Name: Black Happy
Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Formed: 1989 Disbanded: 1994
Biography: Black Happy began as a Christian heavy metal band named Sacramen in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. After a novelty funk song with a horn section became more popular than their normal repertoire, the group reorganized as the funk/metal Black Happy with guitarists Greg Hjort and Paul Hemenway, lead singer Paul Hemenway and bass player Mark Hemenway joined by drummers Scott Jessick and Jim Bruce, trombonists Jay Carkhuff and Mike Hasseries, and saxophonist Daryl Elmore.
The new group recorded a 7-inch single and signed to the Pacific Inland label, which released debut album Friendly Dog Salad in 1991. Two years later, Black Happy signed with Macola, recording the Peghead full-length and the EP Shoveljerk. Despite sold-out shows throughout the Northwest and the attention of most major labels, the group splintered in late 1994, with Paul Hemenway, Mark Hemenway and Greg Hjort re-forming as Shoveljerk. In late 1995, Capricorn Records released The Last Polka, a collection of live tracks and outtakes. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide
Black Happy at All Music
Misc. Web Commentary:
"As a teenager growing up in the Pacific NW, it wasn't Nirvana or Pearl Jam that everyone was listening to. It was all Black Happy for us. The best concerts by far."
"These guys continue to be on of my favorite bands. They rocked live!"
"Dude that guy is my religion teacher in school....the Hemmenway guy is"
"I worked with Black Happy for the better part of two years...if there is any NW band from the early 90s that should reunite for one show it is Black Happy."
"There has been NO bands that even resemble these guys. I hope they know people still talk about them all the time. They should do one more show... at least if they can round up 9 guys, remember their songs AND get along."
"My first concert ever was Black Happy when they played in the TriCities area, Eastern Washington, right after the release of Peghead. I will forever miss them, no band was so full of rock and yet so kind."
MP3: (Right-click and Save)
Video: "Mumbo Jumbo" (Live Seattle Paramaount/Greenstock Aug. 1992)