Note: Better Know a Band is a regular series that randomly selects, albeit unscientifically, a Hear Nebraska band profile from the bunch. We ask each band to answer eight questions in hopes that we'll learn something new.
Today's band: Tucker Hill Citizen's Brigade from Norfolk, which releases their album, The Good Life?, this Saturday at Pizza Shop Collective. The show starts at 9 p.m., and the $10 cover includes a copy of the record. RSVP to the concert here.
Hear Nebraska: In 10 words or fewer, tell me what's most interesting about your band.
Glenn Woody Henkel: All original Americana rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues revolution.
HN: Which member of the band tells the best stories? Please share one favorite with us.
GWH: We all tell great stories and have all been involved with lots of bands over the years, so it's hard to say what the best story is. Lately, the best story we have been getting a kick out of is our drummer David's quixotic "Spinal Tap" adventure getting to our show at Lovefest in the Midwest.
We all have some gigs with other acts or solo from time to time, and before our show at the Lovefest, our drummer David had a show with Jim Casey and Don Petersen. Since the Lovefest was easily highlighted on his GPS, he set out at about midnight to find us at the festival.
Apparently the highway that Maple Street becomes after it leaves Omaha and heads west can be found on numerous places in a GPS, and after driving around for over three hours and never finding us, David finally stopped in Fremont and got a hotel at about 3 a.m. Turns out he was never more than a few miles from us the whole time. Oops.
HN: Do you have any rules for practices? If so, who breaks them and will they ever learn? If not, why not?
GWH: Rules for practice are generally to use that time to go too far, to break out into something you want to explore without an audience there so we feel free to let something completely destruct. If it works out great, if not we all learn. Luckily, this group has a bunch of adventurous members who always seem to find a new place to carve out of a song and open up into a new little gem.
HN: What do you wish the crowd would do at your shows? Is there anything you wish they didn't do?
GWH: I wish they would get up and dance. They always do in the end, but it always seems like there is this convincing game going on. We are a new sound to this area, so some folks take a while to get that shit-eating grin off their faces and relax enough to just enjoy it.
A lot of the musicians who see us give us the standard, standing in the back, arms crossed, staring at us with rapt attention, studying what we are doing. I do the same at times to other bands so I understand this behaviour and take it as a compliment. But when the whole audience just gets jumpin' and that energy comes back to us on stage, that is magic.
HN: Which character from one of your songs would you most like to have a drink with?
GWH: Either Mary or Johnny, but perhaps that is a bit of a loaded answer. "Mary" and "Johnny" are my prototype characters and by name, show up in a lot of songs, even though they are not necessarily the same person in every song. I write all of the lyrics in the material we play so far, and I write real lyrics about real people and so from the beginning have stuck with "Mary" and "Johnny" as the names I would use to protect the innocent and guilty alike.
Why would i like to have a drink with these characters? Because they got issues and dilemmas and quagmires just like the rest of us, and they have made some gut-wrenching decisions and are living with the consequences, just like we all do. They are real, bloody, muddy, angelic creatures who hurt and experience joy and celebration along with pain: the human experience.
HN: What is your favorite chord and why?
GWH: Favorite chord changes up a bit. Currently, it is a C major 7. It just grabs me, and you can take that chord anywhere from jazz to overdriven rock 'n' roll. Lately, we have been funk with that one. Next week, who knows?
HN: In 10 words or fewer, tell me where you hope your band will be one year from today.
GWH: Second CD, regional tour, 150+ gigs per year, growing tribe.
HN: Where are you all from originally?
GWH: David is originally from Ohio. Randy, Craig and I have roots here in the Norfolk, Neb., area, and I have spent most of my time in Colorado jam bands and North Carolina jam bands since growing up in Nebraska.
HN: I see you were booking a tour a while back? How did that go, and do you have any updates?
GWH: The tour I am booking is actually for next summer. There are two festivals in southern Colorado I want to get on, as well as about seven different clubs on the way there and back. We hope to take Vito Cole out with us, and have a two- to three-week run out of it, and make that a regular run. We are also looking into joining forces with the Wookiefoot folks in Minnesota, and starting to book some tours regionally heading that way, so into Iowa, Minnesota, both Dakotas, and Wisconsin.
Basically, we all understand that we are not the best at what we do, we are the only ones who do what we do. That will require us to carve out a larger territory to make a living out of this, and we are all down for that ride.
We have a street dance in Madison on Aug. 4, another local music festival on August 18 that will have us plus about eight other bands. Several local club dates are in the works. We play on the main stage for the Norfolk Riverpoint Arts Festival on Sept. 22, and all summer and fall, we are taking dates as the opening act for Dylan and the Dirt Road Detour.
Musically speaking, we wrapped up our live recording event a few months back in Madison, Neb., and have created a great, live six-song EP from that, and we are heading back into the studio to lay down tracks for the studio version of our new CD with 13 original songs on it, and while all that is going on, we have already begun to explore the seeds of some new creations and new songs, so the next project has already sort of begun.