"A delicate demolition of roots music"
This is the first independently released album by ex-Ass Ponys lead guitarist Bill Alletzhauser. Recorded and produced by Brad Jones at Alex the Great studios in Nashville. Brad Jones has worked with many artists including Josh Rouse, Jill Sobule, Ron Sexsmith, Bobby Bare Jr., and Steve Earle. ::Hiders Reviews::
" A truely remarkable band, a great live experience, tons of great songs...The Hiders are real contenders. They bridge the musical gap as well as any band I've heard in a long, long time..." Dan Reed WXPN/WorldCafe'
.... very musically robust Americana ...that reminds me of Sparklehorse, Emmylou Harris, The Band, Kathleen Edwards, Detroyer, and folkie psychedelia of early VU. ....Anchored with Beth Harris's sweet yet aching harmonies, the album balances slow-burning love songs and full on rockers. Mesmerizing stuff. Bruce Warren - WXPN
...Hovering in the Americana-sphere around artists from Neil Young and The Band to newer acts like Sparklehorse and The Thrills, Valentine is, in a word, mesmerizing. On opener "Everything I Wanted," Toby Ellis offers pedal steel swells that illuminate like a sunrise, wrapping around Alletzhauser's organic, melancholic melodies and Harris' perfect harmonies (she is Emmylou to Alletzhauser's Neil). There is a natural hypnotic glaze to most of tracks, as the acoustic and electric guitars and the sweeping rhythms combine to create a billow of irresistible ethereality. ...Other highlights on the album include the Greek mythology-referencing "Persephone," which rattles the cage a little more than most tracks with its distorted, lost-in-the-woods-at-night guitar stomp; the trembling, gently-rolling lullaby for a departing lover "Magic Show"; the twilight-twinkling "You Can't Hurt Me Anymore"; and "Bury Me," which recalls the earlier roots-rockin' days of Wilco. But highlights, shmilights there isn't a dud in the bunch here. The songs are full of drama and soul, possessing an imposing majesty and a vibe of sober sorrow that makes Valentine a perfect "shoulder to cry on" CD for anyone going through a soul-crushing breakup. Mike Breen CITYBEAT
...The CD is a tremendous collection of brooding electric folk, alt country and slow-burn rock tunes that feature Alletzhauser's Neil Young-esque pleading nasal vocals, full of innocence and passion. Rick Bird CINCINNATI POST
" Untainted Midwestern, somewhat retro, heartfelt, homemade rock /psych/Americana."Songwriter/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser continues on his fifth album with his group The Hiders. Sounds on Totem range from Tom Petty to Black Mountain, from Van Morrison to Smashing Pumpkins. Totem was recorded in the dead of winter in a cabin in the hills of Red River Gorge Kentucky. 9 songs that range from rowdy honky tonk to dark "indie" rock to soothing and dreamy folk/psychedelic. Lyrics and performances and recording techniques are honest and untainted by modern pretensions. Any fan of gritty classic rock and heartfelt balladeers will find something to love here in the music made to last.
November 11, 2014 M.Breen -City Beat One of Cincinnati’s musical treasures, The Hiders, returns with another spectacular album, Totem. Despite the winter scene depicted on the cover and the fact that it was recorded last winter in a cabin in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, Totem is an album of incredible warmth, something that should transfer well to the LP’s vinyl release. The music is more like the warming fire that draws everyone close in the midst of a deep freeze, thanks both to the songwriting and unfussy production. Frontman/songwriter/singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser’s songs are brought to life on the album by the excellent current edition of The Hiders, which now features fellow original member Beth Harris on harmony vocals and percussion, bassist Glen May and drummer Brian Moeller.
The Hiders’ sound is a unique brand of rootsy Rock that’s sometimes spacious and ethereal and sometimes relatively straightforward, but almost always transcendent. There is a soulfulness to songs like the creeping “First Real Blues” and the beautiful “Live at the Long Goodbye” that is hard to describe, but that’s part of The Hiders’ magic. Though all are superbly talented musicians, the album works more due to the feel and emotive qualities than any sort of instrumental virtuosity. There is a vibe that just works and sticks with you like a haunting memory after just one listen. When Harris and Alletzhauser’s voices meld together on choruses, for example, they often cause goosebumps. That’s something that has nothing to do with the order of the notes or any sort of musical theory. It’s just great songwriting with equally great, emotive performances.
