One of Halfblind Henry's songs begins full of promise with the words "Something good is a-coming round the bend". This promise is fulfilled as soon as Henry reaches for his guitar: something good is coming, but you're not quite sure what it's going to be. Henry doesn't necessarily know either. Usually, he plays his own material at his concerts, but he also always has intriguing souvenirs from his extensive peregrinations through music's history in his back pocket: whether it's Leonard Cohen, Little Feat, T.Rex, Bo Diddley or Lou Reed - without fail, his repertoire has a surprise in store. Henry's playing is derived from the atmosphere of the moment, and accordingly, it gives life to ephemeral music. An accomplished guitarist, he can run the gamut from loud to quiet, from feisty to gentle. As soon as he gets on stage, he is absolutely present. For him, making music is both his duty and calling in life; he places himself into the song's service and acts as as the medium between the song and his audience.
Halfblind Henry sounds like he grew up in London in the Sixties and Seventies and spent the previous hundred years in the Deep South. He writes his own songs and sings them himself, which is why he is often described as a singer-songwriter. However, as he is fond of saying himself, what does that say about the singer or the songs?
Henry is a musician, but also a teller of tales. Like a chronicler, he observes his surroundings and turns his impressions into lyrics which can be profound, sarcastic or surreal; the music complementing the lyrics as part of the story. The list of musicians that have inspired him begins with Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, LovinÂ´ Spoonful and the early Bee Gees as well as HowlinÂ´ Wolf, Captain Beefheart und Scott Walker, and doesn't stop there.
Henry draws creativity from all kinds of sources of the Anglo-American songwriting tradition, but he's not married to one specific musical genre and is always game for experiments and unexpected twists. A fusion of different elements can also be found on his fourth and latest album "Inside the Gates of Splendourville", where electronic noises and sound collages meet familiar instrumentation, as well as at his live gigs.
Speaking of gigs: they're where Halfblind Henry unfurls his formidable musical scope, be it on his own or even more so when he plays with his band, the "Instabilities", an unconsolidated band of likeminded musicians, just as accomplished, fearless and adventurous as he is, which come together in ever-changing constellations in order to realise Henry's musical ideas. Be it with a guitar or double-bass, an acoustic trio, or classically-trained strings getting together with a big band brass section, whether a bluegrass violin refines the songs, along with a jazz guitar and a Japanese improvisation witch on the drums: there is no such thing as an original lineup, but each and every lineup is unique. "Halfblind Henry & His Instabilities" usually start playing with a setlist, but then end up playing something else from their repertoire. Or even something else that isn't in their repertoire. "Something good is a-coming round the bend" still holds true, even if you're not quite sure beforehand exactly which "Instabilities" will be on stage and what they'll play.
If needs be, the band can adapt to the venue or general programme. Halfblind Henry & His Instabilities can play on stages of all sizes, in bars without a stage or even on cruises. If you book them as a party act, the Instabilities can kick off the evening with a substantial lineup until Henry plays the last guests under the table at dawn on his own.
It doesn't matter if he's playing alone or with a band: a Halfblind Henry concert is always new, always different and never knowingly disappoints.