The Origin of Henry + The Invisibles & The One Man Funk Band

Henry + the Invisibles can just about do it all when it comes to producing electrifying dance-party vibes. ‘The One Man Funk Band,’ aka Henry Roland, loops and layers everything from vocal harmonies, funk guitar, groovy bass, soulful keys, drum machines and percussion to create original high energy dance music that sounds like a solid 5-piece funk ensemble.

The Austin-based artist, producer, and all-around funk machine got his start in The Live Music Capital at the age of 16 performing at the legendary Black Cat Lounge on Sixth Street. As part of the 7-piece funk outfit, Gingerbreadmen, Henry was fortunate to tour alongside some of the genre’s most iconic artists. He would later go on to NYC for nearly a decade where he studied jazz. Upon his return to Austin in 2007, Henry tested his rock chops as a member of Starchild. When the rock trio disbanded in 2009 with several shows remaining on the calendar, Henry saw an opportunity to return to his funk roots. He had just purchased a loop pedal and an idea began to brew. “I called the remaining venues and told them, ‘Hey, I’m coming. It’s just me and I’ve got a whole new thing,” he recalls. “Fortunately, there were some people that believed in it and that’s how ‘the one man funk band’ all started.

Henry + the Invisibles made his full-length, ‘solo’ debut in 2016 with the entirely self-produced and engineered MUSAIC, an album that would earn top 10 honors that year at the Austin Music Awards. In the 8 years since his one man band origin, Henry + the Invisibles have played a solid role in the local and national funk scene and have become a mainstay on the national festival circuit. Henry + the Invisibles will close out September at the River Revival Festival in New Braunfels where he will join an all-star funk, blues and southern, roots rock line-up to help spread a groovy message of love and peace.

We had the chance to speak with Henry + the Invisibles about the ‘one man funk band’s’ creation and the upcoming River Revival Festival. Read what the funk machine had to say below.

What originally drew you into the party funk genre?

I’ve been into funk my whole life. The first band I was in was a 7-piece funk unit called the Gingerbreadmen. We toured the country and eventually grew into a 12, and sometimes even a 13-piece. I was pretty lucky when I was growing up to go on the road with Maceo Parker and open shows for Tower of Power, War and Funkadelic. I’ve studied jazz in New York and have been in several rock bands playing studio gigs. But, when I decided to do a one-man project, I felt most comfortable doing funk…especially since it has a looping aesthetic to it.

Is there a specific order or routine you prefer when layering tracks?

Not really. It may start with a beat, or a lyric, or a guitar riff, or a bass riff, or a keyboard riff. I don’t have any particular order. It really comes from whatever instrument I’m practicing with that day.

Is there a particular instrument or section you enjoy the most?

It varies from week-to-week. Right now I’m kind of in a keyboard phase. But, I very much enjoy the bass. Originally, guitar was my prime instrument. But, I don’t really have a favorite at this point. They’re all important in what I do.

What do you find to be the most difficult obstacle when creating music as a one-man band?

In the beginning it was actually producing a song with a form to it. Verse, pre-chorus, chorus, repeat…that sort of thing. I had a pretty basic loop pedal at first. I would record, press it again to un-record and then press it twice to make a chorus. That was pretty difficult to master. It was tough to make a song that was fascinating because looping can become monotonous if you don’t make it sound interesting. I’ve started using a drum machine over the past couple of years and I‘ve got a ton of different keyboard patches and drum sounds now. I’ve also picked up a loop pedal that actually allows me to layer three different loops at once and I’ve figured out a lot of different ways to orchestrate what a band would sound like.

You stay pretty busy touring and hitting the festival circuit. What are you most looking forward to from the River Revival Festival?

I’m super excited to share the stage with Pimps of Joytime…and all the guys from Houston. The Splice Records folks are genuinely sweet people. So, I’m looking forward to seeing that whole crew. I’ve never performed the River Revival before. But, it looks like a very intimate and beautiful festival. I’m very much looking forward to it and just being able to catch all of the acts.

Your September tour will conclude in New Braunfels with the River Revival, what’s up next for Henry + the Invisibles?