Totem is a start-to-finish gem (the band will perform the album in order at the release show) that deserves to be experienced as a whole, but certain tracks stand out. “Motherlode” is one of The Hiders’ all-time best songs, a slow-building, psychedelic drone with ominous guitar riffs, some inspired soloing, eerie melodies and a spectacular, serpentine chorus that winds its way into the listener’s consciousness. Elsewhere, “Loaded as a Gun” is a wonderful slice of Hider-ized classic Country; closing track “For the Sun” is a gauzy ballad laced with guest Sylvia Mitchell’s elegant strings; and “She Brings the Fall” is a hazy, dreamlike beauty that adds Middle Eastern-like percussion and melodica to the band’s traditional instrumentation.
Does the band name Ass Ponys ring a bell? No? That’s too bad, because this indie rock band produced a few great records in the 90’s. Maybe you can find the record 'Electric Rock Music' somewhere. Buy it, because even though this record is 20 years old, it’s still a very good one. For about 10 years now, the lead guitarist of this band (Ass Ponys), William ‘Bill’ Alletzhauser, has led a new combo called The Hiders. By the way, what a weird name for a band! The Hiders' fifth release is called 'Totem.' The picture on the album cover says it all: a landscape with snow, rather desolate and quiet, and it makes you think of loneliness and long winter nights. Well, this is the perfect soundtrack for those feelings.
‘Totem’ contains 9 songs and about 48 minutes of music. If I got my math right, the average song length is 5 and a half minutes - no exaggeration! You know, Neil Young composes songs that last 9 to 10 minutes. Bob Dylan did the same thing. And people like them, don’t they? It’s all about the strength of the songs and that’s what this record is all about: good quality! These are all great songs! It starts with the song ‘Mansion,’ which has a “Neil Young meets Tom Petty” atmosphere. This sets the tone for the dark, threatening ‘Motherlode.’ Deep black guitar intro, overruled by a shaky voice and a lot of reverb and the crazy “lay your burden down…” and you are amongst the mosquitoes in that winter landscape.
‘Jesus Was a Cowboy’ reminds me of Neil Young. ‘Loaded as a Gun’ is a classic country song, however, with a modern touch. And my absolute most favorite song of the record is ‘She Brings the Fall’. I don’t think you could easily find a better song! Maybe it’s the melody which makes me write this review, but I can’t help it…over and over and over, I’ve put this song on “repeat.” And trust me, I don’t say such things easily! It lasts 8 minutes and is probably the longest song of the record. And it shows the music of The Hiders is not boring! On the contrary! At first, the record needs a little listening, but once you have heard it 6 or 7 times, you can go with the flow and you know what it is all about.
A special world opens itself with special musicians who have the power to switch atmosphere into music. They make the listeners feel like they’re home! That’s quite special! ‘First Real Blues’ is another favorite song of mine! It took a while (I’m rather slow in understanding) before I found out what makes this record so special. OK, you can tell right from the start that these people can play their instruments very well! However, the duets between Alletzhauser and Beth Harris, who also plays percussion, make you listen to this record over and over again!
I know, this sounds like “writing about sex,” where everybody knows reality is better than fiction. It’s the same with this record, I can try writing about this great record, but the only thing you should do is listen! However, try and check it out yourself, because I don’t think our radio stations formats will easily have airplay for this band. Too bad, because they should! Of course, no promo girl from the record company stopped by with the single.
Oh, I should shut up! Anyways, this record contains lots of cool, classic rock songs which I would love to recommend to everybody who was young in the 70’s or had parents who went to youth clubs. If we place ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as number 1 on the list ‘De Tijdloze’ (check out Studio Brussel, a very popular Belgian radio station) every year, we should at least listen to this record once! Aha! That’s my idea!
(Dani Heyvaert) www.rootstime.be
‘Garbage Day’ : Leftovers, orphans, lost causes, and guilty remnants. 2004-2010
‘Garbage Day’ is collection of demos, outtakes, and leftovers performed and recorded by various incarnations of The Hiders from 2004 to 2010. Some of the tracks pre-date The Hiders’ first release ‘Valentine’ from ( 2006 ) and lead up to the release of our third album ‘Four Letter Town’ ( 2010 ).A very talented cast and crew have all walked through the swinging doors into ‘Hidertowne’ and have all had great careers before, during, and after. To name a few , original co-vocalist Lisa Walker went on to form Wussy . Tyler Ramsey would eventually spend several years with Band of Horses . John Curley and Michael Horrigan were and are members of the legendary Afghan Whigs . Brad Meinerding and Ric Hordinski are both well known and respected as musicians but also for their work with Over The Rhine . Sylvia Mitchell , aside from sitting in with a list of bands too long to mention plays viola with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. World famous session musician Fats Kaplin makes an appearance here. And then there's Beth Harris , the longest standing Hider member , most recently seen making a name for herself out in the world singing with Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards.
