The Holy ChildhoodView In iTunes
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Formed in 1997, the Holy Childhood employ a rotating cast of musicians from various sects of the East Coast indie scene. With instrumentation that can be as spare as a saxophone/bass/drums trio or as large as an octet including piano, female backup vocals, three guitars, and a full horn section, the sound of the band is somewhat dependant upon their membership on any given night, but is nonetheless sonically inventive and truly in a creative category all their own. Formed under the singer/songwriter leadership of Native Nod co-founder Danny Leo, the Holy Childhood first came into existence with Danny Leo on guitar and vocals, Peter Kerlin on bass, and Nawi Avila on baritone, tenor, and soprano saxophones. They were often joined by a host of other players, sometimes including Leo's brother, Ted, Gibb Slife of the Laspe, and Jodi Buonnanno of the Secret Stars. The Holy Childhood recorded their first full-length record, Up With What I'm Down With, in 1999 with Nicholas Vernhes at the Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY. Up With What I'm Down With was released on Gern Blandsten Records in 1999, and it showcased Danny Leo's creative use of vocal melodies and Nawi Avila's Motown-influenced instrumental arrangements. With equal parts of classic rock grit, singer/songwriter creativity, and avant-indie sheik, the Holy Childhood had very few peers. Because of their large instrumentation, the band had a difficult time doing much touring outside of their New Jersey base. Early in 2001, the band started performing and touring as a trio, with Danny Leo on drums and vocals, Peter Kerlin on bass, and Nawi Avila on saxophones.