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T. Hallenbeck



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For the past two decades, T. Hallenbeck has followed a sort of zigzag path through the music scene, pausing now and then to deal with various existential disasters and the unfortunate necessity of having to have a day job. Born in Indiana and raised in the Great State of Ohio, Hallenbeck left the Midwest in 1988 and migrated to the California Bay Area as guitarist, singer, and songwriter for Harm Farm, a quartet that delighted in dredging the depths of ethnic, folk, and even classical currents to create some of the more unusual sounds in the Bay Area underground of the early 1990s.

When Harm Farm disbanded after two albums and several U.S. tours, Hallenbeck switched from guitar to bass and masterminded the lowbrow viscerality of Crank, an extremely loud power trio that had some pretty good shows in its time. Crank’s dissolution somewhere around 1997 left Hallenbeck paranoid about starting another band, or, to put a more favorable spin on it, free to explore the hermeneutics of songwriting in a solo context.

For what was left of the 20th century, Hallenbeck devoted his time to reclaiming long-neglected cello chops, learning mandolin and mountain dulcimer, experimenting with low-budget audio engineering, reading lots of science fiction, and honing the lyrical sensibilities apparent in his later recordings. He broke his self-imposed solitude in 2001 with a stint in a duo with fellow songwriter Ira Scott Levin and later, an ongoing involvement with singer/songwriters Julia Bordenaro, Barbara Griesau, and Allene Rohrer, collectively known as Thread. In the past few years, he has played cello, mandocello, and bass with The Levins and Divasonic.

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