A special mention of Jerry Hedge, a great talent and personality who sadly passed recently and left a great void in our Cincinnati music scene.There’s much more gold to be mined from over fifteen years of gigging and recording and much more to come but in the meantime, please enjoy this collection.
Back Home ( Beardo Version ) 2007 Pre-production outtake from Penny Harvest Field First sessions Engineered by John Curley at Ultrasuede and finished by Billy Alletzhauser at The Batcave Cincinnati, Ohio Features Tony Franklin - drums , Michael P. Horrigan - bass , Beth Harris- vocals , Brad Meinerding - lead guitar and Billy Alletzhauser - vocals , guitars , keys
White Hat Blues ( Ultra-Cave ) 2007 Also a pre-production outtake from Penny Harvest Field First sessions Engineered by John Curley at Ultrasuede and finished by Billy Alletzhauser at The Batcave Cincinnati, Ohio Features Tony Franklin - drums , Michael P. Horrigan - bass , Beth Harris- vocals , Brad Meinerding - lead guitar and Billy Alletzhauser - vocals , guitars , keys.
Best Thing She’s Ever Seen 2008 An outtake from Penny Harvest Field Mixed and recorded by Brad Jones at ‘Alex The Great’ Nashville, Tn. Features Tony Franklin - drums , Michael P. Horrigan - bass , Beth Harris- vocals , Billy Alletzhauser - guitars , vocals. w/Fats Kaplin - pedal steel.
Dream To Make It Right 2007 Original song recorded for the documentary film ‘Conviction: The True Story of Clarence Elkins’ Mixed recorded by Ric Hordinski at Monastery Studio, Cincinnati, Ohio with additional recording at The Batcave Features Tony Franklin - drums , Michael P. Horrigan - bass , Beth Harris- vocals , Billy Alletzhauser - vocals. guitars. w/ Jerry Hedge - pedal steel and Ric Hordinski - keys.
Under Shooting Stars ( Ultra-Cave ) 2010 Outtake from the Four Letter Town Lp First sessions Engineered by John Curley at Ultrasuede and finished by Billy Alletzhauser at The Batcave Cincinnati, Ohio Features Tony Franklin - drums , Michael P. Horrigan - bass , Beth Harris- vocals , Billy Alletzhauser - vocals . Kevin Carlisle - piano. w/ Sylvia Mitchell - violin, mandolin.
Wayward Sun 2007 Batcave demo by Billy Alletzhauser.
Tie Me Down 2004 Pre-Valentine Demo home - recording w/ Lisa Walker . vocals, Todd Drake - drums , Billy Alletzhauser - guitars , vocals , bass , extras.
Tears Put Out The Fire 2009 Batcave demo w/ Michael P. Horrigan - bass , drums Billy Alletzhauser - guitars, vocals, keys.
Under The Overpass ( Live ) 2005 Recorded at The Southgate House Ballroom , Newport, Ky. 8/28/05 Engineered by John Curley Billy Alletzhauser - guitar, vocals Beth Harris- vocals - Todd Drake - drums - Victor Strunk - bass Tyler Ramsey - keys - Dave Gilligan - harmonica - Toby Ellis - 12-string guitar.
Garbage Day 2004 Home recorded Christmas Day Billy Alletzhauser - guitars-vocals additional recording in The Batcave w/ Beth Harris - vocals , Sylvia Mitchell - violin, viola, mandolin.
"Luck in a bottle and coffin varnish years. Moody proud confessions under the blossoming cherry trees. Trips to writers' graves and turning and burning in the rays of the last setting sun. Classic rock, soul, and alt-country from the heartland."The Hiders’ sound is a unique brand of roots Rock that’s sometimes spacious and ethereal and sometimes relatively straightforward, but almost always transcendent. There is a soulfulness to the songs that is hard to describe, but that’s part of The Hiders’ magic. There is a vibe that just works and sticks with you like a haunting memory after just one listen. When Harris and Alletzhauser’s voices meld together on choruses, for example, they often cause goosebumps. Great songwriting with equally great, emotive performances. There are rootsy elements to The Hiders’ sound, but labeling them “Alt Country” or “Roots Rock” never feels right. Like avowed influence Mark Linkous, Alletzhauser is one of those rare songwriters whose work transcends easy genre specification and magically takes the listener somewhere that feels familiar without resorting to retro-minded clichés. Each song has a hypnotic quality and is loaded with exquisite soulfulness. Songs gracefully melts into the next, buoyed by the band’s distinctive, slow-burning sway. Alletzhauser’s vocals and melodies (punctuated by the fabulous harmonies of singer Beth Harris) recall Neil Young and My Morning Jacket, but, while fans of both would certainly fall in love at first listen with The Hiders, over the course of six albums, the group has found and strengthened its own unique identity.
