Tennessee Williams once suggested that “Time is the longest distance between two places” but for The Hiders time exists “All at once and never again”. The latter quote is from the title track of their upcoming 2021 release ‘Forever at the End’. The title is inspired by the effect of an Event Horizon, named such for being the boundary defining the region of space around a black hole from which nothing ( not even light ) can escape - a singularity - a horizon beyond what we can see. Cryptic, I know. Some things are harder to describe and best perchance experienced.
Formed officially in the early days of the 21st century in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Hiders 2004 debut ‘Valentine’ was met enthusiastically in the realm of Americana. Their sound, described often as an intriguing mix of folk, rock, and psychedelia, filled the remaining open spaces between the likes of Neil Young and Sparklehorse, or even the twilight separating Gillian Welch and Black Sabbath.
Over the course of six albums members have come and gone so The Hiders act informally as a duo, featuring founder and vocalist/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser and long time co-vocalist Beth Harris, bringing in musicians as needed. The two met performing together in a production of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and have never looked back. Their vocals blend together seamlessly, less a duet and more one voice, and is the bedrock of their sound.
As of 2021, The Hiders record, mix, and produce their own music almost exclusively, giving an even more unique twist to their robust yet ethereal brand of roots inspired rock.
‘Forever at the End’ will be available in July, 2021.
" Memory believes before knowing remembers "
A cryptic quote from Faulkner that bannered The Hiders website and hinted at their own cryptic trajectory and identification with the disenfranchised.
Perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy of their namesake, The Hiders have slipped through the mainstream cracks but after over a decade of watching bands rise and fall they have persisted and have become a stalwart of the Midwest music scene. Developing a cult fan base, creating a seamless and consistent body of work and garnering 'off the radar' success with international record sales and some high-profile licensing.
The Hiders are carving their own path.
Their first album ‘Valentine’ was released in 2004 shortly after Billy Alletzhauser’s departure as lead guitarist of Ass Ponys. The band recorded for seven days in February with Nashville producer Brad Jones. The album was performed mostly live with a larger band that included Alletzhauser’s longtime friend and music companion Tyler Ramsey ( now a member of Band of Horses ) and the end product was a very well conceived and received record that reminded critics and soon-to-be fans of Harvest -era Neil Young, early seventies Willie Nelson and other comparisons ranging from Velvet Underground to SparkleHorse. While the debut raised eyebrows at an impressive list of record company offices and garnered an equally impressive amount of radio airplay in the NPR/AAA circuit the band remained free-agents. The following years brought more albums. ‘Penny Harvest Field’ , ‘Four Letter Town’ , self-produced and recorded epic ‘Temenos’ in 2012 and another self produced LP 'Totem' in 2014.
There are myriad of stars still unveiling themselves in The Hiders constellation that may not fully be revealed in their time but when the dots ultimately connect they will create a rich, intricate, heartfelt and unique picture seldom seen.
David Swan 2016
The exact beginning of The Hiders is hard to trace. As lead guitarist for the Ass Ponys and Ruby Vileos, Billy Alletzhauser still needed an outlet for his songwriting. Alletzhauser began hosting informal jams with some of his idols on the Cincinnati scene, Eddie Cunningham, Dave Gilligan, Ma Crow, Niki Dakota, Ali Edwards, Chuck Cleaver, Jeff Roberson and more would meet at Alletzhausers and trade songs and covers. A semi-steady group formed organically somewhat centered around Alletzhauser's tunes and played around casually as The Hiders ( a name coined by Cleaver and Gilligan, it's roots from a 1975 episode of 'Gunsmoke' ). It wasn't until around 2004 a more formal version emerged after Alletzhauser's "dismissal" from Ass Ponys ( who reunited with their ex-guitarist then broke up mere months later ). The original formal line-up was Todd Drake, Beth Harris, Victor Strunk, Toby Ellis, Dave Gilligan and occasionally Tyler Ramsey ( Band of Horses ). This was the group that recorded 'Valentine' in 2006 with Nashville Producer/Engineer Brad Jones. The Bulk of the record was tracked live in February, and the whole thing was tracked and mixed in about 7 days. Something special emerged and in certain terms the record was an immediate success. The Hiders were pushed to the forefront of the Cincinnati music scene. The record also made it's way around the "industry" and soon The Hiders were being featured