The Low End
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The Low End

Manhattan, Kansas, United States | SELF

Manhattan, Kansas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk


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Hey people, Darren here. Nothing makes me happier than finding a local band that I am excited to talk about. If you haven’t seen The Low End yet, you need to. And soon. Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait long. You’ve got an opportunity this Wednesday at the Kathouse, also featuring Antennas Up and Eventide.

I first saw them live at their home, affectionately known as the Dead Birdhouse. (Incidentally, the Dead Birdhouse is another really exciting local residence that doubles as a live music venue. Watch for upcoming shows on our calendar.) The show was on a Monday night, and if I would have gotten my way, I probably would have just stayed home. God, am I glad I got my butt off the couch. Suffice it to say, both Blade and I were completely impressed.

Honestly, I almost didn’t trust my ears. Maybe my low expectations were to blame? Could they have really been that good? Maybe it was just the high energy of the house coloring my view? I needed to see them again. Fortunately, they seem to play as often as I wear purple. And I wear a lot of purple.

I saw them for the second time in a week, last Saturday in City Park. It was a relatively small crowd, considering the size of the Larry Norvell Band Shell. There would be no house-party style energy to carry them this time. The funny thing is, by the time they were half-way through “One True Sentence,” I might as well have been back at the Dead Birdhouse. The crowd was alive. Lead-singer and principle-songwriter Dan Hornsby is easily one of the most compelling frontmen currently calling Manhattan home.

I am told that they are known as a folk-rock band, but I’m having trouble with that label. Yes, they do have their Dylanesque moments, but also the raw attitude, like something closer to The White Stripes. Throw in a trumpet and a few harmonies and you’ll start to get the picture. Check them out on one of the better stages in town, at the Kathouse (although I am told they will be minus their trumpet player, who will certainly be missed). I guarantee you, if it is up to me, this won’t be the last time they are featured on this site.

Highly recommended. - The Scoop

I was lucky enough to catch the Low End this past Wednesday night at the Vollrath Tavern. Be prepared for my excitement for this up and coming band. When previewing for the show I heard their music and at first listen knew they would be a great show, and I knew I had to be in attendance. Dan, John, Ryan,Kristin, and Mark make up this folk rock quintet. They hail all the way from Kansas and are currently on a midwest tour.

On a late night at the Vollrath I was anxious to hear the Low End’s set, and even at that first chord streaming through the speakers I was hooked! Showing all the signs of a cohesive band their sound was perfectly intact. I’ve see many bands, at many different venues, and the Low End plays with the valor of bands that have been around twice as long. The chemistry between musicians and their relationship with the music is genuine. One of my favorite parts of the music are the trumpet lines, which greatly contributes to the unique sound. Kristin is a true asset in the band and a real musician, unlike some bands I have seen with token girls in the front bopping their heads. She offers her vocals to create dead on harmonies and a sweet sound.

The band played a great set, playing a new tune and songs off their EP Housefire title-track Dan let out rich vocals that lit up the room. My personal favorite is “Two Moons”, which they played at the show but isn’t on their EP. You can however find it on their myspace page.

The Low End are an amazing live band, and have earned my adoration. Please check out their music! Their conglomeration of vocals,keyboard, trumpet and poignant lyrics make them a band you won’t want to miss out on. Indy was lucky to have them.

Their EP Housefire is a great collection of their songs and shows off their sound extremely well. The first track “Rise and Shine” is an upbeat invitation that really encompasses the elements of the sound. Perhaps the best thing about this EP is the strong finish provided by the title-track “Housefire”. However I will warn you, it leaves you wanting more music from this band. Luckily, the band is working on new tunes and hopes to release another EP in the near future. -


Housefire (2010)
Stateside (2010)



The Low End began as a collaboration between guitarist/songwriter Dan Hornsby, bassist John Goddard, and trumpet-player Kristin Henry. Playing small venues including bars, bookstores, and regional festivals, The Low End gained a local following and two new members, drummer Ryan Manes and guitarist/pianist Mark Montague, before finishing their debut EP, "Housefire," and touring the Midwest. In November 2010, the band released a single titled "Stateside." Recently, The Low End has begun recording their full-length debut and planning their spring tour schedule.

Heavily influenced by Bob Dylan,The Band, Delta Spirit, Wilco, and Arcade Fire, The Low End's music presents a small world of characters--ranging from vandals and convicts to the ghosts of Shakespeare and Hemingway-- set in landscapes from suburbia to Alaska. The music is equally varied, moving from calm Americana to surf-pop and blues/rock.