I’ll be heading back on the road. I’m going to Fayetteville, Little Rock and Missouri. We’re doing a lot of Midwest gigs. I’m also currently working on a new album and if everything goes right it should be out at the beginning of Spring 2018. I’m working a lot on video production as well and trying to get my studio tip-top. I’m looking forward to doing more video production and have been writing a lot.

For additional information on Henry + the Invisibles visit http://www.henryinvisible.com/.

For additional information on the River Revival Festival and tickets visit http://www.splicerecordstx.com/events/river-revival/.

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David Ryan Harris Creates Soulful Songs For Other People

From stage-left to the center of attention, David Ryan Harris has released Songs for Other People through Peace Pourage Records. A heart-wrenching video for the album’s single “Coldplay” featuring actor Taye Diggs is linked below. Harris will also be playing to a sold out crowd at Winflo in Austin on Sunday, October 1st.

Harris has spent three-decades exploring the music industry dabbling in everything from playing alongside the likes of Dave Matthews to co-writing RIAA platinum-certified hits such as Guy Sebastian’s “Battle Scars”. Harris just wrapped up a tour playing guitar and singing for John Mayer, a spot that he spent much of the 2000s occupying and on September 13 he kicked-off his solo tour in support of his latest album, Songs For Other People.

Songs for Other People feels like an effortless continuance of the quality stories and musicality that audiences have come to expect from Harris. It’s a trip through the good, the bad and the soulful.

The seven tracks were originally meant for other artists but never found a home. Over time Harris toyed with the idea of turning them into his own. Enter drummer Terrence Clark, keyboardist Zac Rae, cellist Keith Tutt, and GRAMMY award-winning producer Mike Elizondo on bass.

The lead single, “Coldplay”, is a fully-discovered story that should come with a sensitivity warning. It’s a rollercoaster ride through a man rediscovering tickets to a concert that he attended with an ex-girlfriend. Old emotions overcome him as he remembers everything that he missed.

I don’t want the memories now / So could you please just turn the radio down? / No, I can’t listen to Coldplay” yearns Harris. The soft accompaniment of the track accentuates the heaviness behind the lyrics. Flushes and swells push the chorus, falling in line behind Harris’s floating voice.

Other standout tracks are “Average Joe,” “Fascinating” and “Red Balloons.” A blues influence drives a majority of the album, but there is a hint of classic rock’n’roll, pop, and the signature contemporary indie sound that many of Harris’ peers have nestled into (John Mayer, Ed Sheeran).

Much of the album tackles regret and a sense of yearning for what’s been lost. Harris taps into the essence of soul with his dynamic vocal range and key guitar-sense. Unbounded by any rules, Harris lets his creativity soar.

“There were no boundaries musically or thematically other than the fact that these songs are for and about other people,” says Harris.

All it takes is one bar and you’re hooked on Harris’ sound. Songs for Other People is for the people, by someone that knows what it’s like to deal with heartbreak.

 

Catch David Ryan Harris at Winflo on October 1. For additional info and current tour dates visit http://davidryanharris.com/.

 

 

Written by: Sawyer Click

Photo by: Shervin Lainez

 

BANKS Haunts Emo’s With Her Subversive R&B

Subversive R&B goddess, BANKS, recently dropped by Emo’s in Austin showcasing the Gothic romanticism that has made her haunting sophomore album, The Altar, such a promising success. BANKS is currently wrapping-up the stateside portion of her current tour and will be heading to TR satellite city, Birmingham, UK on October 22 to kick off the European dates.

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Photos by: Anie Walsh

https://aniewalshphotography.myportfolio.com/

 

 

Frankie Rose Brings Cage Tropical to Barracuda

NY/LA based singer-songwriter, Frankie Rose, recently visited Austin’s Barracuda with special guests Suburban Living and Très Oui. Rose is currently touring in support of her fourth solo album, Cage Tropical, released on August 11. The singer-songwriter also recently collaborated with Jorge Elbrecht to record a cover of the Cure’s 1980 album Seventeen Seconds in full, due out October 27 via Turntable Kitchen’s Sounds Delicious. Check out the images below from Frankie Rose’s September 20 performance at Barracuda.

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Click the link below to see Frankie Rose’s latest video ‘Red Museum‘.

