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Music Review - `Get Together` by Henrietta Swan (HC)

Henrietta Swan -- Get Together   (click on image to watch video)

 1 May 2020

 

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The band Henrietta Swan takes its name from Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an America astronomer who discovered pulsating stars that vary regularly in brightness in periods ranging from a few days to several months. The virtual band, whose members live in different parts of the US, collaborate via the Internet and in person. Henrietta Swan is composed of Lauren Shera Levine on vocals; Paul Brown on B3, piano, and synths; Marc Davison on slide and rhythm guitars; Gary Gladson on lead and acoustic guitars; John Heithaus on bass; and, Pete Young on drums. Guests include Luke Bulla on fiddle, guitar and vocals; Ethan Ballinger on tenor guitar and mandolin; Billy Nobel on keyboards on “Unfold”; SaRachel on backing vocals on “Get Together.”

The four-song EP kicks off with propulsive cover of British blues rocker’s 1989 “Road to Hell.” The song rolls in on a fog of synth before Gladson’s stinging lead guitars lifts the veil and launches the song into the stratosphere. Dark and foreboding, the song rides along the screaming B3, prepares the way for Gladson’s soaring leads on the first instrumental bridge and Bulla’s spiraling fiddle on the second instrumental bridge. Raucous rock meets It’s a Beautiful Day on “Road to Hell.” Henrietta Swan’s languorous version of the Youngblood’s hit “Get Together” still captures the urgency of the song and its plea to bond in community. The band appropriately updates the song for our times changing the first line of the chorus to “Come on, people, smile on each other,” substituting “each other” for “brother.” “Odessa,” written by Gladson and Levine, soars sonically, creating a wall of sound that washes over us, while “Unfold” opens with a riff recalling “All Along the Watchtower” that weaves as a phrase through the entire song. “Unfold” showcases the band’s musical intimacy and its depth.

The band lives up to its namesake’s discovery, though it shines brightly and pulsates dynamically on every song. Get Together showcases the musical genius of Henrietta Swan, celebrating the promise of more music to come from the band.

 Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

Henry L. Carrigan, Jr.

 

 

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