Black Happy is THAT band...the local group that people still talk about a decade and a half after they break up. They have their roots as metal band in the 1980s. Then they added horns to the mix, just to ruffle the feathers of their hard-core fans. The fans dug it and a new sound was born! Their original style, loyal following, underground support, and crazy live shows seemed to guarantee their status as "the next big thing," but the major-label support just didn't happen.
Black Happy, circa 1993 (photo by Darren Balch)
After fifteen years of pressure from their still-rabid fans, plus the desire among the bandmates to relive the good ol' days, Black Happy decided to reunite for one final mini-tour. This was a logistical feat, a delicate coordination among eight men, each of whom who has long since started a family and, in a few cases, moved across the country. Some members hadn't touched their instrument since the break-up of the band. However, after a brief rehearsal period, they performed five shows in August: two at the Knitting Factory in Spokane and three at the Crocodile Café in Seattle. Originally, they had planned to perform three shows, but they sold out on both sides of the state, so they added a night at each venue! Someone who knew nothing about the band and simply showed up to one of those gigs might have assumed that Black Happy has been playing steadily all these years; these guys still managed to put on a killer show!
We were fortunate to have Jim Bruce (one of the TWO original, simultaneous drummers) drop by the 103.1 KCDA Local Lounge just prior to their reunion mini-tour. This was a special Thursday night edition of the Local Lounge, in which Jim talked about Black Happy back in the day and what's been going on since then. He also spun classic cuts from Friendly Dog Salad, Peghead, and The Last Polka.
Click Here for more photos of Jim Bruce, circa 2010.
Here is their entire Local Lounge show as free, high-quality streaming audio: