The Lonely H
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The Lonely H


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"Stars Of Their Own "That '70s Show""

By Rob Neill
Port Angeles, Wash., is 80 miles from downtown Seattle. But given the winding shore of the Puget Sound, a drive can take two and a half hours.

It’s a place seems more remote than the map might indicate — it’s out of town, not a suburb. And Mark Fredson likes it that way.

Fredson and his band, The Lonely H, just graduated high school there. Their new album, “Hair,” comes out July 24. The influences seem to be Badfinger, Sweet, Queen, Bad Company and a whole lot of other ’70s album rock.

“We just started thumbing through our parents’ vinyl collections, and we just stumbled upon better music,” Fredson says of the writing that led up to “Hair.” “It just really connected with us. I think rock really identifies with a small-town lifestyle rather than indie. Small town life is a lot more natural, or real. And the indie music or screamo or emo music is just lacking that realness. We think classic rock of the ’70s and late ’60s really stood for something that was right. Not superficial.”

The band formed when the members were in eighth grade. Winning a local battle of the bands make them the fifth best band in Port Angeles.

“We played a lot of Nirvana covers,” Fredson says sheepishly.

Growing up together as a band was easy.

“We’re best friends. We’ve gotten to the point where we are more than friends. It’s in the brotherhood stage. Next year, four of us are living together. We’ll see how that turns out,” he says.

Freshman year they’d advance to a second place finish at another contest sponsored by Seattle’s rock museum the Experience Music Project. The finish “gave us a lot of confidence” Fredson says, but perhaps more importantly, got them free studio time and, ultimately a manager.

They released “The Kick Upstairs” album in 2006 — sunshiney, Brian Wilson-influenced pop.

“Then we moved back in time to the more classic rock. A little more polished,” Fredson says before stopping himself. “Not polished, that’s not the right word. A more real kind of music.”

The album opens with the power balladish “Just Don’t Know,” which with its achingly epic vocal and lead piano belongs in a stadium full of bell bottoms and lighters raised heavenward. “The Meal” pickpockets the hook from Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Night” (and there could be worse ways of getting famous then by getting sued by Gene Simmons and company).

Elsewhere there is the Neil Youngish “Rollin’,” whose southern roots show, though as Fredson observes after bringing the song up “makes no sense since we’re in one of the most northern points in the country.”
There’s also the opening to “Say Your Prayers” that could be the missing riff from Yes’ “Roundabout” before it devolves into Thin Lizzy. Or the title track, which is driven by a riff that, to describe in language the muscle-car-and-Pabst-set uses, is just nasty.

“It’s just kind of a raw sound. We did it all on analog tape so we were going for that vintage sound,” Fredson says. “It was a trying record, but fun.”

There is even the in-over-their-heads “The Drought,” which Fredson admits was a hard, complex song to wrestle to the ground. “We started out, it was 12 minutes long,” Fredson says, before calling the song “my baby.”

Which is not to say the songs are derivative. Though the band obviously respect their many influences, the songs are thoughtfully written, with tight arrangements and playing that belies the age of the players. Not that Fredson sees age as an issue.

“We don’t really see ourselves as (musical) outcasts. I mean most people are older, but we try to see ourselves as equal. We see a lot of rock and a lot of music ahead of us and we see a lot of room to grow,” he says.

Shortly after the release of “Hair,” the band will set off on its first coast-to-coast tour. Previous gigs had to be close to home.

“We haven’t really toured. We’ve been kind of isolated in P.A. We’d play shows on the weekend because we were still in school. Sometimes we’d skip the last two periods on a Friday, head over to Seattle to play a couple of shows.”

Any nervousness?

“As long as we rock the crowd as hard as we can, then I’m not nervous about anything. We think we can win over whoever is willing,” he says.

For more about The Lonely H go to - MSNBC - National

"In Through The Out Door"

By Jonathan Zwickel
A crowd of 60 or so gathered at the Sunset Tavern on a recent Thursday, jostling to get closer to the night's first band. Among the audience were the usual city suspects—rockabillies and indie rockers and hipsters—as well as a pack of polo-shirted, white-sneakered civilians looking like youngish suburban parents out for a kid-free night on the town.

Turned out that's exactly what they were, though they didn't leave their kids at home; their kids were the main attraction. The Lonely H, five 18-year-olds with long, wavy hair, worn-in T-shirts, and faded bell-bottom jeans, stepped out of 1971 and onto the stage. The bell-bottoms they wore were their dads'. And the music they played—from the first Yes-inflected organ riff to a climactic Thin Lizzy cover—belonged to their parents, too.

Welcome to classic rock played by kids born the year Straight Outta Compton was released.

