Sundays are generally easy-going and slow for both individuals and businesses alike. People typically prepare for work, sit down for family-oriented meals, and just relax and enjoy the day off. Not often do people choose to go to a bar on a Sunday night. Usually, I choose to do the same, but now that I am done with classes, hitting up the Fun House on East Fourth Street in South Bethlehem on a Sunday to see Heart Headed was a realistic opportunity. I had heard this group had a bit of talent, so I was excited to see what they had to offer. They certainly made going to a bar on a Sunday a worthwhile endeavor.
Who are they?
Heart Headed is a multi-talented duo comprised of friends Ricky and Shane. Both are extremely gifted guitarists and vocalists and have been performing together for a number of years in the Lehigh Valley. Ricky plays the acoustic electric guitar; he also creates all of the percussion sounds for the group by utilizing a recording looper to generate drum patterns since they do not use a drum kit. His ability to create drum patterns using the body of the guitar was something that I had never seen done to the extent and creativity with which he is capable. Shane entertains with the traditional electric guitar and is a very crafty soloist. At one point during the show, he brought up the guitar behind his head and started strumming a solo, which is a prime example of his performing ability. Both guys split vocal responsibilities relatively evenly.
Since the front door is always open when the weather is pleasant, if you had been walking by Fun House during the show, you would have expected the band to have three or four members. The amount of percussion produced just from rhythmically slapping the acoustic guitar was unbelievable. It mimicked a bongo drum in a way that was just fascinating. On top of that, the layering of the different rhythmic loops made it sound like there were two people playing bongos at the same time. I remarked to my buddies on multiple occasions that I could not wrap my head around how the guitar could take the place of traditional percussion instruments.
Coupled with the percussion, the crafty guitar solos made for tremendous covers of a wide variety of songs in different genres. For example, the solo during the cover of the Eurythmics’ song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” put a beautiful twist on a song that is heavily electronic. That was just one example of a cover in which they impressively and thoughtfully spun a non-traditional guitar song into a natural sounding piece of work. They captivated the entire audience all night and received an encore as they were initially wrapping up the show. It’s a shame that Pennsylvania does not allow bars to stay open past 2AM because they would have kept the entire Fun House audience there all night. When it was finally time to kick the crowd out, I asked Shane why Heart Headed liked performing at the Fun House, and he replied, “Fun House always provides a diverse crowd that is incredibly appreciative.” Well, it’s not hard to appreciate really good music!
As of right now, Heart Headed’s Facebook page does not display any upcoming shows, but they have played Fun House and Hardball Cider (on the north side) in the past. However, if you would like a chance to see what they’re all about, they have uploaded video streams of the show I attended. Also, just as a fun fact, Ricky bartends at Fun House every so often, so there’s an opportunity to learn a bit more about the band outside of performance days.