16 Horsepower Biography
Sixteen Horsepower (2001 A.D.):
David Eugene Edwards: vocals, banjo, bandoneon and guitar
Jean-Yves Tola: percussion
Pascal Humbert: bass-guitar and double bass
Steve Taylor: guitar and keyboards
David Eugene Edwards born the grandson of a Nazarene preacher. For a good portion of his youth, he is raised by his grandparents. His earliest memories are of travelling from town to town in Colorado listening to his grandfather's fire-and-brimstone sermons.
Married at 17, Edwards left his grandfather's church (with the old preacher promising eternal damnation) to seek a more individualistic Christian path.
Edwards' first band, a punk one: RMC (Restless Middle Class).
David Eugene Edwards and Keven Soll meet at an Echo & The Bunnymen concert.
Jeffrey-Paul Norlander starts his first band; Pavilion Steps. Edwards is one of the bandmembers, he plays the guitar. They recorded a 7 song cassette called Snow Songs in May of 1985.
Edwards, Norlander and Slim Cessna are in a band called Blood Flower. They leave Colorado for the Boston area, eventually settling for a communal existence in Revere, a Boston suburb. Blood Flower play "three or four times" before moving back to Colorado.
Blood Flower release a 4-track 7" 'Come, Faithful and True', with Edwards on guitar.
Norlander starts the Denver Gentlemen. At first with only Edwards.
Shift/click here to download "Holiday" from The Denver Gentlemen. This was recorded in 1995, after the first line-up with Edwards. However Edwards does appear as a guest-musician on the demo. (MP3, 4 min. 06 sec., 2,96MB, 96kbps).
The L.A.-based band Passion Fodder release their 'Woke Up This Morning' album. The Passion Fodder line-up includes the Frenchmen Jean-Yves Tola (who is trained as a classical flautist and a jazz drummer) on drums and Pascal Humbert on bass.
1989 or 1990:
Norlander, his brother and Edwards relocate to Los Angeles. They meet up with Tola and Humbert at Roger Corman's Hollywood Studios building movie-sets. Tola later joins the Denver Gentlemen. Humbert keeps playing with Passion Fodder.
Norlander is the first to return to Denver where he puts together new combinations of the Denver Gentlemen (with among others Slim Cessna).
Edwards moves back to Denver. Right before the move he starts 16 Horsepower with Pascal Humbert. Tola joined soon after. They only did one show at Café Largo in L.A. A month after Edwards, Tola moves to Denver too. Humbert doesn't. He stays in L.A. and works as a duo with actress/musician Eszter Balint. In Denver Soll takes on the bass duties. 16 Horsepower officially starts.
'Shametown' 7" is released.
'16 Horsepower' EP is released. Later that year advance copies and promos of 'Sackcloth 'N' Ashes' are distributed.
'Sackcloth 'N' Ashes' (produced by Warren Bruleigh, who had previously worked with among others the Violent Femmes) is released. In the annual best-of list in Dutch magazine OOR as voted for by Dutch critics, 'Sackcloth 'N' Ashes' reaches number 4.
Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes (one of Edwards' influences, other favourites include Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Joy Division, The Birthday Party/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Gun Club and the Hungarian band Muzsikas) is a special guest on the album. He plays the violin.
Original 16hp-member Humbert rejoins the band. As a guitar player (though he primarily is a bass player).
For what Edwards and Tola describe as musical reasons, Soll is "relieved" in a uncermonious way of his duties ("like a divorce over the phone" Soll says, but he also states that he has no hard feelings and is proud of what he contributed to the band). Soll, a luthier by trade, goes back to building guitars. His shop, The Guitar Clinic, is located at 49 Kalamath Street. In 1999 he resurfaces in The Kalamath Brothers.
Soll is replaced by Rob Redick, a former guitar tech. He is not declared an official member of the band. Edwards and Tola say they want to evaluate the situation following their next series of live performances.
Redick is officially out of 16hp. "It was kind of a mutual unhappiness" says Tola. In 1999 Redick becomes Candlebox' bass player. Humbert picks up the bass again (and the double bass for the first time). Norlander (who loses his last name in the process, because "it seems weird that every time I read about 16hp, everybody has three names.") joins the band to add violin, cello and guitar to the 16hp-sound.
'Low Estate' (produced by John Parish, who also played several instruments, and engineered by Jeff Powell) is released. It reaches number 9 in the 1997 OOR-list.
Norlander isn't accompanying the band any longer on their European tour, since according to Edwards:"he preferred to be closer to his home and family." And there's a hint of musical differences. Early in 1999 Norlander and Rebecca Vera (who plays cello) form a new band named Hoitoitoi.
Steve Taylor, who used to be the guitar technician for the group for almost two years, joins 16hp as a full-member guitarist. He started to play on some songs during 16hp's 1996 European tour. And he is also featured on one Low Estate track. Taylor used to be in a band called Hoss with Redick.
February, 16hp are dropped from the now defunct A&M. In July they sign a new recorddeal with Glitterhouse (for Europe). Later that year they sign with another recordlabel for the US, Razor & Tie.
'Secret South' (self-produced, engineered by Bob Ferbrache, a onetime lap-steel player for 16hp) and 'Hoarse' (mail-order only) are released. Elin Palmer, who plays violin on Secret South and who is Asher Edwards' - yes, his daughter - violin teacher, joins the band on tour. But as from July, she's no longer in the line-up. Asher Edwards plays violin on Secret South too. Hoitoitoi 's Vera complements the string section.
October 2000, 'Transmission Of All The Good-Byes'. The debut album of Humbert's (instrumental) solo-project 'Lilium' is released.
December 2000, 'Introducing...The Denver Gentlemen' is released on Absalom Recordings. All the tracks were recorded in 1995. Edwards was not a part of this Denver Gentlemen line-up.
March 2001, 'Hoarse' is released regularly by Glitterhouse in Europe.
April 2001, Denver magazine Westword's award for 'the best recording' of the previous year goes to 'Secret South'. 16hp finishes top at local newspaper Denver Post's survey of Colorado's best underground band.
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