×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Butch Hancock; Health & Happiness Show

Health & Happiness Show is now a quartet, formed by singer James Mastro and several other musicians best known (if at all) for their work with early East Coast "new wave" bands. Current touring personnel includes ex-Bongos drummer Vinny DeNunzio and guitarist Richard Lloyd, a founding member of Television and most recently a Matthew Sweet sideman.

Health & Happiness Show is now a quartet, formed by singer James Mastro and several other musicians best known (if at all) for their work with early East Coast “new wave” bands. Current touring personnel includes ex-Bongos drummer Vinny DeNunzio and guitarist Richard Lloyd, a founding member of Television and most recently a Matthew Sweet sideman.

Mastro original “Anytime” is closest to pure country that the group performed Thursday night, and even that sounded as if co-written by John Lennon, with bass lines of various songs sounding like they’d been pulled from “Lady Madonna” or “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

Like many great ’60s bands, Health & Happiness have a good song based on “La Bamba” chord changes; theirs is “Don’t Have Far to Fall,” which also bears a passing resemblance to “Like a Rolling Stone.”

For all of their good ideas, Health & Happiness sounded unfocused, overarranged and under-rehearsed compared to their strong, simple and confident backing of Hancock, reshaping older tunes by the singer (who usually performs solo with acoustic guitar) into something as strong musically as they are lyrically.

Butch Hancock; Health & Happiness Show

(Jacks Sugar Shack, Hollywood; 250 capacity; $ 10)

Production: Presented in-house. Band: Health & Happiness Show: James Mastro , Richard Lloyd, David DeCastro, Vinny DeNunzio. Reviewed July 6, 1995. Odd pairing of the week -- if not the year -- must be the combination of Hoboken, N.J.-based Health & Happiness Show and highly regarded West Texas singer-songwriter Butch Hancock. Newly formed combination debuted, after only hours of rehearsal, with a set comparable to when Bob Dylan started playing with the Band. Imagine Hancock's "Boxcars" done up with some of the mysterious feel of "Harlem Nocturne," or "Dallas" as a 12-bar blues out of "Highway 61 Revisited ," and you get the idea. Hancock is a wordsmith who, like Dylan, tosses off phrases that other writers could spend an entire career without bettering --"She had a smile like Christmas morning, she had a heart like Halloween," for instance, or "Put your heart where it belongs -- right back in your pants." He's currently on North Carolina's bluegrassy Sugar Hill label, after several albums released under his own imprint.

More Music

  • Benny Blanco House Los Angeles

    Benny Blanco Swipes Right on Tinder Founder's $9 Million L.A. Mansion

    An elegant traditional estate conveniently sited in the Hollywood foothills just above the iconic Sunset Strip recently traded hands for nearly $9.2 million. Originally built in the late 1930s, the house was sold by tech tycoon Sean Rad, co-founder of juggernaut dating app Tinder, and acquired by exceptionally prolific songwriter/record producer Benny Blanco. Blanco may [...]

  • Kelsea Ballerini 53rd Annual CMA Awards,

    iHeartCountry Festival Slates Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley for May Show

    The annual iHeartCountry Festival has announced a slate of performers for its 2020 concert stream and broadcast, led by top country performers Dierks Bentley, Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Dustin Lynch and Kane Brown, iHeartMedia announced Tuesday. The show will take place at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center May 2 and be broadcast live across [...]

  • Holy Shipwrecked

    Dance Music Festival Holy Shipwrecked Finds its Footing on Land

    For dance music fans, festival season kicks off early, with the number of warm weather winter events growing apace with demand. Festivals targeting the same American audience of EDM enthusiasts took place — or will take place — this winter in Costa Rica (BPM Festival), Hawaii (next month’s ‘E Komo Mai’ festival), Florida (Groove Cruise), [...]

  • Lewis Capaldi

    Lewis Capaldi Signs Rights Deal With Kobalt

    Kobalt today announced that it has signed Lewis Capaldi to an international neighboring rights deal. The Capitol recording artist was previously represented by PPL for international collections. Ann Tausis, CEO of Kobalt Neighboring Rights, commented on the deal, “Lewis’s ascent to the top has been breathtaking. His emotive songs and charming social media presence have [...]

  • Justin Bieber Changes album

    Justin Bieber Reveals 'Changes' Release Date, North American Tour

    Justin Bieber will release his fifth studio album, “Changes,” on Feb. 14. The Valentine’s Day drop comes a little over three weeks after his YouTube series “Justin Bieber: Seasons” premieres on the video streaming platform. The single “Yummy” is already out and has logged more than 300 million streams since its debut last month. In [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content