Order the new album, Black Beehive by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and get a limited* autographed CD booklet with purchase!
Since their formation in the mid-'80s, Big Head Todd & the Monsters have continued to evolve and explore, moving beyond their Colorado club circuit roots to become one of the most adventurous, respected and durable bands in America. Through constant touring and a zeal to travel down new musical avenues in the studio, BHTM have honed their collective stew of influences into a trademark hybrid sound that's immediately recognizable. Now, with Black Beehive, their maiden release on Shout! Factory, the quartet has made its most personal and poignant album to date, a collection of new studio tracks that, says co-founder and figurehead Todd Park Mohr, "allows us to truly reach our audience through the language of the blues."
Recorded at Butcher Boy Studios in Chicago, Mohr's hometown of the past seven years, and produced and mixed by Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Steve Jordan (whose previous production credits include John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Solomon Burke and Robert Cray), Black Beehive arrives a quarter-century after the group's debut album, Another Mayberry, first put Big Head Todd & the Monsters on the map beyond their home base. Today, the original trio-Mohr on guitar and vocals, Brian Nevin on drums and vocals and Rob Squires on bass and vocals-along with keyboardist/pedal steel guitarist Jeremy Lawton, who joined in 2004, are still opening themselves to new possibilities even as they further explore their roots. "It has some contemporary elements that bridge a gap between alternative pop and traditional blues," says Mohr about Black Beehive, whose title refers to the late British soul singer Amy Winehouse, the inspiration behind the album's title track.
As he began writing material for the album, Mohr drew from both his own life experiences and events in the news. The title track was written following Winehouse's death. "I love her voice and her performances, and obviously her shenanigans were part of her persona," says Mohr. Several other songs were also ripped from the headlines, including "We Won't Go Back," which Mohr penned about the 2010 Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East, and "Fear, Greed and Ignorance," whose topical lyrics declare that it's those three dishonorable traits that are "driving you America off the edge of the road."
Not every track is quite so pointed, however. "Hubert's Dream," is a nod to the late Mr. Sumlin, while album opener "Hey Delila" is Mohr's tribute to another blues giant, Memphis Minnie. "I happened to acquire a great example of her instrument, which was a 1941 Spanish National resonator guitar. Plus, she has an incredible life story," he says. "Everything About You" is dedicated to NASA, who called upon BHTM to awaken the Discovery space shuttle crew with their song "Blue Sky" in 2011, marking the first time live music was ever used for that purpose.
When Big Head Todd & the Monsters launch their extensive national tour behind Black Beehive in January, they will be honing the album's ageless blues along the way, and simultaneously affirming their own longevity. It's clear that they possess a rare musical wholeness that has not only survived for 25 plus years, but still has them looking forward to creating music together night after night. "The other guys have shown great support of my songwriting and what I'm able to do, and all of the band members bring a lot to the plate, both musically and as a unit," says Mohr. "No one ever expects a band to last this long. We're very, very lucky."
Also available with Autographed CD Booklet:
Big Head Todd & The Monsters' U.S. Tour Dates:
- 1/16 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
- 1/17 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
- 1/18 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
- 1/21 - Jefferson Theater - Charlottesville, VA
- 1/23 - Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN
- 1/24 - Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
- 1/25 - Buckhead Theatre - Atlanta, GA
- 1/26 - 3rd & Lindsley - Nashville, TN
- 1/30 - Music Farm - Charleston, SC
- 1/31 - Lincoln Theater - Raleigh, NC
- 2/1 - The FIllmore - Charlotte, NC
- 2/4 - Capitol Theatre - Macon, GA
- 2/6 - State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
- 2/7 - House of Blues - Lake Buena Vista, FL
- 2/8 - Revolution - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- 2/20 - Calvin Theatre - Northampton, MA
- 2/21 - The Capitol Theatre - Port Chester, NY
- 2/22 - House of Blues - Boston, MA
- 2/25 - Mr. Small's Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA
- 2/27 - 20th Century Theatre - Cincinnati, OH
- 2/28 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
- 3/1 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Royal Oak, MI
- 3/6 - Turner Hall - Milwaukee, WI
- 3/7 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
- 3/8 - The Pageant - St. Louis, MO
- 3/9 - Whiskey Roadhouse - Council Bluffs, IA
- 3/28 - Showbox - Seattle, WA
- 3/29 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
- 4/1 - Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA
- 4/3 - Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA
- 4/4 - Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA
- 4/5 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
*Offer valid only with purchase of Black Beehive. This special offer is valid for both domestic and international orders. CDs shipping with promotional items are limited to (5) per customer. Autographed CD booklets will be available while supplies last, newburycomics.com will post information when autographed booklets are sold out.