In a word, The Hiders are timeless.
"A seahorse nest made of railroad ties and Christmas lights."Welcome to Billy Alletzhauser's, singer/songwriter for The Hiders, home recording, solo endeavor. Pulling inspiration from early Velvet Underground, Suicide, Spaceman 3, Silver Apples, and Yo La Tengo as well classical Indian, drone, lo-fi, Avant-Garde, and psyche-folk.
There are subtle melodies that creep up and grab you, richly layered sounds of slow burning piano, guitar, organ, harmonica, enticing hooks that slowly draw you into a world of yearning, dreamy confusion, life's unfairness and its complexity.
This is the third album from The Hiders. Self-produced and recorded in Cincinnati in their home studio the Batcave and at Ultrasuede Studios this album holds nearly 80 minutes of The Hiders most intimate, smoldering and experimental music yet released.
Harmony driven psychedelic/folk/country rock. Think John Lennon meets Husker Du and you are almost there.
"Fantastic Indie/Americana ensemble The Hiders return with Penny Harvest Field (inspired by a simple but impressive charitable effort). This is the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Valentine album, which garnered the band some label attention and national exposure thanks to fans at NPR and the World Café. The album marks the first appearance of new drummer Tony Franklin and new bassist Michael Horrigan on a Hiders CD; Horrigan is known for his work with local faves like The Love Cowboys, Throneberry and The Afghan Whigs (more recently, he played with The Raconteurs' Brendon Benson). Penny Harvest Field (which contains a few more "rockers" than the debut) was again recorded in Nashville with Brad Jones, save a couple of tracks done here in Cincinnati with John Curley."
"...Penny Harvest Field sounds like a perfect amalgam of Americana influences, from Neil Young to Son Volt, from Emmylou Harris to Oakley Hall. The title track is full of lyrics of unlucky symbols and resolves with the lines, “I’m lying like a penny/ Facedown on the ground/ I wish someone would pick me up/ But they all think I’m bad luck.” All of the songs that I’ve heard from this album are addictive and more captivating with each listen..."
The city of Cincinnati has a fine jazz-folk tradition, perhaps most recently embodied by the duo Over the Rhine. Bill Alletzhauser, a former multi-instrumentalist with the late, great Ass Ponys, extends that tradition admirably with his current band, The Hiders. On their latest release, Alletzhauser and company provide a harvest full of heartfelt melancholia and frustration, creating a gorgeous Americana album in the process.
The Hiders consists of Alletzhauser (vocals/guitar/lyrics), accompanied by Michael Horrigan (bass), Tony Franklin (drums) and Beth Harris, whose robust harmonies are reminiscent of Emmylou Harris. The quartet draws obvious comparisons to Neil Young, The Band, and Sparklehorse, yet they stand on their own creative feet. At times, Alletzhauser's voice recalls the sadness of Ryan Adams, his guitar playing covers chord progressions quickly like Elliott Smith, and his harmonies with Harris are as perfectly melded as Damien Jurado's are with Rosie Thomas. Essentially, The Hiders transcend the predictable practice of merely blending genres together and create a sound that is undeniably unique. The foursome are recognizably independent in every way.
Their latest album, Penny Harvest Field, is a mesmerizing collection of songs that could easily be labeled as folk music. These compositions are set apart by Alletzhauser's attention to details and honest lyricism, though. The album opens with “Plastic Flowers,” a song detailing the paradox one feels after a breakup: “You were the prettiest thing I ever did see/But I can’t even look at you, I can’t even look…Come back to me!” “You’re Going” is a tightly looped melody that carries Alletzhauser’s sadness until he can finally say, “There’s no surprises anymore/There’s no surprises when you say/You’re going.” The title track, in particular, is a work of poetry that sticks in your head long after it stops playing: “I’m laying like a penny/Face down on the ground I wish someone/Would pick me up/But they all think I’m bad luck.” With Penny Harvest Field, The Hiders have proven that Cincinnati's great musical tradition is still alive and well.