Once upon a time, there was a criminally underrated rock and roll band from Durham, N.C. called the Dirty Little Heaters. They only put out one full-length – 2010’s ‘Champions of Imperfection‘ even though they were around in some form since 2005. But it is an outstanding record of stoner-riffed hard rock powered by the omnipotent voice of one Reese McHenry. I personally stumbled into DLH only through hearing McHenry singing with fellow North Carolinians Spider Bags’ on the 2017 release ‘Bad Girl‘. McHenry’s voice is so noticeable she’ll have you backtracking to hear more.
Along with Spider Bags, McHenry has been in different projects since, including The Second Wife who put out an album in 2015 called ‘Tourist‘. Her new solo record ‘No Dados‘ has been released and if it sounds like she’s singing for her life, well that’s because she is. Sometime in 2009, McHenry began to go through serious health issues, including multiple strokes and Pulmonary Edema, that brought her to within an inch of her life.
On ‘No Dados‘ McHenry lets loose with a rock and roll rager of a record with a garage rock backbone, a whole lotta soul, some 50s pop, and a little bit of country twang. Comparisons to Janis Joplin aside, McHenry’s voice will at times remind you of Steve Marriott, Maria McKee or Brittany Howard, but I also have no illusions that she could step in and belt out Ronnie James Dio covers at will. McHenry can wail and she does on the openers ‘Magnolia Tree‘ and ‘Detroit‘ or she can break your heart with sweet soul like she does on ‘Summer Sheets‘ and ‘I Hate Waiting’.
‘No Dados‘ is a solid rock and roll record from a very talented singer-songwriter. McHenry’s been through hell and back and that’s she’s still standing, writing, and singing makes us the lucky ones.