CMU grad Rebecca Ann Henry comes home, packs Hunter's Ale House during RaH show
As the room filled up at Hunter's Ale House, Rebecca Ann Henry joked and sang along with her band to Gotye's 'Somebody I Used to Know.'
The fun was felt all around the room as the musicians prepared to take the stage on Friday evening.
"I can always come back here and be home," Henry said. "We live in the same house my dad grew up in. There's something safe, secure and beautiful about that."
The Colorado-based band returned to their lead singer's original stomping grounds on their first ever tour. Henry, a 2012 Central Michigan University graduate, said she was glad to be home.
Growing up in Harrison, a small town 30 miles north of Mount Pleasant, Henry brought her small town feel to Colorado's larger music scene, combining a childhood taste for country music with electronic influences in the band known as RaH.
"We're kind of like Bjork meets Portishead meets Ellie Goulding," she said. "These boys know how to rock and they're classically trained, too. They bring in a lot of elements from other genres."
The band has been together since August 2013, and their show at Hunter's Ale House was their third after fully forming. Comprised of Dan Briechle on drums, Ben Berry on bass, Danyl Gee on lead guitar and Bub Fish on rhythm guitar, RaH came together after a few phone calls from Henry.
"I shot a (music) video this summer, and got a venue offer," Henry said. "I wanted the sound to be bigger for shows. They're like my brothers. They're really self-sufficient. They're pros. They do what they need to do and we have fun."
Henry said she enjoyed combining her two worlds of home and a new life in Colorado for a night.
"When you move somewhere new, you develop a whole new world. The old one is put on hold," she said. "When you bring people from your new world to the old one, it's crazy. I'm taking this band to Michigan so we can make a huge experience for everyone."
Hunter's was packed by showtime, with people there to see every act. Dewitt senior Saylor Goulding opened the night with covers on his 12-string acoustic guitar. Local favorite Mark Daisy followed the cover suit and brought more people out.
Addie Gager, a Mount Pleasant resident, came to see the show because of Daisy, but was also very keen to see RaH after their interview with Fox 17 in Grand Rapids.
"Daisy always brings out the house," Gager said. "I've seen him multiple times, but I'm excited to see RaH. I've heard great things."
Erin McDonald, another Mount Pleasant fan of Daisy's, said she would love to have more nights of music around town.
"I think Mount Pleasant needs more of this live entertainment," McDonald said. "RaH is great. It's something to do."
On top of a week-long tour around Michigan, Henry has kept busy with her non-profit called Project Phoenix.
The organization takes donated musical instruments, refurbishes them and donates them to the Denver Children's Hospital and victims of domestic violence.
"We hire local musicians to teach them to play as well," Henry said of Project Phoenix and their affiliation. "I started it five years ago, and it brings music therapy to domestic violence victims."
Bringing light to domestic violence has been a passion of Henry's, incorporating the issue into her latest music video for her song 'Concrete Floor.' She said she plans to continue bringing hope to victims of domestic violence through music, indefinitely.
"To know that what you're singing means something to them, it just feels right," she said. "I feel alive. Everything you have done is worth something."
RaH plans to release their EP later this year, and hopes to make it back to Mount Pleasant in the near future for another show.