Kristen Henderson's photo by James Minchin
For the past decade, the five lady rockers of Antigone Rising have been criss-crossing the country, playing as many as 250 shows a year. Hard work and distinctive talent have paid off for the New York City-based quintet. The group's 2005 live album, "From the Ground Up," became a big hit, and early in 2006 Antigone Rising opened for The Rolling Stones, a desirable spot which put the group on stage in front of stadium crowds.
Kristen Henderson, guitarist and vocalist with the group, recently completed the Blues Guitar Workshop at Berkleemusic, the online extension school of Boston's famed Berklee College of Music. Henderson studied online while in the midst of a grueling tour schedule which included opening for The Rolling Stones earlier this year.
Interview with Kristen Henderson
BONZAI: When did you start playing the guitar?
BONZAI: How did you learn about the online school of Berklee?
I signed up for all three on Sunday night and then Monday I logged on and looked at the course load and I thought, "My God, I'm insane, I will never be able to keep up with all three of these courses." I dropped two and stuck with the Blues course, because we were going out on tour and would be doing some dates with the Rolling Stones. I knew it was going to be a crazy schedule, but I stuck with the Blues course because I really did want to learn how to play more leads. My sister and I do a dueling lead at times in the show, and some songs I will play lead with Cathy. But she is usually showing me exactly what to play. I didn't have the confidence to step up with my own ideas, and I didn't know the scales well. I wouldn't know where to go.
You know, sometimes when we are out touring, we are on the same bill with jam bands, like The Allman Brothers, and the Dave Matthews Band. There are times when the guys might say, "Come on out and join our band, we're playing in A." I don't even read music, and I didn't always know exactly what type of chord I was playing. I really wanted to have some fundamental basic stuff under my belt.
BONZAI: Did studying online work for you?
BONZAI: It seems that intuitively you have the chops, and you
have experience. Did a class like this help you to organize your own knowledge?
BONZAI: Did you get to hang out with the Stones backstage?
BONZAI: What are your recording plans?
BONZAI: Has your Berkleemusic study effected your songwriting?
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