It has been nearly eight years since the music world last heard from the Manhattan roots-rock band Mr. Henry. Fronted by vocalist Dave Slomin (pictured above), the quartet put together a sound of clean, crisp rock that was not unlike the Gin Blossoms, Cracker and Counting Crows. The band’s major-label breakthrough Jackhammer was produced by John Hampton, who produced the Gin Blossoms’ multi-platinum New Miserable Experience, and their follow up 40 Watt Fade, was produced by the Counting Crows’ Dave Bryson.
In their brief six-year run, the band never grabbed many headlines, never played the nation’s biggest rooms, but they did churn out some of the most consistent, polished and can’t miss heartland rock on this side of the Mississippi. That the band was based out of Manhattan made their appeal that much more alluring. Unfortunately the group got bogged down by guitarist Steve Conte, who split time between Mr. Henry and myriad side projects. In the end, the side projects won out and Mr. Henry folded like a cheap tuxedo rental.
Thankfully, Slomin emerged from a four-year period of darkness and released the incredibly solid solo disc Strike, before disappearing once again into darkness. Though a host of links at his CDBaby page, reveal that he is somewhat active in music, there is no word if he’s still touring as of the last three years. Without an official Web page, the verdict is still out. Until such details are ironed out, there will always be a large part of me that wishes for the day I can hear songs like: “Apollo Racer,” “Happily Neverafter,” and “B-Side Stars” in a live setting. Until then, thank my lucky stars I have the disc in my collection. 40 Watt Fade is available at Amazon.com and it ranks pretty high in my list of albums released in 2001. If not Top 10, definitely Top 20.
The next installment of Monthly Nostalgia will remember Maryland’s Rockwell Church.
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