From Albuquerque to Las Cruces, Kenta Henmi has been slinging a guitar around these parts for well over 15 years. In that time he’s ripped out leads like Johnny Thunders meets Jeffrey Lee Pierce for many a rock outfit. The list is impressive. The frantic cowpunk of The Jonny Cats. The nasty fuzz punk of The Golden Showers. The tomcat strut of The T-Lords. The trashy rock and roll of The Blastamattos. In the past year alone, Henmi has found time for no less than four continuing projects: Suicide Lanes’ lazy cowpop-punk, psychobilly Cramps cover band the Teenage Werewolves, dirty rock and roll in High Iron, and as a bass player in The Scrams. And these are only the highlights of his musical career!
It’s all the more remarkable how much Henmi has accomplished in the past 12 months since he’s been plagued with a series of health issues that have kept him in and out hospital beds, most recently with a serious bout that had him laid up in the ICU for a week. Even so, Henmi kept his spirits up with antics like singing the old Bo Diddley song “Pills” to his “rock and roll nurse” and joking that he still looks young and healthy because of his “Jap genes.”
Considering the decade and a half (and then some) of superior guitar rock Henmi has contributed to the New Mexico music scene, it’s our turn to repay the man. This last-minute benefit show at the Launchpad will donate the proceeds directly to Henmi and his fiancée—High Iron bandmate Natalie Bruce—to help defray their outlandish medical expenses.
The lineup was still fluid at press time, but three divergent bands have confirmed. With a name like a cheap dime novel, Sin Serenade will cover the dirty twang angle. The pop punk purveyors of pulchritude in Pan!c provide the mirth. Lousy Robot will go for the gut with heartbreaking lyrics over some of the catchiest pop rock in town.
Friends, cohorts and bandmates are pitching in to make this gig a success, and so can you. The cover is seven bucks, but go ahead and toss a few extra dollars into the pot. You can make do with at one less drink that night.
Hayaku yokunatte ne, Kenta-sama!