Vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, concertina, keyboards, lap steel – David Eugene Edwards

Drums – Jean-Yves Tola

E-bass, double bass – Pascal Humbert

16 Horsepower was a rock band hailing from Denver that combined several styles together – you could describe them as an alternative or gothic country band. The band merged different elements from folk, bluegrass, gospel and alternative rock, pairing the instrumentals with spiritual and religious lyrics. The origins of this rather individual combination are credited to front man David Eugene Edwards, who is known to be a very religious man.

As a younger lad he travelled the country with his grandpa, who was a preacher with a goal: to guide people back on the path of righteousness by means of dramatic fire and brimstone preaching. These elements were adapted by the band and were mirrored through the music they made. But make no mistake; those were not empty eulogies to God. The lyrics can be seen as tales of mercy and love. They all have a tinge of darkness to them, showcasing humanity’s vulnerability. They are full of elaborate metaphors of guilt, sin and the temptation of the devil.

It all sounds very theatrical but believe me, the tunes sound simply beautiful with their raw and almost archaic style. Even in the darkest of times, goodness shines through.

The raw vocals match the settings perfectly, while the music is subtler and quieter. One could say that 16 Horsepower’s music is a musical form of preaching, minus the urge to convert. It’s certainly music worth a listen.

16 Horsepower announced their separation in 2006, and former front man David Eugene Edwards remains active in other bands such as Woven Hand.

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