Can it be? Isn't "classic rock" the opposite of "alive and well"? The quality of their music aside—though they do Southern-soul prog rock, or maybe post-emo classic rock, surprisingly well—the Lonely H set in motion many questions. Is classic rock an era or a style? Does it have to be 30 years old or can you make it today? To what degree is radio responsible for it? And why does the term bring to mind Led Zeppelin for some and for others, Styx?

Classic rock is a ghetto of the painfully familiar. By definition, it's old, revered, canonized, trapped in the amber of nostalgia. You might call Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band—released in 1967, the first real, true, cohesive album—its seed (though you might call Sgt. Pepper's the seed for album rock and orchestral pop and the concept album, too). Prior to that record, radio play and record sales were based on singles, hits bought and played one at a time. Conversely, you could call Saturday Night Fever classic rock's doom: By 1977, with the popularity of disco and dance-floor singles (not to mention general punk-fueled anarchy), the era of hour-long, conceptual albums was on the wane. The canon of classic rock arose during the decade in between, inspiring a spectrum of moods and drugs and haircuts. Today we have access to all of it—the music, the fashion, the drugs—pretty much instantly.

The radio definition is limited—turn to any classic-rock station in America (the genrefication is a distinctly American phenomenon) and you're gonna hear the same few songs by the same 200 or so bands, played over and over, as if there were no other music left on earth, let alone other songs by those same bands.
Classic albums are a little bit different—they can come from any genre and any era, but as it turns out, it's mostly stuff from the classic-rock years that enjoys classic-album status. The further we get from that classic-rock era, the less the likelihood for an album to be deemed classic: The more genres that emerge, the more splintered our listening habits, the less likelihood for consensus. Thanks to endless options, there might never be a classic album again.

Think about it: Has there been a certifiably classic rock album since 2000? As much as it hurts to admit it, the answer is no. There's been plenty of good rock, some of which we'll still be listening to in 20 years, and there's been plenty of pop, most of which we won't. There's been a lot of classic hiphop, but that's hiphop.

Arcade Fire? Neon Bible hasn't sold 300,000 copies. Justin Timberlake? Over seven million copies of FutureSex/LoveSounds—mostly on the strength of two songs, which will be forgotten by this time next year. Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP sold some seven million albums, and Fear of a Black Planet is a multiplatinum landmark, but again, that's hiphop. The last rock album to make the cut was Radiohead's OK Computer, which has sold over three million copies, and that came out in 1997. Blame the internet, blame hiphop, blame the kids for making crappy music or the adults for having crappy taste—they're all at fault. But more than anything, blame the rate at which we consume music.

What will happen to classic rock 20 years from now? The style will remain open while the canon will be closed. The transition away from the ghettoization that the mass marketplace requires—from Clear Channel–approved playlists and Best Buy–sized retailers—has already begun. Eventually both will be rendered irrelevant by personalized, niche stations and on-demand stores. For whatever's left of the mainstream, classic rock will be the same ghetto it is now. Lucky teenagers will discover the songs their grandparents loved, but they won't experience Morrison Hotel and Dark Side of the Moon as the rites of passage they were to earlier generations.

At least the records are still around. For the Lonely H, that's enough.

"We have recessed in time to almost exclusively classic rock," says bassist Johnny Whitman. "It seemed that rock was a religious movement—or spiritual, how about that? The Beatles—people were crying at their shows. Elvis was censored. Who fills arenas these days? Kenny Chesney. Top 40 back then was right on."

In the right hands, to the right ears, classic records continue to be a revelation, the Dead Sea Scrolls that prove the existence of a much groovier past. Nostalgia is strong—almost a living, breathing thing, even for those who never lived in the golden days. It's also fair game to appropriate. If the Lonely H want to be classic rock—if they dress like it and sound like it—why not call them classic rock? They're simply changing the definition.

"It's a pretty sweet term," Whitman says. "We're already ingrained if our music's considered 'classic.'"

He's got a point, if only a semantic one. The notion of "instant classic," so long considered an oxymoron, might be an actuality in the iPod era. Ironically, the Lonely H cherish the past exactly because the digitized, downloadable present feels so soulless.

Not just musically, but socially. There's a perception of the '70s as a font of good music and good times that's very appealing to teenagers on the cusp of starting off real lives. "You didn't get MIPs back then; the laws were more lax," Whitman says. "Pure life, more pure music. It was more of a lifestyle."

