BRATTLEBORO — Though the members of the Southern California band Mrs. Henry are in their early 30s, they are all well versed in the music of The Band, whose most popular hits date back to the late 1960s.
“Certain things, I think, are sort of ageless,” said bass player Blake Dean. “Like if you go to any old-timer, or newborn kid, they’ve all seen Bugs Bunny. We’ve all been raised with certain paradigms. At this point, with the way music is shared, there’s no music or type of music that’s out of reach for one generation to the next. The tapestry is no longer linear. It’s just there.”
Now, Mrs. Henry, performing as Chest Fever — an homage to a famous The Band song — is marking the 50-year anniversary of The Band’s “Rock of Ages” live album with a tour that brings the group to The Stone Church Saturday. The show is at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:30. Tickets are $25 to $30 online.
Chest Fever will perform songs from “Rock of Ages” such as “Caledonia Mission,” “The Unfaithful Servant,” “Get Up Jake” and “Chest Fever,” some deeper cuts such as “Rockin’ Chair,” “Time To Kill,” and classics such as “Up on Cripple Creek.”
“We picked the name ‘Chest Fever’ because we wanted to have some sort of moniker that directly tied to The Band that wasn’t so abstract. ‘Chest Fever’ is the name of one of our favorite Band songs,” Dean said, calling it one of the highlights of the show.
The idea for the Chest Fever project grew from a Mrs. Henry show in Southern California in which the group performed the songs of “Last Waltz,” another live album by The Band. The group recorded the concert and also made a documentary of it.
“That was a big kind of flashbang for us — big bang, that kind of started the elevation of playing The Band’s music,” said guitarist Dan Cervantes.
He said the group has connected with associates of The Band’s surviving members and the late members’ estates, and received their support in bringing the music to younger generations.
“We like to say: We’re a band playing The Band. We’re Mrs. Henry playing The Band’s music, and you can call us Chest Fever when we do that,” Cervantes said.
Even the name Mrs. Henry can be traced back to a song performed by Bob Dylan and The Band — “Please, Mrs. Henry.”
“So The Band, as much as it is their own unique thing, it’s also almost like a philosophy. Like, if it was a martial arts, it’d be like karate or Judo,” Dean said. “The Band has their own way of doing things that’s about an ecosystem of individuals coming together musically and visually, and just as characters.”
Like The Band, Chest Fever also performs with multiple singers, frequently switching the lead and harmonies.
“We just kind of pick and choose as we go, and see which song will fit our voices and styles the best, and then try to make it come to life, to embody that Band sound, while also sort of giving it an original flavor as well with our own voices,” said Jody Bagley, on keyboards, and whom Cervantes said “also has a voice of an angel.”