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The Flower Furnace

2010 – 2013


Lead Vocal – JoJo Razor
Guitar – Russell McDonald
Guitar – John Fillipuci
Keys – Andrea Hensler
Bass – Tim Walters
Drums – Scott Acridge

From the dismantled Flower Furnace website:

It was winter, raining. Hard. Like buckets. But this was Prairie Prince’s birthday party and a birthday not to be missed. In fact, it was THE event of the year, held in Prairie’s studio! Prairie’s paintings along with many of his artist friends’ paintings hung up on the wall. There were red shoes, metal masks, a small pirate drawing, clowns, and one large painting of a big blue snare drum floating over a mountain range. This painting hung over the drum kit for all to see and experience. It reminded me of what I love more than life itself. Music!

That night bands made up of threes and fours took to the stage, playing music from the 60s and early 70s. The place was packed and we danced on each other’s feet and sang in each others ears. I looked around and was amazed at all of the smiling and grinning going on. We had forgotten how terrible the weather was, how bad the year, 2010, had been, and how all of us were so darn cold and old. We were gentle with each other, not caring if we were standing too close to each other or talking too loud. It was as if the feelings we had so long ago had been locked within the music and with each song we were given the key to unlock ourselves… like unlocking a furnace. We felt alive and we were warm.

Then I heard myself say to someone, “I really want to sing all of these old tunes.”

Bingo! The light came on, the room lit up, hugs, thank you’s, in the car, across the bridge, home… locked myself up, the cold crept in and winter continued on.

I’m in Mexico on a cruise ship, searching for warmth, and I find my way to “karaoke band night.” It is Tuesday and not much is going on past 8pm. But the band sounds good and getting up to do a karaoke song sounds like 4 minutes of additional fun. So I picked out my song and noticed that most of the band’s available repertoire was from the 1960s. I watched singer after singer get up and sing some of the most incredible songs from that era. And when it was my turn, I got up and as I sang, I could feel the room getting warm. I could feel that old song unlock me, and I could feel heat crawling up my legs. When I finished singing people chanted, “do it again, do it again, do it again.”

But there was no way I could “do it again” without a band. So later that night, in the middle of the ocean, I tossed words around in my mind, crafting an ad for a future Craig’s list posting, hoping to lure the right musicians for something new.

Russell McDonald was the first to answer. “Ok, I’ll bite, if you are for real.” We auditioned each other and knew instantly that we were a committed unit. John Fillipucci was the next to show up, “I would really love to play psychedelic laced music, say from ’65 to ’75.” Rehearsals began to warm up. Next, and unknown to each other, Scotty Acridge and Tim Walters showed up, bass and drums, with a sound so spectacular that the room ignited that night. The wood was cut, the fire was stoked and The Flower Furnace was blazing.

We continued burning together each Thursday night, selecting the right piece and then wood shedding the pyre until it caught us on fire. We burrowed deeper and deeper into the psychedelic realm where we could hear those pesky psychedelic gnomes chanting, hey, you… Flowers… add a keyboard player!

So began our search… searching for another one of us who could visualize fire as our end result. Little did we know that Andrea Hensler, sat at almost every one of our gigs quietly keeping her fire ability at bay. It was at a cold February gig in 2012 when I heard about Andrea’s fiery vocals. That night I asked her to sit in on a few songs including our sound check. It took only seconds to realize that she was definitely a Flower. She stayed on stage through the entire 24 song set-list as we burnt the place down. When I approached her afterwards about playing in the band she told me that she also plays keyboards. From the depths of the roots of all flowers I could hear those sneaky psychedelic gnomes having a hearty laugh.

A few rehearsals later and our rehearsal room went from a fiery blaze to an inferno. Doors wide open, and all keys burnt beyond recognition.

Each time we perform live, another chance to heat the furnace comes about and another burning takes place. We invite you to come to the gadda-da-vida, to kiss the sky, to tune in and smile on your brother, to go ask Alice and get experienced. Come be with us, dance with us, sing with us and celebrate, no matter if you’re cold and tired… because it’s always good to warm your bones beside the fire.

The Flower Furnace T-Shirt
$15 + shipping = $20

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