Before the Fall of Onions or Tales
The Hippy Nuts are borne out of the musical union of Texas bred singer-songwriter Kathena Bryant, and Seattle native Tim Champion, producer-guitarist-songwriter. Both artists made their way to Manhattan where Tim built his studio and his reputation by producing for various artists including Dave Spalding of Pell Mell, Kid Dracula, and the indie film, 'Joe', which was included on a Sundance Festival collection, and music for Court TV. After developing and recording a few tracks, Kathena and Tim made their debut at the former Cottonwood Cafe where owner and songwriter J.W. Johnson showcased New York talent and Jeff Cohen hosted BMI nights. Shortly afterwards, Bryant and Champion were asked to perform in the New Music Seminar at CBGB's. Kathena says, 'I was having so much fun working with Tim. I didn't even really know I could write songs, but Tim had a way of nurturing my instincts and taking my song giblets and turning them into fully arranged tunes. We drank a lot of Turkish coffee and stayed up nights dreaming together.' Their debut release was the album by Kathena Bryant called HIGHWAY, which was a down to earth collection of songs about finding one's way in the world by following the 'Circle of Desire' and knowing that 'the place I come from is not the place I'm going' (lyric from 'Drive Away'). This album found them in their 1976 Volvo, which Tim traded a guitar for, and hitting the road together. They were charmed by the clubs, coffee houses, stores, and radio stations which invited them to perform around the United States. On HARDCORE MELLOWDRIVEN, the duo turned up the volume and dubbed themselves THE HIPPY NUTS, getting lost in the grooves of a funkier time. Drummer Shannon Ford helped sort out the quirks and lay down a firm foundation for each selection along with Bassists T.Bag Jade and Mark Epstein, and percussionist Joe Mowatt. Tim pulled out every guitar, amp, and stomp box from his closets to weave mellow and funky garments of sound. 'Better' is an old school RnB style number which raps a bit with the query, 'Did it pass by in a yellow truck with a brown cow painted on it and was it all dressed up in a great pair of manolo blahniks and a gown made of onyx'...then comes the Prince-like crescendo and that nasty snare hit and they're off in a retro haze the nuts love to create. Kathena showed her penchant for 60's pop melodies on 'Whispering to the Flowers' and trippy ruminations on 'And the Stars...'. 'Everybody, Hey!' is their salutation track that invites people to 'sing along... yeah you can bang on something.' Tim Champion muses, 'Well, we had so many tracks to choose from, but we decided to put out our happiest, funnest, most hopeful of songs for this album. Kathena said she wanted this album to spread a bunch of orange out in the world so, I hope people feel the joy we had in making this one.' Alan Pepper booked The Hippy Nuts at his sadly missed venue The Bottom Line, then asked them to return for the Nightbird Series, which was a regular night started by beloved dj Allison Steele. Alan Pepper said, 'I've booked a lot of female artists here, but none of them sound like Kathena.' More recently, The Hippy Nuts have found a home at the lovely Starlight Lounge, where they've become regulars of Julian Fleisher Presents. Says Fleisher, 'It's nigh on impossible to classify their sound. But, that's exactly why we love them. Country, rock, pop, tin-pan-alley. It's all good.'