Best R&B Band: Bill Henry Band 2021 | Culture + Nightlife | Pittsburgh

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Best R&B Band: Bill Henry Band

click to enlarge Best R&B Band: Bill Henry Band
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
The Bill Henry Band: Larry Hutch, Randy Williams, Bill Henry, Jerome Kirkland, and Philip Price
In 2019, The Bill Henry Band released their album Ride. With songs like “Slow Down” and “All Night,” the album showcases Henry’s crisp, smooth vocals reminiscent of R&B acts like Jon B, conjuring a feeling of the genre in a different era. A focus on love songs and romantic ballads transport listeners back to the golden age of R&B.

Formed in 2016, The Bill Henry Band consists of Bill Henry on vocals and guitar, Randy Williams on drums, Larry Hutch on keyboards, and Philip Price on bass and synth bass. This May, the band added their fifth member, musician Jerome Kirkland, officially making the band a quintet. The band is clearly held in high regard by the city’s R&B fans who crowned them the Best R&B Band in this year’s Best of Pittsburgh readers’ poll.

The Bill Henry Band has opened for acts like Boney James, Tom Browne, Avant, Lakeside, and ZAPP, to name a few. But they aren’t just an opening act, they also serve as the main attraction for Pittsburghers and fans across the state.

Seamlessly blending R&B, soul, funk, and hip hop, the band is a mainstay at Savoy and Rivers Casino. They’ve also done a WQED session where they performed and discussed the history of their music. Discovered at the Young Brothers Bar on the North Side, Williams says it was “love at first sight” when he performed for the first time with Henry.

The band is the epitome of cool, with the members having a great rapport that translates well into their musical relationship. During their WQED session, they performed their hit song “Ride,” perfect for a cookout or block party.

A year ago, the band produced a docu-short of their fans and performances, featuring a couple who came from Fort Wayne, Ind. just to see them, as well as interviews with fans who said they’ve seen the men perform “too many times to count.” The short also included live performances, and showed the band talking about how their music spans generational divides, and how powerful it is to be a part of that history.

This isn’t the first Best Of win for The Bill Henry Band, and we predict it won’t be the last.
Bill Henry Band.