Waiting for Henry (from the album Town Called Patience)
On their second release, Town Called Patience, Waiting for Henry take major steps forward with a rock’n’roll faith and a firm belief in their sound of music. The album is the sort of DIY template written by a working band, a history on the moving lines of the highway. The tale, as told by songwriter/lead singer, Dave Slomin, is ‘how we escaped our early rock’n’roll years somewhat intact, and a bit of a roadmap for where to go from there’. Members of Waiting for Henry found the thread of a musical relationship that had unraveled when the three were schoolmates. They wanted to make the album they never got a chance to produce in the past, planning on handing the results out to friends. The recording became their debut, Ghosts and Compromise, and the band’s lean into Alt Country received comparisons to R.E.M. Waiting for Henry were particularly impressed with the first two R.E.M. albums, though their interest focused on how a producer took a raw band and defined their sound. They sent tracks to Mitch Easter, producer of early efforts from the Athens, Georgia Indie Rock icons (Murmur, Reckoning). The legendary producer heard something real, knowing that ‘all songs use familiar musical bits and pieces, but only some songs get to your emotions, or make you think, or smile…who knows what that is exactly, but you know it when you hear it! These guys write songs that have that spark’.
Waiting for Henry equally have the ability to move between rock and country with an Alt Country that brands the music naturally. If the initial sound of Waiting for Henry went back to school kids emulating influences on their first album, the band has graduated to being the instructors on Town Called Patience as they show by example just how to wrangle wild guitar licks and corral them in a song (“Wrong”), proudly stride on a track headed home with a confident beat (“Musconetcong”), strum an easy jangle (“Could It Be”), and let the title track musically sparkle for the troubles in the story line. Ghosts float on the drifting rhythm of “Hangnail” as Waiting for Henry memorialize a favorite band from 1993 with “Gutterball” and barrel over past mistakes with “Parsipanny” as Town Called Patience chases “Angel on the Run” on rolling clouds of guitar chords and “In the End” shows the album an exit on a quieted electric crackle under a story of another chance.