 

Photos by: Mindi Westoff

www.timeandplacephotography.com

Two Door Cinema Club at ACL Live Moody Theatre – 09/19/2017

Here’s a band that, let’s be honest, needs very little introducing. Two Door Cinema Club were at Austin’s own ACL Live Moody Theatre this past week, gracing the stage with their new look. A venue swarmed with excited fans met the Northern Irish indie band, and answered once and for all that they are more than just the mandatory rockstars for a teenager to crush on.

The trio’s latest and third album, Gameshow, proves how far they’ve come from that since their start in 2007. Working with the renowned producer Jacknife Lee and even presenting a slightly more mature sound with influences from Prince evident, but regardless, they may be growing but they are definitely still the boys they were when they started out, and all of the passion is still very clear.

See for yourself in the photoset below!

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Photography: Corey Mendez

Q&A With Electro-Pop Artist LEV on Upcoming Sofar Sounds Show

Sofar Sounds has joined forces with Amnesty International to host “Give a Home,” a global day of live music events taking place in people’s homes. Thousands of artists will be performing in hundreds of homes globally.

The event will be taking place on Wednesday, Sept. 20 and will bring together musicians, refugees, and music fans with the aim to raise awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis. “because we all deserve a home, not just the memory of one”.

We recently spoke with Dallas-based, electro-pop artist, LEV, who will be joining Larry g(EE) and Matt Tedder for a secret Sofar Show in DFW on Sept. 20. Read what the ‘Search Party‘ star had to say below.

 

How do you feel being one of the 1,000 global musicians selected to play the “Give a Home” event?

I’m super honored to be apart of Sofar and such a great cause.

Is the current refugee crisis an issue you feel strongly about personally?

It definitely breaks my heart and it weighs heavy on me when I think of how many don’t have homes. Everyone deserves freedom.

The 80’s electro-pop you create features a lot of dance-inducing, synth-driven beats. Will the Sofar crowd see a more stripped-down LEV? What sort of adjustments will you make if any?

Yes I will be playing a very stripped down set. I will be playing an electric hollow body guitar along side with a friend who will accompany me on the acoustic.

How do like performing intimate settings such as Sofar Sounds when compared with larger club venues? Does it make a difference during the preparation process?

I rather enjoy performing for an intimate crowd. I don’t get to do this kind of set up often, so I’m excited to share that part of me that’s a singer/songwriter. I actually wrote a new song very, very recently that I will be performing for the first time.

You will be sharing the evening with Matt Tedder, a roots rock, blues artists. Do you believe your styles will compliment each other nicely for the crowd?

I think we will compliment well because I am playing such a broken down set and I chose songs with a less poppies vibe done acoustically. So I feel like it will be a nice blend.

You just wrapped up the ‘Search Party’ video and now you’re a Sofar artist, what’s up next for LEV?

Yes, Search Party is my first single off the upcoming album, along with some visuals to compliment the release. Next I will be prepping for my next single and working on some projects in LA this fall.

For more information on LEV visit http://www.levthemusic.com.

For more information on ‘Give a Home’ visit https://www.sofarsounds.com/ and https://www.amnestyusa.org/

 

Feature photo by: Nicollette Mollet

Modest Mouse Floats On White Water with Mass Gothic

To consider myself simply a Modest Mouse ‘fan’ would be a drastic understatement. Thirteen years after its release, Good News For People Who Love Bad News still spins on constant rotation on my personal playlist. Hell, even my six-year-old can recite ‘Lampshades on Fire’ in its entirety.

So, you can imagine the schoolgirl giddiness I felt when I discovered my favorite band was coming to White Water Amphitheater. Lucky for me, TR lead photographer, Demetrius Judkins, recently relocated to the outskirts of San Marvelous and had been eager to shoot more shows locally around Texas State. Sure, White Water Amphitheater is a whole ‘nother town over in New Braunfels. But, Demetrius, being the dedicated photographer that he is was totally down to cover the show.

Surprisingly, Modest Mouse’s publicists was very responsive to our media request…so responsive in fact that I had to question his sincerity. Let’s face it, management for bands like Modest Mouse don’t respond to guys like me…especially not as quickly as they did.

