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Henry’s House- Lo Faber


From the former lead singer of God Street Wine comes this ambitious
project: a children's tale under the guise of a concept album. Over the
course of two CDs and over two hours, Lo Faber creates a world that adheres
to the dramatic forms necessary to spread out a storyline along with pockets
of character development, all the while keeping true to
his musical past.

This isn't the normal array of bombastic Broadway-type selections. One realizes this within the first few seconds of the opening number, Volcano Boy. Similar to other songs on the album, it could stand alone without the lyrical content linking it to the overall story: it's high-steppin' energetic ways could become a concert staple even if you had little idea who the Volcano Boy is.

For the most part, Faber follows the standard method of
exposition with highly melodic fare pushing it along, sometimes in the
reminiscent of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." And while
of the tunes contain catchy hooks while moving the story along, he never
strays too far from his jamband elements (i.e. Sardines, near the end
disc one, has the upbeat boogie of God Street Wine's Get On The

Switching to disc two, one finds Faber and his company of
musicians/vocalists/actors offering a musical palette that's even more
than what's heard on disc one. One can hear the influence of the Beatles,
late '70s Genesis (before Phil Collins mutated the group into a godawful pop
act) and even a little taste of Pink Floyd throughout, its 72 minutes.

Since I listened to an advance copy, with no liner notes, I took a look
at some info at I don't
believe that I would have had a clue
to much of what goes on during its 22 numbers if I didn't take a peak. The
lyrics do a fine job serving the story, but I doubt that any concept album
can really stand alone minus a little explanation. Do you think you could
figure out the plot of "Tommy" without a little pre-listening assistance? I
doubt it.

So, without going into too much detail, the storyline goes something like
this: Henry lives in a kingdom, which is about to be attacked. His parents
send him and his seven male/female buddies to their vacation home up north.
While there, the young ones meet a good witch in hiding, are outfoxed by a
demon and "jailed" through his evil ways. Of course, since this is a
children's story and not Shakespearean tragedy, good eventually wins out
evil, and Faber does provide the requisite happy ending.

I must admit that I was quite skeptical before I pressed the 'play' button on track one, disc one, but the good time feel of how exciting life is among Henry, his friends and family did put a smile on my face. As I progressed through each subsequent number on Henry’s House I was impressed by how well Faber was able to work through the machinations of the dramatic world.

Sure, there a few songs that could be edited from their extravagant
length and repeated choruses, and the book may need to be more compact with
sharper outline. But, with those revisions, this could, legitimately, be a
successful theatrical production. Again, Faber's energetic, groove-ridden
melodic score assists "Henry's House" from being more than what's expected.
Who knows? Broadway is always in need of a shot in the arm. Could Henry's
magical ways provide that impact? Could be.

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