Indiana's Joshua Wayne Hensley has been writing, recording, and birthing quirky sad-bastard songs under The Rutabega moniker since early 2002. The singer/ guitarist has shared the stage with John Vanderslice, The Mountain Goats, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Starflyer 59, and has several releases under his belt including Polyvinyl's split EP with Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) and two full-length albums with Chicago's Johann's Face label.
In 2011 Joshua joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Garth Mason, and The Rutabega evolved into a bona fide Carp Rock power-duo (minus the blues, plus the creepy). Inspired by their blossoming bromance and the challenge of creating a full sound as a duo, the two began working on new material and played a bundle of shows including dates with Kurt Vile, My Brightest Diamond, Psychic Twin, and a carp-ton of PRF bands.
“Banding with Garth has brought a new energy to The Rutabega,” says Joshua. “I mean, he’s a kindred spirit and a great musician and all, but the guy actually sold his plasma to help fund our album. Who does that?”
The Rutabega are currently playing shows in support of their new album, Brother The Lights Don't Work.
“Singlehandedly states the case for sincerity in such a clear way the only reaction is to softly smile, bob your head a little bit and give into the tidal wave of sad, simple, beauty that issues forth.”
-Conan Neutron, Collapse Board
"The songs are heavy, not instrumentally, but with the weight of the experiences and raw feelings of their writer. The arrangements seem pretty sparse, yet I’m hearing an orchestra. Joshua Wayne Hensley’s voice backed by an emotion and sincerity so poignant, it translates louder and clearer than a marching band ever could crammed into my tiny bathroom."
-Mila Matveeva, Listen Before You Buy
"Hensley’s singing sounds favorably like Elliott Smith from the grave, and he doesn’t play trad folk, either; strumming an acoustic under his darkly angelic voice, he sometimes inserts distorted six-string squalls, fogging the background like black clouds and lightning lurk in the distance."
-Jack Rabid, Big Takeover