So, it came as no surprise two days before the show when the crickets started chirping. I’m sure the silence may have had something to do with my 15 email confirmations verifying if Demetrius was still approved to cover. But hey, I’ve been in this business for a while now and have learned miscommunications happen, venues and management sometimes overbook press and in those instances, more often than not, it’s the little guys like us that get left standing outside the venue with our cameras in our hand.

But, low-and-behold, Friday afternoon rolls around and the publicist confirms Demetrius was all good. Now, a little bit about Demetrius…he’s an artist’s artist…a free-spirited, transient soul who follows wherever his heart leads. Just a bicycle, a camera and a pack of smokes is all you’ll typically find in his possession. The first time I met the guy, this crazy mofo trekked his bike all-the-way across Austin at 4:00pm in June from Oltorf to 38th and Mopac just to drop off a wristband.

So, when I asked if he was still good to cover Modest Mouse, I thought nothing of his response “They confirmed once. So I’ll take the chance. I’m gonna bike my way out there tonight.” I simply replied, “You sure you want to bike that?” To which he responded, “It’s like an hour and a half ride. If nothing else, I’ve heard the scenic view on the way is gorgeous.”

I was still a little concerned because like I said, in this business, shit happens and the last thing I wanted was for Demetrius to pedal all the way out to New Braunfels and have an issue at the gate. But, he was cool with it so I left it up to him.

Demetrius is usually pretty quick to get show photos back to me…or at the very least let me know how the concert went…or didn’t go. So, when I hadn’t heard from him by noon the following day I started to worry that something…anything…might have fucked up his evening and we missed out on Modest Mouse.

I shot Demetrius a text, ‘How did last night go?’ And waited…and waited…and waited. Then, PING!!! Demetrius fired back in a manner only Demetrius could. “72 mile bike ride. But, I got some dope photos. Great show as well. And I made a friend too.”

Keep in mind, we’re all volunteers here at TR. It’s not like I was paying Demetrius extra to cover Modest Mouse. But that’s just the kind of cat he is. No way in Hell would I do half the shit he does. But, when it comes down to it, he’s dedicated and will do whatever it takes to get the shots and have a great time. So, scope out the concert photos below and please go show my man Demetrius Judkins some love and check out his photography at @wolfspiritofthesun.

Modest Mouse

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Mass Gothic

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Photos by: You already know

Unplugged at The Grove Says Goodbye to Jimmy LaFave

Last Thursday, the 24th season of KGSR’s Unplugged at The Grove came to an end as friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of Jimmy LaFave, one of the series’ founding artists. LaFave passed away at his home on May 21st, at the age of 61, due to spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. On Thursday, we not only waved goodbye to this season’s Unplugged series but also bid our farewells to an era that LaFave created.

During the summer of 1994, the Americana legend was presented with an intriguing opportunity. Promotional wildcatter, Marsha Milam, was in the process of developing an unplugged music series at Austin’s Shady Grove and requested that LaFave be the series’ opening performer. LaFave had just released his second studio album, Highway Trance, and was beginning to receive national notoriety. He liked Milam’s idea and accepted her offer to open the inaugural Unplugged at the Grove and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, twenty-four successful years later, Unplugged at the Grove is the longest running free music series in Texas and LaFave is the artist that started it all.

With the exception of 2014, LaFave had returned to play Unplugged at The Grove every summer and was scheduled to be the series’ closing act this year. “At one point, I held the all-time attendance record at the Grove,” claimed LaFave when I spoke to him in 2015. Then, with a satisfied smirk he noted, “But, I’m pretty sure that record has been broken by now.”

Considered one of the great songwriters of our time, LaFave helped give name to the Americana genre. His style was simple, yet heartfelt and bold with lyrics often stirring emotions of the open road. Born in Wills Point, TX, LaFave moved to Stillwater, OK during his school years and maintained strong musical ties to the state’s “Red Dirt” style of music throughout his life. It was no secret that Woody Guthrie was one of his main musical inspirations and LaFave even served on the Advisory Board of the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. However, LaFave had called Austin home since 1986 and credited Butch Hancock as his major local inspiration.

LaFave’s extensive music career spanned nearly five decades and he had received numerous awards and accolades including multiple Austin Music Awards. In May of 2015, he released his seventeenth album, The Night Tribe, along with Trail Four and Trail Five in 2016 on his record label Music Road Records.

