— Huffamoose members Kevin Hanson (guitar/vocals), Jim Stager (bass) and Erik Johnson (drums) are The Fractals, one of the Philadelphia area’s most unique and interesting bands.
Guess what happens when a trio of three martini lunches staggers toward a ragged copy of “Respect For Acting,” stumbling over bell-bottoms into plasticine porters, hissing like 8-tracks, knocking over emo kids with Flying Vees… The Fractals, thats what happens, and they have been happening for over ten years. Tearing it up mercilessly in a cyclonic maelstrom of Steely-cum-Stevie-cum-Angus, with outer rings of Zeppelin and Trane, the whirling dervish that is The Fractals is not to be ignored.
Kevin Hanson, lead singer and songwriter, has performed and recorded with the likes of Usher, Jay-Z, The Roots, Musiq Soulchild, and countless others. He appears in the acclaimed films “Fade to Black” as a band member for Jay-Z’s “farewell concert,” and Dave Chappelle’s “Block Party” as a member of the house band. His distinctive songwriting is what has drawn so many to both Huffamoose and his current band. His compositions and masterful guitar playing are the spinal cord of The Fractals.
Jim Stager, bassist, has performed and recorded with hundreds of artists, ranging from Rosemary Clooney (!) to the legendary punk band “X.” His mastery of rock and jazz merge in a style that has earned him a place in the pantheon of Philadelphia’s notable session greats.
Erik Johnson, drummer, has performed or recorded with countless artists in myriad styles. His credits include: Ben Schachter’s Trio of Many, George Garzone, Tim Hagans, Jack Walrath, Gary Bartz, John Swana, Jef Lee Johnson, Ralph Bowen, Larry McKenna, Jim Ridl, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Kurt Elling, Gerald Veasley, Lelia Broussard, Liz Longley and Susan Werner. In addition to his legendary status as a jazz virtuoso, his drumming has served as the heartbeat for a striking range of Philadelphia’s singer-songwriter community. His fiercely original expressiveness on drums and soaring background vocals have become vital to The Fractals’ sound.
began in the dark smoky bar years of Philadelphia when South Street had trees covered in gum and boutique shops and punks.
They used to haul amps around town in used cars that rarely started and stay up late howling at the moon and then go to work in the morning. After an attempt at making mainstream music with Arista Records in the late 20th century failed, they went on to independently release records like That’s Ok I Can Sleep at Work, The Lift and the Drag, Young Professionals and Big in Texas. Philadelphia learned all the songs and filled its venues with singing fans. With those echoes still ringing in their ears, the band hauled their gear around the country, howling at the moon with lots of cool bands and meeting lots of interesting people worthy of stories that are still being told in a van that occasionally didn’t start.
The road had many detours, some bad traffic and huge cruise-ship-sized pot holes that swallowed the band more than once. It was high seas, big drama, cracking snares, thick power chords, drop jaw harmonies, microphone stands caressed, rooms wet with sweat and the raw passion of growing up in rock and roll. But it all peaked like a passing parade and disappeared into the dawn, the howling fading into the sounds of mail-trucks and school buses starting a new day. The band broke up in 2006. Everyone went their own ways.
It’s 2021. The van is gone. But the road has been patched up, and the detours all eventually led back to Philadelphia. Now, they have vehicles that are fairly reliable, probably insured and include car seats and plastic figurines stuffed deep down in the cracks.
There are stories that haven’t been told, old amps that can still peel the paint off a wall and the moon hasn’t had a good howlin at in a bit… HOWWWWLLLL!
If you like cool jams, space flute wizardry, friendly encounters, and breathing, you will probably love the Cookie Rabinowitz band.
Erik Horvitz, John Swana, Tom Spiker, Trevor Rogers & Cookie
ps. Check out Cookie’s new single on Spotify