photo by J.T. Thomas
Eleven years this November for us five Hi*Beams. Somewhere around 1000 shows, 4 records, 3 vans, 1 booking agent, 0 record labels, 10 gigs on a train, 1 beer named for us, 1 gubernatorial election party, 1 Prairie Home Companion, and more miles, meals and memories than any of us can count.
What started as a somewhat retro Honky-Tonk, Western Swing and Rockabilly band has turned into something based on all of that, yet sometimes far from it. Halden's hillbilly art geek vision has led us to a musical expression that I feel is unique, and we've played together long enough to finish each other's sandwiches. See our website for dates and to read the bio I wrote for the band. The Hi*Beams are:
Halden Wofford - guitar and vocals; Bret Billings - steel guitar and vocals; Ben O'Connor - upright bass and vocals; Damon Smith - drums and vocals.
Below are some studio tracks, some from the live album and few videos for you to see what I find very hard to describe. I play a doubleneck guitar/electric mandolin made for me by Romano Paoletti through a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb amplifier.
Here are a few from our most recent studio album, Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk. I really enjoyed the recording of this record. It was just the five of us at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver over four days.
Before Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk was Live at Hodi's, recorded at one show in Fort Collins in January of 2011. Though I think we're a solid live band, a live album is really a test of one's acceptance!
I consider this a signature tune of sorts. It's a Bob Wills classic I brought to the band, and we've really made it our own over the years.