He was adamant to spread the Americana genre beyond the reaches of Nashville and his label remains committed to recognizing both up-and-coming and established roots artists. He continued to be inspired by new musicians and was happy to see the genre open up beyond country and into bluegrass, blues and even Jazz. However, as Americana grew more popular and mainstream, LaFave’s style remained his own. “I’ve never drastically changed…I’m pretty much just doing the same stuff I’ve done over and over…I just hope to keep playing as long as I can.”

And LaFave did just that when his farewell concert arrived on May 18 at the Paramount Theatre. Amid friends and family, and the entire Austin music community, LaFave took the stage sitting in a wheelchair and hooked up to an oxygen machine, and led a powerful finale of “Goodnight Irene.” Here’s to hoping LaFave is somewhere out on the open road doing what he’s always done.

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Feature photo by: Anie Walsh

https://aniewalshphotography.myportfolio.com/

 

LaFave photo by: Phillip Leach

 

VÉRITÉ Finds Herself Somewhere In Between at Stubb’s

Fans at Stubb’s got the opportunity to see one of alt-pop’s hottest rising starlets Friday evening when VÉRITÉ brought her Somewhere in Between tour to Austin. The evening began with Sydney-based, alt-pop Tigertown, a funky four-piece consisting of husband and wife Chris (guitar) and Charlie Collins (lead vox + synth), Chris’ brother Alexi (keys) and sister Elodie (bass). Many fans in Austin may remember Tigertown as one of the breakout acts of SXSW 2015. The band’s stage chemistry is cohesive and infectious and they had the whole crowd swinging with their twinkling, triumphant pop.

VÉRITÉ, on the other hand, provided a much more intimate and introspective performance. The singer-songwriter’s dedication is no secret and it’s clear she invests herself entirely, heart and soul, into every song. On stage, she seemed slightly nervous, even charmingly awkward. But, the crowd responded very well to her…especially when she would engage with fans on a personal level allowing herself to become vulnerable. VÉRITÉ is a life-long performer who knows how to entertain a crowd and delivered an inspirational performance with plenty of dancing and a surprising amount of emotions. See some of the highlights below captured by Hannah McBride.

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Tigertown

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Photos By: Hanna McBride @hmcbreezy

Ghostland Observatory w/ Night Drive at Stubb’s Photo Recap

Ghostland Observatory’s entire approach to music – sonically, aesthetically, conceptually – is essentially a melding of the two distinctly different personalities of its two members, Thomas Ross Turner and Aaron Behrens. Whereas Turner, the producer/drummer/keyboardist of the duo, finds solace in the minimal, bleak cable-patch squawks of Karlheinz Stockhausen and the analog-disco-thump of Giorgio Moroder, Behrens’ interests lie more along the lines of psychedelia, rock and various country and blues artists.

The result is a shimmering, pulsing pop music that is at once kinetically alive with Behrens’ striking vocals and driving guitar work but also anchored firmly by Turner’s percussive beats and Moog-generated melodies and hooks. Common descriptions include “electro-dance rock,” “synth-funk” and “Freddie Mercury-helms-Daft Punk.”

Deciding to produce a style of music that as yet existed only in their collective consciousnesses; Behrens and Turner formed Ghostland Observatory in Austin in 2003 and haven’t looked back since. They now sell out prominent venues across the country, have played at Lollapalooza, Bonaroo, Coachella and the Austin City Limits music festival, which they headlined, and continue to play at various music festivals and venues around the globe to an ever increasing fan base, thanks to their now-famous live shows.

Last weekend, Ghostland Observatory blasted Stubb’s with their pulsating laser light show notorious for giving photographers fits while invigorating the crowd with savage energy. Austin-based synth-pop duo, Night Drive, opened the evening with flourish of sci-fi inspired cinematic soundscapes. Night Drive creates modern synth-pop that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion. Infectious melodies wrapped in thoughtful lyrics with pulsing dance beats unveil a stylish, energetic sound that has been featured in film, tv and radio around the world. Check out the show highlights below captured by Demetrius Judkins
Ghostland Observatory

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Night Drive

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Photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun