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Released in 1991, this first CD by Shari Ulrich, Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes was recorded in the 'live off the floor' spirit. The record contains such UHF classics as Bill's When I Sing, Shari's One Step Closer and Roy's Do I Love You.
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When they first joined forces in 1989, Vancouver born Henderson was best known as the long time lead singer and songwriter for the successful Collectors and Chilliwack bands. Ulrich, an ex-Californian, had been a former key member of British Columbia's Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band and a respected solo singer/songwriter while Forbes, a Northern B.C. Dawson Creek émigré, known for years as Bim, was a long time formidable staple on the North American folk/roots circuit.
As it happens, Vancouver's annual Winter Roots Festival organizers approached Forbes and Ulrich eight years ago about teaming with a third musician/singer for a one-off appearance. The only question was, who? "It was actually Roy," remembers Ulrich, "who said 'what about Bill Henderson?' So, we called him up and he was game. We had the intention of only doing that one concert but we just had such a blast we wanted to keep going."
After coming up with the UHF name and weighing the success of that first show, an album seemed the next logical move.
Ulrich, Henderson and Forbes are all seasoned and prolific songwriters - indeed, each continues a solo recording and performance career to this day - but it took a special focus to come up with tunes that suited the trio. The 1990 release, UHF,was an inspired tour de force that more than fit the bill. Opening with the scat laced fan fave When I Sing, a Henderson composition, and working through Forbes' up tempo Keep Lightin' That Fire and Ulrich's moving House Up On The Hill, the record was a critical success.
In 1995, UHF II was released and lightning struck twice. From Henderson's poignant Goodbye through Ulrich's Watching The River Run and Forbes' joyous Lifting My Heart, three voices and talents had again converged into an amazing, stirring unit.
"It's a wonderful balance," Henderson has said of the group. "I find some neat mysteries in it. One of them is how we get the vocal blend we do. I would never have expected that to work. But it just did, an amazing surprise." For his part, Forbes considers his and Henderson's driving guitar work an integeral part of the mix. "The twin guitar attack that Bill and I have is really developing ... and with Shari in the middle playing fiddle and mandolin ... we're pulling things out of each other. It's a powerful force."
On the cover of UHF II, Ulrich Henderson and Forbes are pictured on a front porch picking and singing. The image is a perfect distillation of what UHF is all about: Music and the sheer joy of making it.