Last Night: The Henry Clay People at The Prospector

The Henry Clay People
 The Prospector
 February 23, 2008

Better Than: Staying home with your cat and hitting the peace pipe.

My apologies to The Year Zero, whose set I missed due The Paper Planes getting a late start at The Puka Bar. I heard your performance was drenched in sonic goodness and that The Henry Clays are jealous of your harmonizing capabilities.

I arrived just as Long Beach's Forcefield ON were taking the stage. With a loyal local following and band members with resumes that span a wide variety of musical spectrums, the tiny Prospector bar was quite stuffed for this six-piece's blend of spacey collegiate jam rock and Louisiana marching band horns. And because I rather not shit where I eat, I'm will refrain from going in detail what didn't work for me and rather just say that in my opinion the last rock n' roll band to successfully incorporate a horn section was Rocket From The Crypt. I just couldn't dig it. But that's just me; there was a whole room full of people that totally could.

Saturdays are for partying, and party The Henry Clay People did. Apparently too drunk to play their own songs, The Henry Clay People launched into a set of covers after first blasting out their two best songs from their new Working Part Time EP, the title track of said EP, and "Andy Sings" (though just barely, as Andy definitely was the most sauced of the group). Maybe it was the booze or maybe it was just that CCR's "Who'll Stop The Rain," The Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait," and Pavement's "Summer Babe" were fresh in their heads from their previous all covers set the other night at The Echo - where they are doing a Monday night residency this month.

Some might have been disappointed with a set of mostly covers (there were one or two others in there that I can't remember right now), but really I found myself more than satisfied. They played my two favorite originals as well as a brand new song from their forthcoming full length album that will be out later this month. They came, they drank, they rocked, and I hope someone sober drove them home (probably one of the nice girls selling their merch).

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I like The Thermals, The Hold Steady, and some Piebald. The Henry Clay People sound like a result of all three spending night together following a whiskey binge.

Random Detail: The sound guy had to spend half The Henry Clays' set sitting on the floor holding the monitor cables together so the monitor would stop shorting out.

By the way: The Henry Clays finish up their Monday night residency at The Echo this coming Monday. You should really try to make it out, maybe it will be a repeat performance, especially if the What Made Milwaukee guys bring what they're famous for.


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