Twenty years from now, a new set of teenagers will jack into an unearthed copy of Hair, Lonely H's newest album, and find nostalgia for an era the band wasn't a part of. Secondhand nostalgia, sure, but it's gonna age so well. - The Stranger - Seattle, WA

"Artist of the Day"

By Gary L. Blackwell, Jr.
Who? These Seattle throwback rockers booted out their first album, Kickin' Upstairs, in 2006. Taut live shows swirled with swank three-part vocal harmonies and earned the band a 'don't miss this' reputation in the region. This year, Mark Fredson (vocals), Eric Whitman (guitar), Johnny Whitman (bass), Ben Eyestone (drums), and Colin Field (guitar) all graduated from high school in June before sprouting forth the guitar-laden full-length Hair, out now via the Control Group.

What's the Deal? These youngsters (birthdates 1988 and 1989) jive with a flow pioneered 20 years before their births via blazing acts such as Led Zeppelin and Queen. Fredson's vocals are more Jason Lee from Almost Famous than Robert Plant or Freddy Mercury, but the band swaggers and stomps all the same. From cascading guitar noodles on "All Hope" to the multiple vigorous lead workouts on the eight-minute blowtorch "The Drought," everything about Hair is all about the rock. The perfunctory acoustic tunes ("Rollin'" and "It's Not Right") are heavily Zep-flavored, though the title track wails more like a nasty Gov't Mule down-home swamp boogie.

Fun Fact: Vocalist Mark Fredson got a bit sloshed during a high school dance and opted to relieve himself on the bleachers. The police busted him, and Fredson was issued a citation for Minor in Possession (M.I.P.) and eventually prosecuted on the crime. The case was ultimately dismissed though, as the judge was biased towards The Lonely H's music. Talk about small town luck! -

"Hardly Prima Donnas"

By Chris Epting
As it happens every generation, it’s common sport for many adults to bemoan the current teenage generation, complaining they lack the focus, ambition and responsibility that existed of past generations. For anyone who feels that way, I wanted to share a story about a group of teenagers I met — a group that might help restore some faith among the critical.

I was made aware of a newspaper article up in Seattle, an interview with an up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll band called The Lonely H. In the piece, one of the band members mentioned that as part of the cross-country tour on which they were about to embark, they had picked up a copy of a recent book I wrote, “Led Zeppelin Crashed Here.” The book is an atlas of rock ‘n’ roll history sites, and they were taking it on the road to track some of the places.

This bit of news made my day, because in my head I’d always hoped the book would find its way onto at least one tour bus. I mean, what better environment for a book like this than with a traveling band?

After reading the article, I sent the band’s manager a note thanking them for picking up the book. I was going to send them a signed copy, but after looking at their tour itinerary, I saw that they would be playing minutes from here in Huntington Beach (an early, “all ages” show at the Koo’s Art Center in Long Beach). So I decided to take my 14-year-old son to see them play, and to present them with a fresh copy of the book.

The Lonely H hails from a small spot on the map called Port Angeles, which is in Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. I had a chance to hear their new album before going to hear them play and I was knocked out. After all, the band members were born in 1988 or 1989, yet their sound runs totally counter to what many of their peers are playing these days.

Listening to their latest, “Hair,” squarely takes one back to a time when music (for many of us 40-somethings) possessed more heart, soul and spirit—the 1970s. The songs on “Hair” evoke everything from Led Zeppelin to the Allman Brothers to the Rolling Stones to Queen. Rich tapestries of piano, acoustic and electric guitars and a chunky rhythm section underscore catchy, intelligent songs that would have sounded right at home on my Duster’s 8-track back in 1978.

But their sound is not dated at all. Rather, it has a modern sense that feels refreshingly honest and relevant in today’s peculiar musical landscape, a business that seems more concerned with bland, packaged pop than in breaking new authentic rock ‘n’ roll acts. But what would these guys be like in person? Stilted attitudes like a lot of other up-and-coming rock stars? Prima donnas? As it turned out, hardly.

The band members Mark Fredson (piano and vocals), Johnny Whitman (bass guitar), Eric Whitman (guitar), Colin Field (guitar), and Ben Eyestone (drums) pulled up in front of the Koo’s Art Center in a well-worn van that they’d driven themselves cross-country and back since last July. No big luxury bus, no driver, no roadies even. Just five good-natured kids who were a bit sleepy after driving from the last night’s gig in Flagstaff (and before that Houston, New Orleans, Gainesville, Fla., New York and about a dozen other cities).

My son Charlie and I met them and started talking, then wandered over to their van to help them lug some of their gear in to the club. The vehicle was packed comically tight with equipment, merchandise and, somewhere in there, luggage for what has certainly been one of the craziest road trips they’ll ever take.

