Sunday, September 16, 2007

16 Horsepower

16 Horsepower was an alternative/traditional musical group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music was usually serious in tone with distinct Christian religious lyrics dealing with conflict and redemption. They consisted of David Eugene Edwards, Jean-Yves Tola, and Pascal Humbert (the latter two formerly of the band Passion Fodder). After releasing four studio albums and touring extensively, the band broke up in 2005, citing "mostly political and spiritual" differences. Since summer 2007, David Eugene Edwards and Pascal Humbert are performing 16 Horsepower songs like "American Wheeze" or "Harm´s Way" with the band Woven Hand.

David Eugene Edwards and Pascal Humbert formed 16 Horsepower 1992 in Los Angeles, California, where they had met building movie sets for Roger Corman’s Hollywood Studios. Friend, co-worker and trained jazz drummer Jean-Yves Tola joined shortly after. The trio performed once as Horsepower before they parted ways with Humbert as Edwards re-located back to Denver, Colorado, soon followed by Tola.

Back in Denver, the band once again became a trio as Edwards old acquaintance Keven Soll, a luthier and accomplished double bass player, joined the band. Frustrated by misconceptions about the name Horsepower being related to heroin and inspired by a traditional American folk song about 16 horses pulling the coffin of a beloved to the graveyard, the name was changed to 16 Horsepower. The band spent the following years rehearsing and gaining a reputation for their intense live performances while touring extensively across North America and eventually they released a seven-inch single, "Shametown", in 1994. By this time they had gained the attention of A&M Records, and recording of "Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes" began in 1995. For various reasons A&M decided to postpone the release of the album, and so the band returned to the studio and recorded their selftitled debut EP which was released the same year.

The debut full-length studio album "Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes" was eventually released in 1996, garnering praise from the international music press. At this time Pascal Humbert had re-located to Denver and joined the band as a second guitarist, although his primary instrument is the bass. Following differences about the musical direction, Soll was asked to leave and was replaced by Rob Redick. Redick did not last long because of what the band has referred to as "kind of a mutual unhappiness", and Humbert took over the bass duties. Jeffrey-Paul Norlander joined on second guitar shortly before recording began on the second album, "Low Estate", with John Parish as producer. Edwards and Norlander had previously been in several bands together, most notably The Denver Gentlemen. /

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