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“As someone who loves Bill Monroe so much, the last lesson to learn from him was not to do just what he did,” says Chris Henry, the son of noted bluegrass veterans Red and Murphy Henry. “He expected music to grow, not to become stagnate. If you’re going to follow his model, learn what he did and be progressive with it. Be yourself. I’m not interested in making a career out of ‘bluegrass theater’.”


While Henry grew up in the bluegrass and folk circles, he has followed a natural muse that has opened his own sound to country, rock and hip-hop music. “ I’ve not tried to sequester myself from any of the modern influences, and even though you can’t hear it distinctly, the hip-hop is there,” Henry says of his album, Making My Way To You. “In fact, one line in my song, “Down” is directly lifted from GZA of the Wu Tang Clan. Medicine Man has drums similar to ones I would use for a hip-hop track.”


His band is called Hardcore Grass, and the reason is because of the intensity with which they perform his music. It’s best described as a kind of “white-knuckle, bite the cap off the coke bottle grit.”


 There is certainly a hardcore element to Henry’s music, heard in the bold intent to the performances. “That’s what makes music compelling to me,” he says. “The focus is on the song and not on how fast we can play.”


“I’m not afraid of the psychedelic or mystical, the earthy or the spiritual. Those are things that inspire me. They impresses me. Not every ringing bell is graceful, but I’m thirsty for it and I try to find it everywhere. It shows up in some pretty strange places.”


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