In today's culture, it seems in order to make a splash in the music industry bands and singers have to audition for a reality show and make it to the top but tradition hasn't gone out the window for local bands. The Henhouse Prowlers are upholding that classic tradition of pounding the pavement and playing shows night after night.
That hard work and traditional effort has the Henhouse Prowlers making a big impact on the bluegrass music scene playing shows night after night and gaining many fans along the way. The bluegrass music scene is making a strong resurgence and fans appreciate the hard work of the band and their passion for live performance. The Henhouse Prowlers are bring their unique bluegrass sound to concert venues all across the Midwest and soon the world.
I had the chance to interview Henhouse Prowlers, we discussed everything from how social media is helping the band to increase their fan base and how 2013 will be a busy year for modern bluegrass band.
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C: When did Henhouse Prowlers come together?
H: 2005. When we started, we all were in other bands. It was a way to keep our bluegrass chops up while we all played in rock bands. Then things started to take off after a few years of playing a weekly show on Tuesdays (which we still play here in Chicago at the Abbey Pub when we're not on a long tour). We all quit our other bands and made HHP our priority.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
H: I personally didn't get into music much at all until I bought a banjo at 23. My mom insisted I sing in choir in High School, which ended up helping me out a lot. I actually missed an excellent bluegrass band at my dads second marriage when I was 12. I thought it was country music...and who likes that? Turns out we've covered several songs written by one of the members in that band that was playing at my house, that I ignored while I was sneaking beers.
C: Henhouse Prowlers in a few words, how would you describe the band's musical sound?
H: Modern bluegrass with a reverence for the past.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
H: Flatt and Scruggs, Greensky Bluegrass, The Stanley Brothers, John Hartford, Sierra Hull, Del McCoury....etc
C: Henhouse Prowlers has gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
H: It's hard. We're still climbing the hill. You have to play 5 dismal shows in a town before people really start coming out. This is not a path for the faint of heart. It's a far cry from American Idol and other mainstream genres. At the same time, our goal has always been to sustain longevity and you don't see that all too often in bands that hit it big. I'm perfectly happy being in a band that makes a decent living for a long time and never "hits it big".
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
H: It's good here. Cities are close, people are warm and for the most part, bands are cool to each other. You run into difficult situations, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I recognize how lucky we are to do what we love, even if it means we won't get rich.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
H: It's huge. Letting fans know what your doing on a daily basis without emailing them is the way to go. I can't imagine doing it any other way anymore. Props to the bands that made a living before the internet.
C: What does the future of the band hold?
H: We've got some really cool things coming up. We'll be on the Mountain Songs at Sea cruise to the Bahamas. Two days later we fly out to Nevada and CA for a 5 day run. Then we're off to Europe in April. Right before we leave for EU we'll be dropping a new studio album (Produced by Greg Cahill of The Special Consensus) that we're really excited about.