Soooo, this show was incredible. It was so much better than I could have even hoped for or imagined it to be.
Henhouse Prowlers are a true bluegrass band, through and through.
First let me say that bluegrass is a genre, comparatively to blues, that is so vast and with such an epic legacy that it is almost intimidating and overwhelming to approach. More specifically, it may be difficult to approach the genre in the ways of sifting through the masses on the endless internet and finding what bands are truly worth one’s time.
But the beauty of going to live shows is that it takes away the effort of music searching and keeps the simple bliss and enjoyment of music listening. And bands like Henhouse Prowlers graces one not only with their incredible performance but also with a new band to suddenly love and to be sure to see again in the future.
In other words: I’ve known that I like bluegrass but I wasn’t quite sure how to get into it. Going to a show like Henhouse Prowlers is a great gateway into getting to know what bluegrass is all about.
A very large portion of the audience came specifically to see this Chicago-based bluegrass band. As for the rest of us, we knew they meant business when they stepped onto stage in full-piece suits, looking clean, sharp and ready to blow our minds as they did.
The band then went on to whisk us away in their musical world. The group is four men: no drums (I’m just so used to drums), just four men and their string instruments, their voices, their talent and their passion.
The instruments mostly were the acoustic guitar, the banjo, the cello, and the fiddle.
What can I say? Everyone was entranced and was having a blast. They played foot-stompin, hand-clappin, swaying and moving (emotionally moving as well) music.
How they put on a show. I think what was most impressive was how each individual member was so talented. Each stepped up to the front of the stage to show off what they’ve got in that classic but humble bluegrass fashion. Each not only performed solos throughout the show but even the cellist who typically was standing toward the back stepped to the microphone and carried one of the last songs while strumming the beaut.
Then Henhouse Prowlers did something truly amazing: They asked the audience to move back a bit and proceeded to step off the stage and onto the floor in front of the stage and graced us with a few songs.
I never have experienced something so intimate (I was standing literally a foot and a half in front of these guys).
I’m told this is something that shows just how truly bluegrass (not only in sound but in manner and in understanding of the legacy) these guys are.
We all got to feel each others’ stomping throughout the shared wood floor of the Zoo Bar and the heat and vibration of the instruments in front of us, not to mention the heart of these guys.
I never wanted those moments to end.
Listen to “Shadow of a Man” and others here: https://www.facebook.com/henhouseprowlers/app_2405167945 (But I hate to say it: their recorded music does not do justice to what this group is capable of.
All photos by Annie Bohling | Seeds Entertainment