Nada Mucho

Hem & Over the Rhine – Beautiful Music for Aging Music Dorks

Posted by May 5th, 2006 No Comments »

Hem & Over the Rhine
Live @ Neumos
Sunday, May 7, 2006
By Adam Lawrence, Music Editor

The last time Hem came through town, I listened to a couple songs from the street and shuffled off, disappointed that the Brooklyn group’s show at the Tractor was sold out. Several others ‘in the know’ suffered a similar fate and longed for a better view of the group and its memorable singer, Sally Ellyson.

The Hem story is unique – unknown songwriter Dan Messe wanted to work with noted producer/engineer Gary Mauer (Fountains of Wayne, Luna) on a record that would evoke an Americana sound without sounding antiquated. They put together an impressive band, but needed a singer. After a fruitless search, Ellyson sent in a tape of a capella lullabies she had made for a friend. She was in the band within moments.

Hem & Over the Rhine
Live @ Neumos
Sunday, May 7, 2006
By Adam Lawrence, Music Editor

The last time Hem came through town, I listened to a couple songs from the street and shuffled off, disappointed that the Brooklyn group’s show at the Tractor was sold out. Several others ‘in the know’ suffered a similar fate and longed for a better view of the group and its memorable singer, Sally Ellyson.

The Hem story is unique – unknown songwriter Dan Messe wanted to work with noted producer/engineer Gary Mauer (Fountains of Wayne, Luna) on a record that would evoke an Americana sound without sounding antiquated. They put together an impressive band, but needed a singer. After a fruitless search, Ellyson sent in a tape of a capella lullabies she had made for a friend. She was in the band within moments.

Since then, Hem’s records have flown mostly under the radar, but have been far from unnoticed. After a push from Dreamworks, their debut, Rabbit Songs, made waves in the press and among the musical literati. An EP and two self-released albums later, Hem is at the top of their game. And they’re coming back to town.

Hem opens for Over the Rhine who, in a coincidental twist, was saved from criminal obscurity by opening for Cowboy Junkies after 10 years of being the best unsigned band in America. Now they return the favor to little-known brethren in hopes to ‘pass it on.’

The best thing about both of these bands is the remarkable ease with which their melodies and passionately delivered vocals will worm their way into the pleasure receptors of your brain. Their songs generally invoke warm feelings without ever being maudlin or saccharine and their musicianship is top shelf. Sure, it may sound like music your mom might like, but most of Nada Mucho’s staff is in our thirties and, if a turn to quieter music is in the cards, it might as well be good music.

Don’t get me wrong. If you’re attending May 7th’s show at Neumo’s, there is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, chances are good there will be plenty of people outside looking in, wondering who is making such wonderful music.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017 Nada Mucho