2010 Wrap-Up For The HarpCarp

2010 comes to an end tonight, and I gotta say it’s been a pretty damned good year for the ol’ HarpCarp. Here’s some of this years highlights…

photo by Anna J


The Arrival of the  Mini-HarpCarp. At 1:33 am, on October 3rd 2010, our son Miles Daniel James Oblander was born,  thus rendering the rest of this list a tad bit trivial.

Summer Lovin’ with SORCEN. This summer I was fortunate enough to be asked to join the legendary hardcore band the Necros, and fill in on singing duties. Not only was this incredibly flattering, it also turned out to be one of the best reunions of  hilarious old pals of all time.  Cats flew in from all over the country to witness this epic moment. Seriously, it ended up turning into a Dean Martin roast!

I grew up loving the Necros and by the time I was fifteen I had crossed paths with the band and was regularly touring with them as a roadie. Eventually, the band broke up and Andy Wendler even joined my rock band/Necros wannabe group “Gone In Sixty Seconds”.

Flash forward twenty years. Tesco Vee, punk rock funnyman and  towering singer of the seminal hardcore band The Meatmen released a book version of his early ’80s ‘zine “Touch and Go” and summoned many of the big hitters from the golden years of Detroit area hardcore (Necros, Negative Approach ect) to celebrate this occasion with a beer soaked, weed clouded monsters-of-punk type of super gig in Detroit. The actual Necros singer, great friend and HarpCarp mentor Barry passed on the gig and suggested that I take the keys for the night. It was truly ridiculous occasion! And while the gigs were really great (we threw a Toledo show in as well)  it was the rehearsals that turned out to be the most fun.

(side note: We all stayed at the beautiful Book Cadillac hotel in downtown Detroit that night and my friend Mike “Monty” Montgomery and I sharred an elevator with Nick Swardson!)

The Brought Low affair. One of the perks of being the HarpCarp is that every once in a while I get to work with bands that I love–example: the Brought Low.

The Brought Low signed with the Detroit based indie label Small Stone Recordings (home of the rad-ass band Five Horse Johnson) a few years back. I have always been a big BL fan, and so when I was asked to lay down some harp on their new album I jumped at the chance!

To this day the harp solo on the Brought Low tune “Blow out yer candles” stands out  as one of the top choice moments in the HarpCarp canon.

The Staving Chain/Boogaloosa Prayer Throw-Down.  Boogaloosa Prayer are a kick-ass, Maumee, Ohio blooze-rock outfit. They arose from the ashes of the much beloved and VERY cool-guy band Henry & June, and haven’t looked down since. This also marked the second band in one year that I played with that included Necros drummer Todd Swalla. Is this love?

The Staving Chain, who also feature guitar ace and H&J founding member C.J. (aka Dooley Wilson), are an authentic acoustic Delta Blues trio who have it down pat.

Both bands asked me to fill in (are we seeing a pattern here?) on some harp duties this past fall, and I naturally said “Yup”. The show at the Toledo bar The Ottawa tavern was a total face-melter!

New Clutch Recordings. I flew out to Baltimore in late September to record the harps for the forthcoming Clutch album. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted all of about 18 hours, and came at a super crazy time. My extremely pregs wife was ready to drop Miles at any time, and I was unsure if I should go to Balmer or not.  My wife said “GO!”, so I did.

Loose Ends. Well, thats about it for 2010. But here’s a few odds n ends–

-My Grampa Karl turned 90 years old!

-I finally graduated Community College after 17 years of trying, dammit!

-Several other great gigs with; Local H, Clutch and Lionize

-my niece Anna singing in the Christmas choir ON TELEVISION!!

-We started writing the new FHJ album!

-FHJ tunes were used in loads of t.v. shows and movies this year! (Dog The Bounty Hunter, and The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia to name  just a few white trash examples!)

OK 2011, TOP THAT!!