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Mrs. Henry triples down on 3-part concept album

The Sex Sells, Love Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll Society

Mrs. Henry ponders what happens when rock ‘n roll becomes regular life.
Mrs. Henry ponders what happens when rock ‘n roll becomes regular life.

San Diego rock stalwarts Mrs. Henry were about to embark on a west coast tour when Covid shut down the live music industry. So they pivoted, creating and releasing a couple of YouTube episodes of their homespun Medicine Show early in the pandemic. They had another show scripted when they were presented with the opportunity to book studio time at Big Fish in Encinitas. “The idea was that, if we were gonna go and make a record, that this could be the last record we ever made,” Mrs. Henry singer/guitarist Daniel Cervantes explained. “I know lots of bands that didn’t make it through the pandemic. They had to go take other jobs and do other things. A lot of people had to change course. We just said ‘Let’s give it our all.’”

Two cities, three studios, and one three-LP rock opera later, nobody can accuse them of phoning in Keep on Rising Acts 1-3. The band recorded on and off at Big Fish from June through December 2020, before they completed tracking at two different Los Angeles facilities, Palomino Sound and Valentine Recording. They went into Big Fish on their first day with one song to work on, and spent the next year writing and recording in the various studios at a furious clip.

The Big Fish sessions took place while the Covid lockdowns were still in full swing. “We had a very tight Covid pod,” said Cervantes, “and we just kept together. We kept a tight ship of who was in and who was out. And it wasn’t a publicly open studio.” The band would stick around and rehearse for hours after the engineers left at night, and would arrive to work on the songs before the engineers returned the next day. The same mentality continued once they shifted to recording in L.A. in early 2021. The sessions benefited from ultra-cheap Covid rate drops, including discounted Airbnb lodgings (seven days for $600, according to Cervantes). In fact, Keep on Rising likely wouldn’t have risen at all had it not been for the pandemic era that birthed it. “Because we were all independent contractors, we were like, ‘We can’t gig. No one can gig. We also are able to do this because we can’t gig and we can afford to do this right now, based on that.’ With the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this record, it really could have only been made at that time.”

Influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Who’s Tommy, and Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the Keep on Rising trilogy follows the character of Mrs. Henry as he navigates a slightly altered version of our current reality, where the lines between what is taboo and what is standard are blurred. “Living in California with legalized marijuana, alcohol is available wherever you go, weed is basically available wherever you go…rock and roll [culture] has become a normalized state. You go on TikTok and there’s sex, sex, sex. It’s on your phone. Sex is at your will and call. Here we are, living in that world. Rock and roll was once taboo. The bad boys have now just become everyday life.”

Keep on Rising - Act 1: The Sex Sells, Love Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll Society centers on the rise of Mrs. Henry as he becomes, according to Cervantes, “a member of the sex sells, love drugs, and rock and roll society.” Act 2, slated for release in winter 2022, will be the darker chapter, with more of an Empire Strikes Back vibe. Cervantes is hoping to release Act 3 in time for summer of 2022, when its sunny vibes will be most at home. “At the very end of Act 2, you have the turn of the tide, and the whole game changes. Sometimes, you have a moment that hits you, and you decide for a change in a positive way. Things can start going really quick. Act 3 represents that as a turn. Then, it’s nothing but a rise up. It’s all positive. It’s the most positive music I think we’ve ever made.”

Past Event

The Last Waltz with Mrs. Henry & Friends

  • Sunday, November 28, 2021, 7 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

The band will stage The Last Waltz with Mrs. Henry & Friends on November 28, at the Belly Up, celebrating The Band and recreating parts of their 1978 concert film The Last Waltz.

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Mrs. Henry ponders what happens when rock ‘n roll becomes regular life.
Mrs. Henry ponders what happens when rock ‘n roll becomes regular life.

San Diego rock stalwarts Mrs. Henry were about to embark on a west coast tour when Covid shut down the live music industry. So they pivoted, creating and releasing a couple of YouTube episodes of their homespun Medicine Show early in the pandemic. They had another show scripted when they were presented with the opportunity to book studio time at Big Fish in Encinitas. “The idea was that, if we were gonna go and make a record, that this could be the last record we ever made,” Mrs. Henry singer/guitarist Daniel Cervantes explained. “I know lots of bands that didn’t make it through the pandemic. They had to go take other jobs and do other things. A lot of people had to change course. We just said ‘Let’s give it our all.’”

Two cities, three studios, and one three-LP rock opera later, nobody can accuse them of phoning in Keep on Rising Acts 1-3. The band recorded on and off at Big Fish from June through December 2020, before they completed tracking at two different Los Angeles facilities, Palomino Sound and Valentine Recording. They went into Big Fish on their first day with one song to work on, and spent the next year writing and recording in the various studios at a furious clip.

The Big Fish sessions took place while the Covid lockdowns were still in full swing. “We had a very tight Covid pod,” said Cervantes, “and we just kept together. We kept a tight ship of who was in and who was out. And it wasn’t a publicly open studio.” The band would stick around and rehearse for hours after the engineers left at night, and would arrive to work on the songs before the engineers returned the next day. The same mentality continued once they shifted to recording in L.A. in early 2021. The sessions benefited from ultra-cheap Covid rate drops, including discounted Airbnb lodgings (seven days for $600, according to Cervantes). In fact, Keep on Rising likely wouldn’t have risen at all had it not been for the pandemic era that birthed it. “Because we were all independent contractors, we were like, ‘We can’t gig. No one can gig. We also are able to do this because we can’t gig and we can afford to do this right now, based on that.’ With the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this record, it really could have only been made at that time.”

Influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Who’s Tommy, and Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the Keep on Rising trilogy follows the character of Mrs. Henry as he navigates a slightly altered version of our current reality, where the lines between what is taboo and what is standard are blurred. “Living in California with legalized marijuana, alcohol is available wherever you go, weed is basically available wherever you go…rock and roll [culture] has become a normalized state. You go on TikTok and there’s sex, sex, sex. It’s on your phone. Sex is at your will and call. Here we are, living in that world. Rock and roll was once taboo. The bad boys have now just become everyday life.”

Keep on Rising - Act 1: The Sex Sells, Love Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll Society centers on the rise of Mrs. Henry as he becomes, according to Cervantes, “a member of the sex sells, love drugs, and rock and roll society.” Act 2, slated for release in winter 2022, will be the darker chapter, with more of an Empire Strikes Back vibe. Cervantes is hoping to release Act 3 in time for summer of 2022, when its sunny vibes will be most at home. “At the very end of Act 2, you have the turn of the tide, and the whole game changes. Sometimes, you have a moment that hits you, and you decide for a change in a positive way. Things can start going really quick. Act 3 represents that as a turn. Then, it’s nothing but a rise up. It’s all positive. It’s the most positive music I think we’ve ever made.”

Past Event

The Last Waltz with Mrs. Henry & Friends

  • Sunday, November 28, 2021, 7 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

The band will stage The Last Waltz with Mrs. Henry & Friends on November 28, at the Belly Up, celebrating The Band and recreating parts of their 1978 concert film The Last Waltz.

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