The first time I saw Henning Ohlenbusch perform, it was at Flywheel in Easthampton MA on a freezing November night. I’d heard about his concept album Henning Goes to the Movies and I was a little concerned. I hadn’t seen many of the movies referred to the album. Was I going to be lost, once again, as a pop culture outsider?
I needn’t have worried. These songs aren’t straight-from-the-dorm-room recitations of Monty Python movies set to music. They’re gorgeous. I was mesmerized. Henning’s songs are honest, wistful, melancholic, intimate. To me, other than the titles, they don’t have anything to do with movies at all. Rather, they’re about shared human experiences – heartbreak, alienation, bringing love to others – and so many other familiar pains and joys.
And the lyrics – charming, fascinating, funny, full of beautiful imagery. That’s where music gets me – the way it interacts with words.
After Henning helped me record a song for a Christmas gift (Wait. What? Helped? Yeesh, he did everything but write and sing it!), I thought the least I could do was find him a gig in Hartford. And I found it. Rather, I made it. He’ll be performing a house concert on March 3, 2012 at 7:30.
You really have to check him out.