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Sixteen Horsepower


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Gothic alternative gospel and traditional-flavoured blues/country folk/rock

Status:

Band has broken up. Final release, Olden (2003)

See also:

Wikipedia's entry for Sixteen Horsepower

Comparisons:

Unique. Perhaps if either New Order or Joy Division had been a gothic country band.... (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers and traditional tunes

General comments:

Gothy country circus music. (Jessica Spurling)

I found David Eugene Edwards' voice to be more reminiscent of The Waterboys, but stylistically the New Order reference is appropriate—or maybe even Joy Division. Their lyrics are definitely dark. (jjhanson@att.net)

David Eugene Edwards is a GOD. His voice is this primal deathly holler, and Jesus LORD do I love it. He's amazing. He's such an inspiration to this blues mama. (John.Drummond)

Yes John, you're right. He's amazing. David Eugene Edwards is well maybe not a GOD, I'd say a fallen angel bemoaning that fact.
     I'm not a country fan, though, old or otherwise. I'm actually surprised I like Sixteen Horsepower so much, but I love them. I'm glad that I went to the Innocence Mission concert they opened for or I doubt I'd ever have heard of them or given them a chance, but they blew me away on first listen. It's David Eugene Edwards' mournful, evocative voice, the musicianship, the energy of their music, and their unique sound that made me fall in love with this band. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

I saw them open for Innocence Mission when they played last in san francisco. I was one of few people on the Innocence Mission list who liked them!! Apparently they were a little too strong for most of the audience. Some people were upset that they actually used curse words in their songs! Well I guess most Innocence Mission fans really like the fact that the people in Innocence Mission are sooooo incredibly nice.
     I wouldn't describe 16 Horsepower as nice exactly.
     I thought they sounded kind of like gothy country circus music.
     I enjoyed their performance so much I bought their EP and a t-shirt and even got them to sign the EP. They seemed pretty neat. Anyway, I'd go see them again! (Jessica Spurling)

I also totally fell for them when I saw them open for Innocence Mission. They're not the kind of music that I usually like, but the intensity and musical virtuosity of their performance won me over. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Sackcloth 'n' Ashes or Folklore

Recordings:


16 Horsepower ep

Release info:

1995—A&M—3145404362

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for the adventurous

Group members:

David Eugene Edwards—guitar, banjo, bandoneon
Keven Soll—stand up and flat top bass
Jean-Yves Tola—drums

Produced by:

Michael W. Douglass & Alex Reed

Comments:

Boys agin! Country punk! Folky music as though sung by New Order! Super duper extra bonus points for making me like this kind of music. It's the juxtaposition of the depressive voice and the energy of their playing. Whatever. I like it. (Neile)

Sackcloth 'n' Ashes

Release info:

1995—A&M Records (U.S.)—31454 0416-2

Availability:

Wide in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

David Eugene Edwards—vocals, guitars, banjo, bandoneon, lap still
Jean-Yves Tola—drums, backup vocals
Keven Soll—stand up bass, flat top bass, cello, backup vocals

Guest artists:

Gordon Gano—fiddle

Produced by:

Warren Bruleigh

Comments:

Gothic folk/rock? Male singers? I would never have thought I'd like this kind of band so much, but this album really works for me. This is much richer than their e.p., and "Black Soul Choir" is a wonderful song. Highly, highly recommended if you're interested in something very different. Take a chance! (Neile)

Low Estate

Release info:

1997—A&M—31454 0840-2

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jeffrey Paul—back-up vocals, fiddle, guitar, cello, organ
David Eugene Edwards—vocals, banjo, concertina, hurdy gurdy, guitar
Jean-Yves Tola—drums, percussion, piano
Pascal Humbert—bass, bass fiddle, guitar

Guest artists:

John Parish—additional percussion, organ, guitar, xylophone
Steve Taylor—guitar

Produced by:

John Parish

Comments:

I don't like this one quite as much as Sackcloth 'n' Ashes, but I'd listen to almost anything this talented band put out. (Neile)

Secret South

Release info:

2000—Razor & Tie—7930182857-2

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

David Eugene Edwards, Pascal Humbert, Stephen Taylor, Jean-Yves Tola

Guest artists:

Asher Edwards, Elin Plamer, Rebecca Vera

Produced by:

16 Horsepower

Comments:

I didn't rush to get this album because I foolishly thought that I probably owned enough of 16 Horsepower's music—I was wrong. This a wonderful album. Perhaps they were reinvigorated by their move to Razor & Tie? In any case if the description of their music interests you at all, I highly recommend this album. For the record, it includes 9 original songs, a cover of the traditional song "Wayfaring Stranger" and a cover of Dylan's "Nobody 'Cept You". I just love David Eugene Edwards' strong mournful voice and the group are all fine musicians. (Neile)

Hoarse

Release info:

2002—Glitterhouse Records—GRCD 497

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Sixteen Horsepower fans

Produced by:

Bob Ferbrache and 16 HP

Comments:

A strong live disc, recorded mostly from one show. Mostly their own songs, with also Creedence Clearwater Revivals' "Bad Moon Risin'", a Gun Club song, and a Joy Division song, which feel just right for their mournful sound and edgy energy. Well worth seeking out if you like the band at all. (Neile)

Folklore

Release info:

2002—Jetset Records (.S.); Glitterhouse Records (Europe)—TWA049CD

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

David Eugene Edwards, Jean-Yves Tola, Pascal Humbert

Produced by:

16 Horsepower

Comments:

One of their most affecting and emotionally powerful albums. Highly recommended. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-03-28 17:39:12.
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