Watching them set up their equipment to run through a quick sound check, running cables, testing microphones, setting up their T-shirt stand, etc., it was easy to forget they are just teenagers. Then we sat back and listened to them play, and the thought that they are mere teens became even more preposterous.

The Lonely H’s soaring harmonies, tight musicianship and heartfelt playing were a joy to behold. Free of any pretense, they rocked, they had fun, and they reminded me of how vital music can be when it comes from the right place.

After their set, as The Lonely H broke down their gear and (somehow) managed to fit it perfectly back into their beast of a van, we talked some more. They were figuring out where to stay that night (they’ve got the budget motel-formula down cold) but they weren’t worried. This was simply life on the road for a group of scruffy, laid-back teenagers who are working like dogs to make their dreams real.

Come this fall, they’ll all be sharing a house together, not some rock ‘n’ roll crash pad, but a place at the University of Washington, where all but one will be living together as classmates (the other band member will be attending another nearby college).

And so for anyone who has concerns about the work habits of today’s youth, I offer The Lonely H—a disciplined bunch of kids who I hope you’ll be hearing a lot more from soon. I’ll mention to their manager that he should have them play here in Huntington Beach again, but in the meantime, you can check them out at - Huntington Beach Independent - Huntington Beach, CA

"Interview With The Lonely H"

By Carlton Farmer
The bartender tells me that the guys from The Lonely H are at one of the outside tables, so I head in that direction. The sun has gone down and I have a little trouble finding them. I just look for long hair. Hair is the name of their newest album, and as I approach their table I wonder if it is also a prerequisite for membership in the band. In styles ranging from Cobain to CCR they all have long hair, perhaps to help disguise their age. Although, as I take a seat, I notice their lengthy locks have not helped them acquire any alcohol this evening. I introduce myself and we chat a little about Cincinnati. It's clear that Mark and Johnny are more talkative than the rest, but none of them could be described as quiet or shy. I ask about their hometown, and its relationship with the nearby music Mecca that is Seattle.

Firesideometer: So you always hear about Seattle being a great town for music, and Port Angeles is...
Johnny: Not.
Mark: Yeah. I mean, Port Angeles is a great place in its own right. But it is not a place where you would want to stay if you were a band. And Seattle is a great city. We're all headed there this fall for college.

Firesideometer: I was checking out your tour schedule, and you're playing a lot of shows, 29 in the next 27 days. That's a hell of a lot.
Ben: It was a lot more than that. When we first set out, it was 43 shows in 36 days.
Eric: We're like a third of the way through, so it has slowed down a little bit. Not much, but a little.

Firesideometer: Do you guys like being on the road?
Eric: It's been fun so far, but we still got a while a head of us. We'll see.
Johnny: We all trade off driving, so it's not too bad.

Firesideometer: Anyone banned from driving?
Mark: Not yet. But we've all had some close calls.
Eric: Mark has already been pulled over for speeding a couple of times. And he hit a bird with the van.
Mark: Yeah, I heard this wump, but no one else seemed to have noticed. Later we found feathers all over the grill. Kind of gross really.
Johnny: We need to get a little boat compass or something, because we MapQuest everything. And it says stuff like, "Head west on..." And I'm like, "What the hell!" trying to figure which way is west by the position of the sun.

Firesideometer: Did you guys tour to promote your first album?
Mark: Well, we were supposed to tour behind Kick Upstairs, but it kind of fell through. And we might not have been quite ready yet. We were still in high school.

Firesideometer: What do you guys see as the major differences between your debut album and the new one?
Eric: There was a show in Texas that really influenced us. We went down to SXSW in 2006 and saw The Hellacopters, which is like this Swedish, ThinLizzy-sounding band.
Mark: They rocked really hard.
Eric: Yeah, and it was all about having a good time too. It was a revelation for us. We tried to bring that same kind of excitement and energy to our new album and live shows.

Firesideometer: Speaking of the new album, the songs on Hair are really diverse. 'It's Not Right' and 'For Barbara' couldn't be any more different from each other. What was it like putting songs like these together on the same album?
Mark: Well, we were concerned with spreading out the styles and keeping it exciting throughout the whole album. We easily went through five drafts of a tracklist for the album. And then the label voiced their concern that we want to start of the album with an eight-minute track. And we can see the logic in that. It would have been a pretty gutsy move for a sophomore album.

Firesideometer: With five guys in the band, I suppose the creative process is quite collaborative. How do the songs usually come together?
Mark: I write most of the lyrics. However, Colin did one song called 'All Hope' and he takes lead vocals on that. And then Eric wrote a lot of 'Captain Merrywell'. Eric and I come up with a lot of the initial ideas. But chords structures and riffs aren't songs. That's were the other guys come in. We get together at Ben's house and sometimes sit for hours just thinking about what to do next. And at some point the songs belongs to all of us.
Colin: It's pretty organic.