on World Cafe as an "Artist to Watch" and receiving serious nibbles from a fair amount of great record labels...but no bites. A couple of years of touring, trying, writing, playing , struggling ensued...members came and went. A new core emerged, drummer and longtime friend Tony Franklin, bassist and former Afghan Whig Michael Horrigan joined Billy and Beth. More peripheral Hiders came and went but it was these four who returned to Brad Jones and Nashville exactly two years later to record what would be 'Penny Harvest Field' This time 10 tracks were used from the Nashville sessions, which also featured Jones on some keyboard and guitar and Nashville session man Fats Kaplin on pedal steel, banjo and violin. Two tracks were added from Cincinnati sessions 'I Still Do' was recorded by longtime friend ( and another former Afghan Whig! ) John Curley ( with friend Brad Meinerding doing some guitar ) and 'Dumbos Feather' which featured violinist and friend Sylvia Mitchell ( a player in the cincinnati symphony! ) Penny Harvest Field was released in May 2008. The Hiders also recently ( with the help of Nettwerk records ) had "Plastic Flowers" placed on the soundtrack of the 2009 film "Adam" The Hiders and Billy Alletzhauser also scored and composed original muisc for the documentary "Conviction:the true story of Clarence Elkins" by Mike West. Alletzhauser and friend / songwriter Todd almond scored the film "WTC View" by Brian Sloan
My Dearest Scarlet- Marie,
You must have presumed me dead or lost at sea but alas, the storms have settled and land is indeed in sight. While I return a changed man, know that in my heart I am still the man who you loved and who most certainly still loves you. We come bearing gifts from our adventures, trades, and plunders and I pray you won't tell me to simply sling my hook but, in the offing give us the chance to resume our courtship, for while I am no longer in 'Shipshape and Bristol fashion' as it were I am ready to settle down and no longer return to this No-Mans land. My captains wheel will simply adorn the wall of whatever home I find. I do, however fear that with no wind nor sea to guide me my mind could lose its bearings in close quarters and fall foul to whatever strange things the Devil has in store as labor for my idle hands but with my dear sweet Scarlet by my side I could follow the compass of your heart to whatever glorious lands you desire and whatever windfalls may lie therein. So we shall press on here, my crew and I, and share these tales and spin our yarns for the world that I expect to have changed so much yet so little in our absence. The coast is clear , dear Scarlet and our sails are filled the wind. We no longer reside between the devil and the deep sea but between the sea and the continent of your love and if my plea to you can't cut the ice of time then I will meet this bitter end sailing great seas of your memory within me.
As of Tuesday the 18th of October Two Thousand and Eleven 5:13PM
"Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star."
It's been nearly four months since our last message in a bottle. Time may seem to move fast for you but here on the S.S.Hiderton time moves painfully slow. Where to begin? When the crew has the time and energy and aren't busy wrestling giant squid, examining cyclopian albino shark or simply nursing our divine punishment with it's ironic cure "pelos de la misma chancha"we have managed to capture some recordings. Delia P. has felt left out as we hash out the mundane details but has kept busy with her imaginary "Theater of Know". Brian seems to have moved from one virtual reality to another; this is larger and down the boulevard and he shares it with an attractive student of law named Ginger ( Ha! As if a woman could understand law ) Meanwhile greasy Earl has left his Smurf village to rot and has joined your humble captain in the arid deserts of yesteryear taking on the personas of T.W.Grizz and Sonny J. Sumo blowing away suckers for gold and glory; Grizz with his shotgun and me with my golden president's revolver. When the crew is all asleep I pen musings of my own. An epic play about an autistic child, a disfigured priest and a rake.
As of Saturday the 25th of June Two Thousand and Eleven One 0 Three AM::
Despite the rain the cave is dry and afloat; The crew is steady but I sense restlessness. Despite the crews hard work and our new fangled recording contraptions I admit to still having what the crew has coined " Mic Fever " ( perhaps it's scurvy setting in; too much port and lack of fresh fruit ) Still, we are determined to press onward. Plans to document an adaptation of 'China Doll' and the results thereof ( for a transmission led by a most amiable Spaniard ) should prove to be useful as we begin the recordings for our forthcoming ( and Fourth ) LP. Delia is leaving the accursed 'Black House' Glen's Smurf village is fully rebuilt and more Smurfy than ever and Brian made some wonderful Chicken Wings.
Yr Faithful Captain.
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