Friday, January 05, 2007

House Of Freaks & Bryan Harvey

House of Freaks was a great, two man band that released a few criminally under-exposed albums in the late 80's/early 90's. Forgot your White Stripes, these two guys were there first, working up a hellacious yet melodic, bluesey racket. In the early 2000's, Rhino Handmade, Rhino's mailorder-only label, reissued their first two albums ("Monkey On A Chain Gang" and "Tantilla Plus") with tons of live/demo bonus tracks, rekindling interest in their music and whetting my appetite for more raucous live House Of Freaks goodness...

And then singer/guitarist Bryan Harvey, his wife and two children were murdered in their Richmond Virginia home on January 1, 2006. Turned out to be a random act of home invasion robbery (the killer was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death), but the world was deprived of a true original.

In the wake of Harvey's death, friends put together a compilation CD with tracks from six different Harvey bands/performing incarnations, and for folks who want a taste of this guy's talent, it's a great place to start. The CD is in limited "release" and available from, and it comes highly recommended. Beware, once you get through the 15 House Of Freaks tracks, you'll be rushing to Rhino Handmade to pick up the two limited edition reissues, still available (last time I checked). Well worth checking out.


Anonymous J. Segal said...

This is awful. Truly. House of Freaks was such a great band that sounded like NOBODY else. I feel like an old friend died. "I want answers," as Bryan might have said.

5:16 PM  

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