Sure. He’s kind of a novelty. Yeah. He’s pretty quirky. But those don’t even come close to describing Henry Dillard, master mind (and only mind) behind Without A Face (WAF).
It’s like he tells the listener on his first album (quite modestly titled, “Worst Debut Album Ever” [hint: it's totally not]):
“Well hey everyone, I am the kid / That plays acoustic music. / No drums, no bass, Without A Face / Is second rate and out of place / Don’t give me a chance / I ain’t got a band / Don’t give me a chance / I will understand / Don’t give me a chance / I ain’t got a band / Don’t give me a chance / I’m only one man.” [from "The Band Broke Up (Intro)"]
What I’ve been trying to discover ever since I first listened to him is precisely how one person can make and perform music with more energy and enthusiasm than a group of 8 people.
I’ve seen WAF live (at the Ludo concert in St. Louis on 8-7-11…blog post yet to be written), and he owns the crowd. It’s not so much that his presence demands the crowd’s attention. It’s more that he starts singing, and people start laughing and having a good time. Who could resist a song about lactose intolerance?
And maybe that’s WAF’s charm. He takes music seriously without taking it TOO seriously (or at least that’s the vibe I get from his music). He makes music without worrying about universal popularity (somewhere, his song “Nickelcrap” is playing as you read this), but he still makes music that can make you smile. It’s not dark and foreboding and pretentious. For those of you into the indie or alternative scene, isn’t that refreshing?
I enjoy WAF’s music. From the amusing dream sequence of “Stung” to the surprisingly poignant “Alice the Waitress,” WAF is always a solid bet.
Oh, and he hosts monthly online concerts. That’s where you should be in an hour. Watching his concert. Fans discuss the concert on the sidebar, and he just plays.
I’ve only met WAF once, but I feel like I have a better connection to his music because he has a better connection to his fan base than most other bands.
So, in conclusion, he’s pretty great.
From “Worst Debut Album Ever”: