"His songs are quirky, fresh, and wonderfully entertaining -- and so is he...an important new artist." - Barbara and Scott Siegel, TheaterMania.com Singer/songwriter/bassist Ritt Henn's third album has been described as "Ritt goes to Memphis," with it's organic, roots-centered grooves laid down by a four-piece band (electric bass and guitar with drums plus Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes keyboards) augmented by a mini gospel choir featuring Vaneese Thomas, daughter of Rufus 'Walking the Dog' Thomas. Others on the record have played with Rosanne Cash, Deep Purple, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Sting. Ritt is a multi-award winning songwriter and performer, having garnered a Bistro Award from Back Stage magazine as Outstanding Songwriter/Instrumentalist, and a MAC Award for Outstanding New York Debut/Male from the Manhattan Association of Clubs. 'Henn is a find and one of the most original artists of the year.' - John Hoglund, Back Stage Ritt's toured the U.S. and Europe, opened for Christine Lavin, Bela Fleck and Soupy Sales, performed on stage Off-Broadway in the twisted musical 'Shockheaded Peter,' and played with Chuck Berry, Buddy Rich, Martha Reeves and Tom Jones (though unfortunately not at the same time). 'Timber' is an enhanced CD. In addition to the music ('Timber: the album'), there's the 7-minute film short, 'TIMBER: the trailer,' a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album, with Ritt doing double duty both behind and in front of the camera. There are also a pair of PDF files: Notes by the Composer, featuring insights into the background of the tunes; and sheet music to the tune 'Helen Keller and Me.' ALBUM CREDITS: Produced by Paul Guzzone (Bacon Bros., Aztec Two-Step) and Ritt Henn Engineered and mastered by Butch Jones The Band: Ritt Henn - Danelectro bass, vocals, whistling Dennis McDermott - drums John Putnam - guitar Joe Mennonna - Rhodes and B-3 (Charlie Giordano plays keys on 'Mile' and 'Superman') The Ladies: LaJuan Carter - highs Janie Barnett - mids Vaneese Thomas - lows Special Guest Love Duetress on 'Range Rover': Ina May Wool Plus: Paul Guzzone - anthemic rocking vocals on 'Rapunzel' Mary Ellen Bernard - cowbell and tambourine on 'House' REVIEWS OF TIMBER: ELMORE magazine by Kay Corditz Ritt Henn's voice is a versatile instrument, as he demonstrates on his latest CD. The towering bass player covers a lot of musical ground in the 11 tracks of TIMBER, including a nature walk through love and a little existential philosophy. The record begins with 'Helen Keller and Me,' in which Henn and the icon of the handicapped are chopping down trees in the woods (hence the CD's title). The premise itself raises some interesting questions over a clever bass line, and in the song, Henn muses that 'Helen Keller can see/ Lots more than me/ On even the brightest day,' and wonders 'If I lift my head/ will I see the light?' Good question. On the subsequent tracks, his smooth baritone roars through the rock and roll party that is 'Range Rover (Through the Mud Called Love),' grooves slowly to the Isley Brothers' 'Work to Do,' hypnotically intones the beat poetry of 'Rapunzel (I've Got All I Need)' and channels Ray Price to croon the countrified sentiments of 'Forget,' cautioning his new girlfriend to 'forget about him/ or you can forget about me.' The songs, nearly all written by Henn, are sometimes quirky, sometimes moody and always heartfelt. His great band gives him all the support he needs-witness Joe Mennonna on organ, and Dennis McDermott's jazzy drums on 'Maintenance.' John Putnam's guitar blazes on the rave-up 'Range Rover' (my favorite, in case you couldn't tell), also uplifted by Ina May Wool's wailing harmonies and the vocal choir of Janie Barnett, LaJuan Carter and Vaneese Thomas. The trio is also wild and amazing on 'Rapunzel.' A short film on the enhanced CD gives a feel for the relaxed vibe of the recording sessions in Brooklyn, a reflection of Henn's good-humored approach to making great music. CabaretExchange.com by Paul Ewing Great starting track, 'Helen Keller and Me,' which deserves airplay/exposure. I saw Ritt live a few years ago, and he's an excellent live performer, so I highly recommend checking him out. The production on this CD is top quality, and, in addition to 'Helen Keller,' 'Range Rover,' 'Go That Mile' and 'Just Another Glimpse,' are outstanding. Ritt has really put a lot of work into TIMBER, and fans of Hiatt, Earle and Mellencamp will find a lot in this CD to keep them happy. TalkingBroadway.com by Rob Lester Becoming a ubiquitous presence as a bassist accompanying many a cabaret and jazz performer in New York, Ritt Henn is also an intriguing singer and songwriter. Of course, he is on bass here as well as singing, and his main musical companions are John Putnam (guitars), Joe Mennonna (keyboards) and Dennis McDermott (drums) with other guest players and singers. Ritt's songs vary greatly from bluesy to whimsical to introspective to rockers, with lots of jazz touches. Nothing here would resemble a traditional show tune, but they have characterization and stories. His gruff-but-tender voice, pleasingly off-center sensibility and articulate but naturally flowing lyrics remind me a bit of Randy Newman. Ritt wrote most of the songs on his own, collaborated on two, and does a fine cover of the Isley Brothers' 'Work to Do' with back-up singers. There are some striking turns of phrase in his lyrics, with a nice sense of humor and language, like, 'In the heat of the midday, I will be your shady tree' (in 'House in the Country') and 'The dust balls have established residency/ My house looks half neat when you wink' in a song called 'Maintenance.' The most tender and simple is the romantic but down-to-earth 'Just Another Glimpse of You,' an instantly loveable love song, with a melody that charms.