Henhouse Prowlers: 9.7.11
Ann Arbor, MI
Words & Photos By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)
Every Wednesday night, The Circus in Ann Arbor plays host to some of the best free live music the town has to offer. This particular evening found my friends and I celebrating in the form of a going away party for our friend Kendal who recently moved to Oregon, and because her roots are in the nearby city of Chelsea, she thought it would be fitting for everyone to get together at the venue. When the day arrived for the get-together, I learned that one of my favorite bluegrass bands, The Henhouse Prowlers, would be playing the show that evening. Hearing news of who was performing peaked my excitement... this was going to be quite the night!
After a delicious home-cooked meal in Chelsea, Kendal, my friend Michelle and I arrived to The Circus around 10:00 PM. Only a few people had shown up at the time, but as the night progressed, plenty of folks arrived to watch the band as well as many others who came to wish Kendal their best during her travels westward. The band started around 10:30 PM and hit the ground running from the get-go. As technically proficient as bands come, the Henhouse Prowlers tore into two thick sets of traditional bluegrass with a workmanlike approach that was spoke volumes for their professionalism. Though you would never be able to tell that the band was playing a free show due to their serious demeanor while performing, the Henhouse Prowlers clearly love to play in Ann Arbor. The members of the band bantered back and forth with us between songs, clearly appreciative of the cheerful responses given by the energetic audience throughout the night.
Although I’m not familiar with the majority of the their song titles, the group tends to play a similar set each time I watch them. I’d love to hear some new material the next time they come through Michigan because the four-piece has all the talent necessary to grow and add to their catalog of material. One song I did recognize was their high-energy cover of Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath”. Carrying a driving rhythm that always gets the dance floor moving, the tune takes me there every time I hear them play it. The band finished their second set around 1:00 AM to loud cheers from the Ann Arbor faithful as another memorable night was in the books. I feel so fortunate to have a local venue like the Circus. Not only is it a wonderful place for friends to meet regularly, it provides a stomping ground for some of the best free live music anyone could ask for, especially when the Henhouse Prowlers are in town!