A Brief Introduction
A guy named Henning (that's his first name) writes and sings the songs in School for the Dead. That's primarily what one needs to know about this band. In fact, Henning, just recently won the WRSI (one of Rollingstone's Top 10 Radio Stations) Singer Songwriter Contest. Yay.
Members of School for the Dead have been in bands with and/or recorded with such luminaries as Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion), Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne), Lloyd Cole, Joe Pernice (Scud Mountains Boys, The Pernice Brothers) and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.
Bands that members of SFTD have been part of include The Winterpills, The Maggies, New Radiant Storm King, The Aloha Steamtrain, The Mammals, The Gay Potatoes, Lo Fine, The Figments, King Radio, Spanish for Hitchhiking, The Tea Lights, and Humbert.
With that information, the savvy reader will have discerned that SFTD is based in the Northeast. Yes, that is the case.
School for the Dead has shared the stage with Robyn Hitchcock, Jane Siberry, Freedy Johnston, Mates of State, Of Montreal, J. Mascis, Fountains of Wayne, Martin Sexton, and Ivy among many others.
Here's what some people have said about School for the Dead:
"For about four or five years now, I've been playing Henning's songs for people and saying they were my own. Please don't tell him that. Brief, romantic and simple, in a why-didn't-I-think-of-that way, his stories and melodies touch people without resorting to attitude or pretense. If his name weren't so hard to pronounce, he'd be Yngwie Malmsteen by now."
-- Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne)
" an intriguingly bright disc...rich in verbal color...Listening to "Henning's School for the Dead," I was struck by a simple truth: I like contemporary rock a lot more than I used to....loud or not, intelligible lyrics really are art, and, by the way, there's still a lot to be said for melody."
-- John Stiffler, Daily Hampshire Gazette
***1/2 - "retro sensibilities and comfortable pop songwriting clever imagery and arrangements"
-- James Heflin, Valley Advocate
"Henning's School for the Dead" is the cleanest piece of pop music to come out of Northampton in a while. While he'd also make it in the lands of R.E.M. and Husker Dü, Ohlenbusch is a model of Western Massachusetts pop... (he) has a penchant for saying things how they really are."
-- Josh Shear, Chicopee Herald
Things of Importance