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

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

07 October 2019 


Yes, it’s that “Get Together,” written by Chet Powers in 1963 that became an anthem song for the ‘70s generation from The Youngbloods, that is the title track from the band Henrietta Swan. The song thankfully does lend itself to some creative treatments such as that by Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore on their Downey to Lubbock from last year. In the hands of this folk-rock band, It sounds almost like a Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny arrangement. That’s not just due to the instrumentation but frontwoman vocalist Laura Shera Levine resembles Denny. Luke Bolla adds the fiddle with Ethan Ballinger chiming in on mandolin.

The band is essentially a virtual collective as stated in the press materials “We’re a virtual band, comprised of musicians, poets, and engineers from different parts of the U.S. that collaborate both via the internet and in-person to create our music.” You’ll find the names of keyboardist Brother Paul Brown, bassist John Heithaus, multiple string man Ballinger, and drummer Pete Young on other releases from the Pure Music Nashville label. Yet, Levine and guitarists Marc Davison and Gary Gladson seem to be part of the core unit since they share writing credits on two of the four selections. The band is named in honor of, and inspired by a scientific hero, Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1858-1921), a famous American astronomer. 

They begin with a rollicking version of perhaps Chris Rea’s biggest tune, “The Road to Hell” where Shera is convincing as a rock singer who can belt it like Chrissie Hynde, soaring above the raging electric guitars, Bolla’s fiddle, and Brother Paul’s swirling B3.  The band retreats to more of a folk-rock sound on their original ”Odessa,” a richly textured dark tone that builds to a crescendo with fiddle and guitar in the midsection and at the close behind Levine’s powerful voice. The other original “Unfold,” written by five of the contributors, finds her vocal delivery dropping into the lower register, over a softer instrumental backdrop, punctuated with acoustic guitars, fiddles, and lush vocal harmonies.

The two originals are quite impressive, leaving one to ponder what a full-length of originals would sound like. Levine has great vocal range and versatility with a band that has, due to its virtual nature, limitless potential. Theirs is a sound that lies somewhere between the best of power rock and British folk-rock, not unlike The Rails. We need to hear more from Henrietta Swan.



Jim Hynes



Jim Hynes is an independent contributor on music for several magazines, including Elmore and Country Standard Time. He has also written for Variety. He was a listener-supported public station(s) radio host for 25 years in CT, MI, NJ and PA. He is also a Live music host/Emcee at several national and regional venues.

To Read All of Jim's Reviews, Click Here




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