The Lonely H Taps the Classics on Concrete Class

Jukebox staples from a band young enough to never have seen one.

There's a reason the Lonely H was chosen to open for the Dead, the Allman Brothers, and the Doobie Brothers at the Gorge last month, and it's not because they're also geriatric rockers. The shaggy-haired youngsters in this Port Angeles quartet are far from belonging to the AARP crowd—their oldest member is 21—but you wouldn't be able to tell that after listening to their third album, Concrete Class."We didn't sit down and say 'Hey, let's be a throwback band and make songs that sound like classic rock songs.' It really was an organic evolution of our music," says Mark Fredson, the Lonely H's 6'7" lead singer.At 20, the blonde, baby-faced Fredson is the youngster of the group. He's joined by drummer Ben Eyestone, guitarist Eric Whitman, and Whitman's brother Johnny on bass. The foursome spent most of the past three years traveling the country, and Concrete Class reflects that experience, with songs about life, love, and lessons learned on the road."We listened to a lot of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, and I think it shows," Eric says. "We definitely dove into more of the country sounds of classic rock on this record."The country twang is definitely a departure from 2006's Kick Upstairs and 2007's Hair. The former found the Lonely H mimicking Weezer; on the latter, it was evident they'd discovered their parents' Queen records.Meanwhile, the songs on Concrete Class are stripped down and feel more mature than their predecessors. The harmonies of "The River" sound as pretty as anything in Fleet Foxes' catalog. The rolling drums of "Cold Blues" and the rocking guitars of "Going Out West" give Concrete Class its soul, while "Girl From Jersey" and "Singer" borrow heavily from the Eagles.Concrete Class is full of songs that will make for excellent summertime barstool listening, even though some Lonely H members can't buy their own beers. So what are the plans for these road-hardened youngsters once they can all legally enter a bar? "March 2010 in Vegas is when we're going to party," says Eric. "The celebration is going to go on forever—for at least 20 years."

 
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