The Fox & The Hounds / Blog

Muzik Reviews

Billed as “Chicago’s only burlesque rock n’ roll band,” The Fox & The Hounds are a rock band that combines influences such as women-led rock acts like Heart and Garbage, jazz, and chamber pop with the risqué visuals of burlesque to create a unique musical experience. Started in 2011, the band is composed of Kendel Lester (lead vocals), Kara Poe (violin, vocals), Sam Crossland (keys, vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Ira Ochs (bass), and Tony Panico (drums). After making their mark in the Chicago area, The Fox & The Hounds are now releasing their self-titled debut album. The Fox & The Hounds is a great album, and is full of a wide array musical influences. The band is made up of some very talented musicians who present a very professionally sounding debut album. Some people might turn away from this band because of their burlesque theme, but if you put that aside, The Fox & The Hounds has some enjoyable music. Lead singer and songwriter, Kendel Lester is an excellent vocalist following in the tradition of powerful female-led bands such as Fleetwood Mac, Heart, and Garbage. Kara Poe’s violin skills show this band is more than just a burlesque show, but a powerful band with a burlesque theme. One of the best tracks on The Fox & The Hounds is “Curious Alice.” The song is based on the classic tale of “Alice in Wonderland,” and mentions several characters from the story such as Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and the Queen. Kendel provides some powerful vocals that conveys Alice’s tale. The band supports Kendel Lester’s vocals with some mellow jazzy sounds that give “Curious Alice” a calm cool feeling. The song also has a slightly dark feeling with reoccurring line “off with their heads” that is whispered in the background. The opening track, “Gypsy Fever” is a great song that shows the variety The Fox & The Hounds are capable of. The song combines influences from world music, Broadway, and jazz. Tony Panico’s drumming is notably well done. Kara Poe provides backup vocals on this track that, along with Lester’s lead vocals, produces a powerful ending to the song. “Raging Tides” is an awesome track that shows the musicianship skills of all the band members. Steve Howe has some incredible but short guitar solos in this song. This track shows Panico’s drumming skills better than any other track. Lester once again brings this song to life with her powerful vocals. For anyone new to this band, this song represents the whole band as well as each individual member better than any other song. The album The Fox & The Hounds overall is a good album. It contains a great band, a powerful singer, and a variety of influences that give them a unique sound. Unfortunately, a lot of people will probably pass on this album. There are two reasons for this; the first is the band’s theme of a burlesque rock band might not sit well with some people. The other reason is the band isn’t a mainstream pop type of band. This isn’t the kind of music you usually hear on the radio or see at the top of the charts. However, if you can look past these two issues, this is a really good band, and they have made a great debut album. If you’re open to discovering new musical sounds, I suggest listening to The Fox & The Hounds. You might discover a new band that you’ll love.

Key Tracks: Curious Alice, Gypsy Fever, Raging Tides

Local Loop Review

The Fox & The Hounds is the pop and theatrical rock project of the passionate Kendel Lester. Sex-fueled and high energy, Lester and her band create a massive wall of burlesque goodness. Check out “Gypsy Fever” from their first self-titled below.

Why we love it: Lester’s powerful voice soars above the jazzy atmosphere created by horns and saxes in her band, and it is evident that she controls and commands her sound with an effortless confidence.

OrlandoBands Review

Intriguing thought, a cocktail of sex and tight vocals with instrumentalist kicking the door to the rock world wide open, I would defiantly want to know more. Well, that is exactly what we have for you today, so Give your attention to the burlesque rock band The Fox & The Hounds! Blasting out of the Chicago scene with a unique vibe and style separating the sea of stagnant monotony with a mingling mix of alternative rock and pop/jazz.

Their self-titled album (The Fox & The Hounds) was recorded at Clocktower Studios and mixed at Joy Ride Studios. Born from the talent of creator Kendel Lester who is also the singer and songwriter, Ira Ochs on Bass, Sam Crossland as the master of Piano, harmonious Kara Poe rocking Violin, classically trained Steve Howe on the Guitar and Tony Panico keeping the beat on the Drums.