Firesideometer: Some of your influences seem fairly obvious: Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Queen, maybe Weezer. Was this the stuff you guys grew up listening to?
Mark: Well, I think we all went through some pretty weird music phases. Johnny even liked TLC for a while.
Johnny: Yeah, that's true. Ooo, remember Ace of Bass?
Mark: I really liked Collective Soul. The album with the little pirate guy on front was pretty good.
Firesideometer: Yeah, my brother and I really liked them. Somewhere there is a homevideo of us lip-synching to 'Shine', which I think was off that album.

Firesideometer: Given all these various influences, how would you guys describe your sound?
Mark: Well, it's quite obvious that we are heavily influenced by 70s rock. A lot of our sound is derived from classic rock.
Johnny: We have been described as the bastard sons of a Led Zeppelin groupie orgy. That's my favorite.

Firesideometer: So, any favorite places from the tour so far?
Johnny: Lawrence, Kansas. But that may have been because we were just so happy to be done driving across western Kansas. There's not much out there. Lawrence was a cool town though.
We're always glad when we get to play Seattle. We have a couple of shows lined up there at the end of the tour.

Firesideometer: So you guys get back to Washington in September, at which point, you all will be in college. What happens to the band then?
Mark: Well, we've talked about taking a week off here and there and doing little tours, maybe just along the West Coast.
Johnny: Yeah, and we have the benefit of being in Seattle, which has a bunch of great venues where we can play on the weekends.

At this point in the conversation the guys began talking about college, and what they planned on studying, or in Johnny's case, already studying. We talked about favorite Beatles albums, Freddie Mercury's amazing vocals, and Zelda on the original Nintendo. Just your average college-age kids. Then they got up, went inside, and played some kickass rock 'n roll. -

"The Lonely H Finding Fans On Tour, As Long As Nobody Checks Their IDs"

By Jay N. Miller
How many high school seniors have sat through those seemingly endless final classes fantasizing about taking a coast-to-coast road trip in that golden summer after graduation?

The Lonely H, a quintet from Port Angeles, Wash., is doing exactly that. Actually it is a two-month, 33-date promotional tour for the group’s second album, ‘‘Hair,’’ which was just released July 24 on The Control Group label.

The Lonely H hits T.T. the Bear’s in Cambridge on Tuesday night.

‘‘Yep, it’s pretty much the ultimate senior trip,’’ bassist Johnny Whitman, the group’s 20-year-old elder statesman, said from a Cincinnati hotel room. ‘‘It can be awkward in clubs - Seattle is the worst, very uptight. They wanted to get us chauffeurs and escort us to the bathrooms.’’

You can’t be even in a club if you’re under 21 in Seattle. But we’ve found it much easier in other cities - if they don’t ask, we don’t tell. In Chicago, they assigned a bartender just to watch over us. And of course it is also strange having 45-year old women hitting on us.’’

The band also includes Johnny’s kid brother Eric Whitman on guitar, Mark Fredson on vocals and keyboards, Ben Eyestone on drums and Colin Field on guitar. The quartet was all a callow 16 when the Lonely H released its 2006 debut album, ‘‘Kick Upstairs.’’

The music is decidedly retro, prompting comparisons to Led Zeppelin, R.E.M., and late-1960s blues rock. The new album ‘‘Hair,’’ includes a smorgasbord of styles from the past heyday of that kind of rock. The soulful piano ballad ‘‘Rollin’’’ could be a roadhouse singer/songwriter tune, while the spacey gloss of ‘‘Captain’’ sounds like an outtake from some Brit-pop titan like XTC or Squeeze.

The title cut, ‘‘Hair,’’ is boisterous blues-rock in the Zeppelin vein, but it also evokes Savoy Brown’s blues, or even the extreme edges of the Black Crowes.

‘‘I got that Black Crowes comparison in Denver too,’’ Whitman said, ‘‘but the truth is we never listened to them. I do get the Savoy Brown one, that’s someone we know. We basically all listen to stuff like Led Zeppelin, Yes, Creedence Clearwater Revival - even if they don’t all come out in our own songs, those are the bands we love.

The first CD sounded a bit different, and that was just part of learning to be a band. The quintent found its sound among its panoply of influences, and it turns out to be a vibe nurtured completely in vinyl, as all the young musicians are devotees of those pre-historic relics called vinyl albums played on turntables.

