Official Web Site
16 Horsepower Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and 16 Horsepower lyrics)
16 Horsepower Biography
Several of rocks most respected lyricists have found inspiration in the Old Testament. It has proved fertile ground for ideas, characters and events, which resonate with the listener but also are original in this modern musical setting. Among them only David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower can really claim the kind of upbringing that might lead to a true understanding of the text. Raised by his Grandfather, a traveling Nazarene preacher. Edwards was immersed in this extraordinary world of hellfire and damnation from childhood. Still a believer, he has channeled this unique life experience into his songwriting and a band, 16 Horsepower.
Formed in Los Angeles after a chance meeting with drummer Jean-Yves Tola and bassist Pascal Humbert at Roger Corman's studio, the band moved to Denver and in 1996 released their acclaimed debut album, 'Sackcloth 'n' Ashes'. The album featured the fiddle playing Edward's soul mate Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, which alongside the band's deliberately old-fashioned instrumentation (bandoneon, banjos, stand up bass and accordions) reinforced the archaic nature of Edward's lyrics. The band toured and quickly developed an almost legendary live reputation. They followed this success with 'Low Estate', produced by PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish in 1997. After some line-up changes 'Secret South' was released in March 2000 again to high critical acclaim.
After the strenuous touring that followed these albums the band felt that they needed to recharge their batteries and decided to take a break from recording and playing live. In January 2002, refreshed by this respite, the original three members met in Denver to record the long-awaited follow-up to 'Secret South'. The result is 'Folklore', their most intense work to date. Edwards sings his tales of sin and redemption against a powerful acoustic backdrop. Just listen to the opener 'Hutterite Mile' and you will feel the hypnotic voice of David Eugene engulf you.
When in early '96 a journalist asked David Eugene Edwards about his influences he replied: "Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Joy Division, The Birthday Party/Nick Cave, The Gun Club and the Hungarian band Muzsikas." With 'Folklore' 16 Horsepower have made an album that encompasses all those influences perhaps for the first time in their careers. While the band itself is not a standard bearer for any religion 16 Horsepower continues to explore their obsessions with love, death and religion with a frightening intensity and emotional edge.