I really recommend this to all of you that enjoy the sound’s of Evanescence, David Garrett, Halestorm and for those Florida reader’s Dollface. There web page gives you full access so click on over and see and hear for yourself! http://www.foxandthehounds.com/fr_home.cfm

The Fox & The Hounds are a ‘Must’, and I’m excited for when the band take’s over an O-town stage in the near future! Keep up with TFTH on their FB @ https://www.facebook.com/TheFoxTheHounds

Indie Bands Blog Review

You just know by the line-up and instruments this is no usual proffering and it was with some interest I hit play and even more delightfully The Fox & The Hounds is not some random collection of players, but a well honed out-fit. The compositions, which have a theatrical feel aurally, are cleverly composed, indicating within this collection there are some highly inventive minds and equally as importantly they deliver complexities with ease, which enables the listener to sit engrossed in the out-put. I am given to understand their live performances are delivered with equal flourish – though fitting it all on a band stage isn’t always that easy (watch the cymbals nearly toppling over in the video at 2:24). By very necessity, with this number of players, the performances are choreographed, but not stilted and inside that professionalism the listener is still left with a sense that these are musicians who are enjoying their creations. Chamber orchestras, rock ballads, Romany folk, Cabaret and much more sits within the layers of sound that The Fox & The Hounds deliver and in my view, this is another of those bands that – on one day you will insist on hearing repeatedly, another – will wonder why you have it on your playlist – and that somehow sums up the emotive context of music in general, where one persons perfection is another’s caterwaul, which extends to the individual too, dependant on mood and moment. However you feel about the musical out-put, it is not possible to be other than appreciative of the – bravado, dexterity and abilities displayed by the talent within The Fox & Hounds. So it is with some confidence that I recommend setting aside your musical foibles and raise with me a glass to the sextet for doing what they do and adding much to the world of music.

Language of Mankind Review

The Fox & The Hounds is comprised of six members who play anything from the violin, the piano to the bass. I have to be honest when I heard the first song – Curious Alice – I didn’t think it was going to work. There was just that hint of oddness, like the notes weren’t meant to go together and were thrown haphazerdly together for the sake of it. And yet, a couple seconds later, it clicked, and I couldn’t stop listening. They somehow made it work, and not just made it work, but made it sound great and original.

Kendel Lester – the vocalist – has a nice fluid way of signing that seduces you and makes you wanting more. All their songs have this easiness to them. Nothing seems forced or done for the sake of adding an element.

That being said – Senza Senso – seems like a huge misstep for me. It doesn’t go with the rest of the music they put out and is so grating to the ear, that it almost makes me forget how great the rest of their music sounds. If it were up to me, I would delete it and forget it ever existed.

Having said that, this band is worth taking a look at. I hope to hear more from them in the future.

F&H at Subterranean

Subterranean is known to be a favorite hotspot of the Wicker Park hipster scene not only for the big names it hosts but also for the local music it promotes. Along with it's sister venue, Beat Kitchen, SubT is known around town as being one of the "it" places to play, and F&H is lucky enough to be playing at this fantastic space on April 25th with the incredibly talented Luke Wade. Luke Wade will be touring from Fort Worth Texas with his band No Civilians. Their sound has been hailed as "a veritable masterpiece of Funk, Soul, and R&B" and "an indelible imprint on hopeful honesty". The band's steady players consist of Justin Pate (Keys/Ben Harper, Ringo Starr), Scott Lee (Bass/Dovetail, Nicole Nordeman), and Nick Choate (Guitar&Production/Josh Weathers, Cody Jinks), however, for the their Chicago appearance Luke Wade will be joined by drummer Freddie Kores and none other than F&H's guitarist Matt Livensparger on the organ. So, not only will this be a night of unforgettable music but also a chance to come out and experience one of Chicago finest music venues. Don't miss The Fox & The Hounds and Luke Wade April 25th! Buy tickets here: http://subt.net/cal-events/?e=577

F&H at darkroom

Don't miss us as we return to darkroom on May 10th! A bit off the beaten path, darkroom is a staple of the Chicago music scene. Opening in 2001, darkroom strove to stand out among the many bars on Chicago Ave by combining two well loved mediums, art and booze. With craft mixology centered in a room surrounded by light panels dedicated to all genres of photography it's no wonder that live music was soon to follow. darkroom (yes, lowercase d) offers musicians a chance to perform in a stunning environment encompassed by red draped walls, a slightly gothic atmosphere but with a definitive amount of elegance. They boast all styles and genres of music which serves the venue well as it appeals to both Lincoln Parksters and hipsters alike. While many bands strive to play the more well known spots in the neighborhood, such as Empty Bottle or Subterranean (both great venues) they will do themselves a great disservice if they disregard this little gem. Intrigued? Check out The Fox & The Hounds May 10th and see for yourself!