‘‘Our first CD was much poppier,’’ Whitman said. ‘‘But then we all went down to South By Southwest last year and found all these great bands like the Hellacopters, and they were all riff rockers like we are, but playing all those classic rock sounds.This is the kind of music we’ve always loved and listened to the most.’’

The Lonely H formed back when the other four kids were sixth-graders - yes, sixth-graders. No high school band stuff for these guys, they were ready to rock as soon as puberty hit.

‘‘It all happened organically, and eventually I was the older brother they needed on bass to make it a real band,’’ Whitman said. -The band always had a batch of new songs to play, in part because all five members write.

‘‘Mark is in charge of the lyrics,’’ said Whitman, ‘‘but then we all collaborate from there. We all bring our ideas out, a riff or a melody we might like. It’s a pretty democratic, organic process.’’

The Lonely H will also trot out some interesting cover songs at every gig. As you might guess, those covers tend to reflect their love of classic rock.

‘‘On this tour we’ve learned Thin Lizzy’s ‘‘Cowboy Song’’ because we’ve all been pretty heavily into their ‘Jailbreak’ album,’’ Whitman said. ‘‘We all kind of requested that song for the set list. We also do a cover of The Band’s version of Dylan’s ‘‘I Shall be Released.’’

Before long after winning that Battle of the Bands, the Lonely H was in touch with The Control Group, an independent record label headed by The Long Winters’ drummer Nabil Ayers.

With a national distribution deal and a supportive label, the quintet was soon recording that debut CD. With the good response it got, plus the band’s growth over the past year or so, expectations are high for this summer’s national tour.

The boys aren’t cavorting on a tour bus yet, but they do have a 15-passenger van carrying them all over America. It’s not a bad summer-after-graduation trip. - The Patriot Ledger - Boston, MA

"Underage: The Lonely H"

By Megan Seling
"You like your hair short/I like my hair long/I don't see the problem/What's so wrong?"

—The Lonely H, "Hair"

Classic rock is the new rock.

The records our moms and dads were blasting in their teen years are being born anew—The Who, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Rush—they're everywhere all over again. I suppose they never really left. And while the sound is more prominent in the older bar scene, the trend is starting to bleed into the all-ages community, too (which until recently was highly saturated with dance-punk and turbulent posthardcore).

Leading the pack of vintage rockers is the Lonely H, a five-piece from Port Angeles who've been around for a couple years, but thanks to a new record on the Control Group (out Tuesday, July 24) and the growing appreciation for a sound that's about 40 years old, the band is starting to become a regular fixture on local bills. Everyone in the band is under the legal drinking age, so they're still building up their sea (stage?) legs, but already they've come a long way from the awkward black sheep they were in high school.

"In high school we got tagged as the Hairs," says the band's singer and pianist Mark Fredson with a laugh. "They called Eric [Whitman, guitarist] 'Hairic,' which I thought was pretty clever. We decided not to take it as an insult and just go with it. Growing your hair long was a big part of what was going on back in the day, and now our album's called Hair. So take that! We took your nickname and ran with it."

Not only do they flaunt the infamous shiny locks of their forefathers, they finish the look with the same wicked guitar solos, air-tight drumming, and Fredson's croon that can dance with the band's bright pop melodies ("Meal" and "It's Not Right") or slur along with dirty and distorted riffs like in the album's title track. And the Lonely H (also featuring guitarist Colin Field, drummer Ben Eyestone, and bassist Johnny Whitman) aren't hiding the fact that they draw directly from those bands of yore.

"It started with Déjà Vu and the whole Beatles discography," says Fredson. "We got more into Jailbreak and Close to the Edge... a lot of Yes, Thin Lizzy, Zeppelin, The Who, the regular staples. It really stood for an idea; it was really about the music. Today, that can't be said about all types of music."

Post-record release, the band will take off on the road for their first national tour.

"We plan to reenact at least one crazy Zeppelin story every night," jokes Fredson. "We actually bought a book that's called Led Zeppelin Crashed Here. It has all the places Zeppelin crashed on tour. We probably won't find any of 'em, but it'll be good readin' for the road." - The Stranger - Seattle, WA

"Spotlight: The Lonely H"

By Andres Jauregui
Fans of rock — especially the classic variety — can rest assured: The Lonely H did their homework, and they’ve made honor roll.

“We’re big Queen fans: Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest vocalists of all time, and Brian May gets such unique sounds out of the guitar,” says singer Mark Fredson.
Hailing from the old logging town of Port Angeles, WA — gateway to the Olympic National Park, birthplace of Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway — Fredson and his crew are fresh out of high school and already have two recorded albums to their credit. The next step: a national tour and a move to Seattle.

