and Dave Gilligan (harmonica), among others.

Tyler Ramsey (keys, guitars, vocals) and album producer Brad Jones (guitar, vocals) also contribute to Valentine, The Hiders' 2006 debut release. Their band moniker, named for a 1975 Gunsmoke episode, holds a double meaning -- some songs, hidden for years, predate The Ass Ponys. The Hiders booked gigs when they tired of buying their own beer.

Coincidentally, Valentine was recorded over Valentine's Day at Nashville's Alex the Great Studio. Mostly recorded live, Alletzhauser describes the sound as, "Organic ... something like Gillian Welch meets Black Sabbath. I also had Zeppelin II and Willie Nelson's Stardust in mind." He believes in the "old Blues" simplicity of well-crafted writing and raw, straightforward lyrics.

Valentine begins playfully, transforming into slow, leaking Rock that smolders, dissecting breakups and unions. Alletzhauser describes the first song, "Everything I Wanted," as a "secret crush-type song." But following songs dig painfully deep. "You Can't Hurt Me Anymore" uses the analogy of needles and razor blades, wrestling with neuroses and cavernous loneliness. The final track, "Into the Sun," works as a mirror, reflecting on the desire to recreate "something that was once decent," he says.

Valentine has already received - City Beat


"WXPN REVEALS ITS JUNE ARTIST TO WATCH: The Hiders

PHILADELPHIA, PA June 2, 2006 WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and noncommercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, has selected The Hiders to be the XPN Artist To Watch for June. Host David Dye will present the first of the months on-air segments focusing on this Cincinnati-based indie-band on Monday, June 5th in the four oclock hour.
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPNs commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN 88.5 FM, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radios most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by National Public Radio.
online streaming at www.xpn.org. "

heres the link...
http://www.xpn.org/atw06_june.php - XPN online


Alletzhauser is front and center

By Rick Bird
Post staff writer

From the what-took-him-so-long department, veteran Cincinnati guitarist Bill Alletzhauser has finally stepped front and center in the group the Hiders, releasing the band's debut CD, "Valentine."

The former Ass Ponys guitarist and a member of Ruby Vileos for the first time features his singing and songwriting in a CD project. It's the first band he has fronted as a professional musician. The CD is a tremendous collection of brooding electric folk, alt country and slow-burn rock tunes that feature Alletzhauser's Neil Young-esque pleading nasal vocals, full of innocence and passion. A little extra sweetness comes with his harmonizing with band member Beth Harris.

The stellar production was recorded in Nashville with sought-after producer Brad Jones (Ron Sexsmith, Autumn Defense, Bobby Bare Jr). Jones had produced the Ass Ponys' "Some Stupid With a Flare Gun" in the '90s.

"There was like seven of us playing at once and a lot of it was live. He brought in a lot of order. He's a ringleader," Allletzhauser said about Jones, who also plays guitar on the CD.

Alletzhauser said the spark for The Hiders' roots sound dates back seven years as a Sunday night backporch bluegrass jam with such players as Dave Gilligan, Ed Cunningham and Ma Crow.

"At some point someone said, 'You know, we could probably not have to buy our own beer for this,' so we started playing like Wednesday nights at the Barrelhouse," Alletzhauser said with a laugh. "Other people would come in and sit with us."

Alletzhauser spent several years with Cincinnati's legendary Ass Ponys, which revolved around Chuck Cleaver's brilliant quixotic writing. It was a musical period where his songwriting talents weren't needed.

"I've always shoved my own material to the side. In some ways it was easier to get behind someone else's vision than my own," Alletzhauser said. "It's probably something I should've done a long time ago. It was strangely purifying to finally do my own record and I feel rejuvenated."

He should. The Hiders' release is one of the best moody, musically intricate and well-written CD releases in some time in these parts. - Cincinnati Post


Discography

The Hiders "Valentine" 2006
recorded by Brad Jones in Nashville, Tn.
Keys & Guitar additions by Band of Horses member Tyler Ramsey.
Featured on NPRs 'World Cafe' syndicated on nearly 200 stations. currently receiving commercial and non-commercial airplay all over the world. Featured songs on the documentary 'CONVICTION: The True Story of Clarence Elkins' NBC's GRIMM and more

'Penny Harvest Field' 2008
Recorded in Nashville by Brad Jones with guests Fats Kaplan, Sylvia Mitchell, David Gilligan & Pale Rider
Had songs featured in Fox Searchlight's 'Adam' Soundtrack and ABC's 'Revenge'

'Four Letter Town' 2008
Recorded with help of Afghan Whigs bassist John Curley
Songs featured on MTV's 'CAGED' Scotland BBC, made several 'best of' lists and rave reviews on sites like 'Americana UK'
runtime 79min

'TEMENOS' 2012
Features new members Brian Moeller, Glen May & Kevin Carlisle. Tracked exclusively by the Hiders in their home studio.

Photos

Bio


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