The North Shore Teen Band High Street Goes “Nocturnal”
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It’s curious that members of the band High Street have an iota of interest in Billy Joel. Because Joel is 50 years older than this group’s average age of 13.8.
But lest possible fans dismiss this group as Hanson-esque based on age alone, a blind listen to their painstaking musicianship and vocals eliciting the thought, “I didn’t know Norah Jones had a twin sister who sings rock,” is likely to change minds.
In addition to changing minds, this group is also changing expectations. It took just 11 months for these teenagers to move “out of the attic,” not coincidentally the title of their first EP, released in March 2011. They’re imagining the nightlife with their EP, “Nocturnal,” coming out this month.
In fairness, they’re already well on their way.
The Alley, Cubby Bear, U.S. Cellular Field and Michigan’s Summer Celebration are early venues already played, making this cadre the envy of many veteran musicians. What’s next for them? Well, everybody has a dream.
“Getting a record deal is definitely our biggest dream,” says crooner Jenny Thompson,14, of Kenilworth. Drummer Kurt Findling, 14, of Winnetka, readily agrees, adding, “We want to have true success as a band and as individuals. That’s what a record deal will show. But I think it’s most important to have good music. We want to appeal to all ages.”
This appeal across demographics is a High Street intangible that convinced Chicago publicist Ben Pavlovic of VineSprout, Inc. to take on the group as a client toward the end of 2011.
“With their rock style based in Chicago blues, High Street is developing a fan base well beyond its members’ age group,” Pavlovic says. “These kids take their music seriously, and they’re having a great time. If they get a little lucky, they can make it.”
Manager David Findling, father of Kurt and lead guitarist Erik, 12, says the spring of 2011 really launched the band. At that time, he said, “when performing their original material live, it appealed to a very broad demographic: boys, girls, men and women ranging in age from 14 to 50.
“Then it was crystal clear that with that kind of appeal they had something special to build on,” he recalls.
And they aren’t looking back. Rhythm guitarist Billy Hennessey, 14, of Kenilworth and bassist Jimmy Friedman, of Glenview, round out the quintet that looks to do Joel’s mixing board proud.
Such success in such a short time (thoughts of High Street were born in Findlings’ attic jam sessions of 2007) feeds some observers’ thought of greatness. About that, well, they may be right.