“We like, need to get out of this town,” Fredson explains. “We want to keep sane. The scene in Port Angeles as of right now is pretty much just a really bad metal scene. We’re outcasts.”

Fredson (vocals, keys), along with Eric Whitman (guitar), Colin Field (guitar), Ben Eyestone (drums), and Johnny Whitman (bass), began playing together in junior high, but didn’t become The Lonely H until an entry in Seattle’s Experience Music Project Sound Off — a battle of the bands for musicians under 21 — forced them to decide on a name. Inspired by The Who, the band ran down the list of the five W’s and noticed that “how” was left out.

“So we came up with The Lonely H and decided, ‘Fine, that’s good enough, we have to send this in tomorrow,’” Fredson says.

The newly dubbed Lonely H won second place in the 2004 EMP Sound Off, landing two days of studio time at producer Joe Reineke’s Orbit Audio in Seattle. Sessions there led to their freshman effort, Kick Upstairs, which was released by The Control Group in 2006. The Lonely H formed a healthy relationship with Reineke, who eventually signed on as the band’s manager.

“He really dug our sound and everything we were going for. We trust him, he’s a good guy ... the sixth member of the band,” Fredson says, jokingly. “He knew how to record and he had his own studio, so it was a good hook up.”

At the time of recording their debut, most of the band members were 16, and all were still in high school. Although their youth gained The Lonely H more than a little hype, it’s also left them out in the cold — literally. Whitman once quipped to The Stranger that he wanted fake IDs for the band so they wouldn’t have to wait outside and “freeze [their] asses off” before playing 21+ venues. But Fredson says that this has been less of a problem recently.

“We’ve been playing a lot of bars and clubs now, so the way it’s worked is, they don’t ask us, and we don’t tell them,” Fredson explains. “We make sure we look good enough to pass for 21.”

Looks and age aside, on their sophomore effort, the aptly titled Hair, The Lonely H has shown more than a little growth. Their knowledge of and appreciation for the music they evoke emanates from the album like a brilliant homage, yet manages to sidestep the pitfalls of emulation easier than one can say “Wolfmother.” From Queen to Zeppelin to The Beach Boys, The Lonely H’s mix of influences keeps their sound fresh, but they avoid sounding like a carbon copy of any one group.

“Our first record was schizophrenic. It was all over the map, musically,” Fredson says. “[On Hair] we had a bigger vision. We wanted to make a record that had a more solid feel to it, and focus on the whole rock ‘n’ roll attitude.”

This month, The Lonely H will relocate to Seattle to attend college. While their majors are as yet undeclared, Fredson says music was “a definite possibility.” And while he won’t miss everything about Port Angeles, Fredson acknowledges at least a hint of nostalgia for the town he and the band are poised to leave behind.

“It’s a small town. In some areas you could call it a tight-knit community,” says Fredson. “It’s where we grew up, and we’re always going to have that connection.” - Performer Mag - West Coast

"Band's Youth Doesn't Deter Its Ability to Rock"

By Wayne Bledsoe
Mark Fredson, lead singer of the Lonely H, says there are some advantages to being an underage rock group on tour:

“Our parents call people. The people let us stay with them. They make us breakfast and give us granola bars. We haven’t had to pay for a hotel yet!”

Most of the members only graduated from high school in June (bassist Johnny Whitman will be a sophomore in college this year), and The Lonely H is making a first foray from Port Angeles, Wash., to the East Coast.

It has been, says Fredson, a series of ups and downs.

“At our kickoff show in Seattle, it was big,” he says. “People were shouting for an encore. Then you’ll go to cities where you’re not even promoted. Our name is not known. We thought because we told people on MySpace to come to shows that there’d be people there, which wasn’t the case. We just hope whoever is there will enjoy us. We’re not always playing for a lot of people, but we’re winning over people.”

The Lonely H began as a group of high-school buddies.

“We were friends before we were in the band,” says Fredson.

All but Johnny Whitman (older brother of guitarist Eric Whitman) were in the eighth grade.

Fredson says it took about three years before the group found its sound.

“It had always had a little classic rock, a little Beatles, a little vintage vibe,” says Fredson.

However, the group embraced that sound more as time went on.

The Lonely H won second place in an Experience Music battle of the bands in Seattle, and one of the prizes was some free studio time. The group used it to release debut album “Kick Upstairs” in 2006.

That disc sold 1,500 copies during the first year of its release.

The sound was further polished on the group’s just-released sophomore disc, “Hair.”

After the summer tour, most of the group members will attend the University of Washington in Seattle. Four of the members will be living together.

