Rhapsody Radar: The Henningsens
by Linda Ryan | October 22, 2013
It's not often you find a band that features a dad and his two children. The Partridge Family don't count because they were fictional (even if they were based on The Cowsills, which featured a mother and her sons). So, if not unheard of, exactly, the concept is rare enough.
Enter The Henningsens, comprised of siblings Aaron and Clara with their father, Brian. Brian Henningsen played in a few Illinois-based bands in the '80s, but gave up music when his father could no longer handle the family farm by himself. He may have given up the dream of making music for a living, but his passion for music never died. As Brian's children grew, so did their appreciation for music -- especially for the country music their father played in the house.
In 2008, Aaron met Wynonna Judd's husband, Cactus Moser, at church. Demos were exchanged, and before long, producer Paul Worley was turned on to the trio. Worley signed the group to his Skyline Music Publishing company and pitched a number of their songs to The Band Perry, who scored big with hits such as "You Lie" and "Night Gone Wasted," among others.
The Band Perry's success gave the Henningsens the break they needed. In 2012, they released their debut single, "American Beautiful." The song's driving drums and big pop chorus combined for a heartland rock feel, which was the perfect place for Clara's strong, clear vocals. Other songs on the Henningsens EP offered a more twanging (and less pop/rock) slice of New Country.
Each member of the group has his or her own set of favorites and influences, as their collaborative playlist reflects. Simply titled Crankin' It Loud in the Car, the family dusts off such perennial faves as Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," the Eagles' "Take It Easy" and, why not, Rihanna's "Stay."