“Really it will be a lot easier,” says Fredson. “Before, we had to make a three-hour trek from Port Angeles to Seattle just to play at the clubs. Now it will just be across town. And band practice might be a little more frequent!”

Fredson says he’s glad the band has started early, but sometimes being young in rock can have its problems.

“Sometimes they make us sit outside the venues unless we’re onstage playing, and you want to see the bands you’re playing with!” says Fredson.

“Sometimes when you’re young, people will write you off — especially when you’re playing classic rock. You know, ‘What do they know about classic rock?’”

Fredson says the group’s goals are small — just to keep making music and keep putting out albums. To that end, the group continues winning over fans a few at a time.

“I think we just finally won over Seattle last week!” - Knoxville News Sentinel

"Bands To Know: The Lonely H"

By Jim Fife
It will be a busy summer for this quintet from Port Angeles (that's in Seattle), Washington. Not only will they be releasing their sophomore record, the aptly named Hair on The Control Group label July 24, but they will also be embarking on a nationwide tour in support of the album. And one other thing, the members of the band will be graduating from high school.

Somehow these up-and-comers have recorded not one but two records before breaking ranks from their formal education. Hair follows up the group's locally acclaimed 2006 debut Kick Upstairs.

Despite being born in the late eighties, The Lonely H sound like they lived through the late sixties. Elements of Led Zeppelin and The Beatles abound, with one local paper suggesting their music sounds like tunes "the Beach Boys might have made had they come of age in the drizzly Northwest."

The record kicks off with a brief "Hey Jude"-esque piano intro on "Just Don't Know" and crescendos with every instrument in their arsenal at once. In between is an upbeat rock diddy rife with classic guitar riffs and some ebony and ivory for good measure.

The next track, "Meal," is even better with an impossibly infectious beat, some cool backing vocals and an ascending piano line. "The Drought" is an epic 8-minute adventure through quiet ballads, string suites and some damn fine piano rock with unmistakable classic rock influences, ultimately exiting the same way it entered.

Maybe the most impressive aspect is where these teens are already going with their sound. Singer and pianist Mark Fredson's vocals are surprisingly well developed and his lyrics are mature, taken from the pages of artists of days past and not from our hyperactive, hypersensitive MTV generation.

The band, rounded out by Eric Whitman and Colin Field on guitar, Johnny Whitman on bass and Ben Eyestone on drums, sure has its music act together, crafting complex and tempo-shifting rock that has The Lonely H already where they need to be. - We Are The Magazine


Hair - The Control Group (2007)
Kick Upstairs - The Control Group (2006)

Available at Virgin Megastores and locally-owned record stores across the nation.

#99 CMJ Charts Week of 9/03/07
#169 CMJ Charts Week of 8/27/07
#164 CMJ Charts Week of 8/20/07

Airplay on over 100 radio stations across the U.S. and Canada, including KEXP (Seattle), KJACK (Flagstaff), KXCI (Tucson), CITR (Vancouver BC), CFUV (Victoria BC), Indie 103 (Hollywood), KSSU (Sacramento), KSJS (San Jose), KLSU (Baton Rouge), WMUA (Amherst), KFAI (Minneapolis), KDHX (St. Louis), KBGA (Missoula), KUNR (Reno), WPUB (NYC), WKNC (Raleigh), KNDS (Fargo), WCSB (Cleveland), WPTS (Pittsburgh), CJLO (Montreal QC), WUTK (Knoxville), KSYM (San Antonio), KRCL (Salt Lake City), KNDD (Seattle), WSUM (Madison), and WMSE (Milwaukee).



Imagine the hot-spark pulse of any High School hitting three o'clock the day before summer vacation. By the time the last bell finishes frenching your eardrums, roughed denim pockets will slide over car hoods, stereos will queue, and four young turks will breathe free from the northern jewel of Port Angeles, WA.

"HAIR" is the second full-length release from the startlingly killer dude quartet on Seattle's pioneer indie label, The Control Group. "HAIR" is 11 tracks of fresh, traveling rock beauty a-la Led Zeppelin III with the fever of R.E.M's Murmur, and the harmonic command of Brian May. Furnished with distant slide guitars, driving piano, rolling bass lines and amazing breakdowns beyond their years, they give Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath an Altoid on behalf of Wolfmother.

The Lonely H's first album, "Kick Upstairs" was released in 2006 when most of the band was only 16. Astounding live performances, unbridled rock brotherhood presence, and surgical three part harmonies won fans immediately. The Seattle Weekly called them "a celebration of classic rock, endless-summer melodies, and unabashed nerdiness," but their hometown paper nailed it: "A group of teenagers who don't sit around complaining there's nothing to do in Port Angeles. They are making things happen."