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Major Nelson

Major Nelson


And now, a few words from the critics...

Southeast Performer...Monica Arrington ( September 2002)
Major Nelson - Twilight Promises
Recorded at Hooverama Produced by Jamie Hoover and Major Nelson Mastered by Hoyt Dooley at Open Door Productions

This is a story of a band that plays very cool pop music. The band was called Major Nelson, which started out in 1993, producing music for the locals of Charlotte, NC. Lead singer Henry Pharr and drummer Buddy Dukes enjoyed the music they made until 1995, and then they parted ways. In the meantime, Pharr developed a new group called World Class Fad with the same brassy power pop energy. This group included the talents of Lori Dalton on keyboards and vocals and Jeff Dunegan on the electric bass. Together they explored and conquered the music scene with their infectious and melodious sound. However, World Class Fad came to end some time after 2001. This made their fans very sad and left to wonder if they were to ever hear from them again. This year the worries were calmed once they reappeared as Major Nelson, with Dukes taking up his drumsticks and new ideas from Dalton and Dunegan. True enough this band has substance. Once you listen to the latest recording, Twilight Promises, you can hear the layers of mystic keyboards married to the rumbling rhythms of the drums. They do not just make music they lure you into a dark world of thunder and cryptic sweetness. You can hear major and minor chords waver in a cloud of guitar jangle with Pharr's proud but gentle voice serving as a lamp light in the sonic storm. If you get a chance to see this group, I suggest you take it, if only to marvel at what forms pop music can take.

Creative Loafing, Music Menu...Samir Shukla (2/20/2002)
Major Nelson
-- Henry Pharr and crew have dismantled World Class Fad and are reuniting under the long lost Major Nelson umbrella. Power-pop was Major Nelson's credo and thank your lucky stars they've decided to regroup with a fresh outlook. Their return debut will toast the feel of early spring and, to top it off, a new disc is in the works for a summer release. So pull out the strawberry lollipops and head for the juke joint for some nice hooks-laden music. With Encaustic. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits

Creative Loafing...Lynn Farris (January 2002)
Major News

Revival of local band more than a Fad

World Class Fad have parted ways with their lead guitarist Craig Hanks, and the remaining members have decided to revive Major Nelson. Henry Pharr and Buddy Dukes will assume their original Major duties on, respectively, guitar and vocals, and drums. Lori Dalton will handle keys, vocals, guitar and percussion, and Jeff Dunegan will play bass (both are also formerly of WCF). The group is working on new material and is hoping to release an album in the summer. They'll begin playing shows in March. For more details, visit

Tangents...Daniel Coston (January 1998)
Pop is Dead, by far their best and most fully realized work. With producer Jamie Hoover at the helm, Major Nelson does not bury 'pop,' but praises it while adding new twists to their sound."

Creative Loafing...Todd Bowman (November 15, 1997)
"With the release of their second album,
Pop is Dead, Major Nelson might just be winning the war, offering a compelling and cerebral slice of songcraft driven by layers of distorted guitars and an apparent love of harmony."

"Packaged with precise layers of distortion, taut drumming and some lancing bass work, the songs emerge as individual invitations to pop nirvana."

The Charlotte Observer, E&T...Kenneth Johnson (11/14/97)
Pop is Dead is loaded with the groups's brainy, catchy tunes. Beatles and Big Star influences can be heard in the luscious melodies and hummable choruses, while the band made sure to include enough muscle to pacify the post-punk, post-grunge crowds."

Tangents...Carl Fulmer (November 1997)
"The simplicity of the songs belies the complex interplay between the musicians. There are a lot of layers to these recordings which almost demand a headset be used for listening.
Henry Pharr's vocals and uncomplicated guitar licks command attention in the same a cat would."

"The rhythm section of Buddy Dukes and Glenn Gibson could stand alone as a band or a wall."

Creative Loafing...Todd Bowman (April 5, 1997)
"Our own hometown pop heros...their songwriting has taken the band to new plateaus. They've taken a brave step away from their influences and created a sonic landscape in which they are the sole dwellers."

Creative Loafing...Kevin Morgan (April 20, 1996)
"Blustery power pop with a wistful edge, and suddenly a major player on the local scene thanks to their just-released CD, Big Stir. Loaded with striking moments, the collection is a smooth running turbine of tune and craft. Guitars blare with melodic intensity while the rhythm section boxes things along with punchy vigor."

The Charlotte Observer...Kenneth Johnson
"...Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, Major Nelson is easily one of the best buys in Charlotte. Straight-up, catchy, guitar power-pop, delivered with little muss or fuss. This quartet has been aging wonderfully, too; set grow tighter and tighter, while the group's most recent material is its strongest sofar. Influences? Beatles, Big Star, Neil Young and a hint of R.E.M."


Further mentions of Pharr & Dukes...


Music Comet...David Pasqale (March 2001)
World Class Fad - So To Speak, Self-Released
Charlotte's own Henry Pharr has been under the pop radar for several years now, first with the '80s Chapel Hill rockers The Popes, then the woefully under appreciated Major Nelson, and now with his latest outfit, World Class Fad. Granted, there's no reason why you, or many people haven't heard of Pharr, in his many incarnations. He's consistently been one of the more consistent song writers in this region, so maybe it's time that you brought yourself over to the Pharr-side. So To Speak, the Fad's second release, and first full-length CD, showcases the band's understated pop hooks and thoughtful lyrics. The band is solid throughout the record, and Buddy Dukes (who's been on board with Pharr since the Major Nelson days) continues to be one of the best drummers and backup vocalists around. If you like your pop-rock with a little brain power behind it, check out the Fad, and this CD. And don't make me remind you of all of this again when their next record comes out.

Creative Loafing, Music Menu...Ken Johnson (2/16/00)
World Class Fad
Simply "world class" is more like it. This is far from a fad. The latest musical offering from Henry Pharr and Buddy Dukes (ex-Major Nelson) finds the Queen City popsters further honing their sound. Results: smashing. Major Nelson could whip up intoxicating Buzzcocks pop at the flip of a switch. Still in place are the catchy melodies you've come to know and love. Give us more.

Creative Loafing, Music Menu...Ken Johnson (12/15/99)
Henry Pharr's double life continues. Charlotte suit and tie attorney by day, classy pop tunesmith by night. If Pharr's trial arguments are as solid and convincing as the nuggets he's been bashing out at night in the spare bedroom for he past six years, he must be winning a lot of cases. His musical modus operandi: muscular guitars and winsome melodies that hark back to both the Beatles and Big Star, coupled with a lyrical wit and approach that's as in touch with the late-90's pop culture zeitgeist as any other band in the region. It first surfaced locally, following Pharr's stint in the early-90's Chapel Hill pop gurus the Popes, in Major Nelson, a quartet that gave Charlotte scene two of its most solid rock CD's of the 90's. Following a Nelson meltdown and a brief stint as the band Feelix, Pharr and Major Nelson drummer Buddy Dukes return for the wonderfully named World Class Fad. I trust that everything that made Pharr's work cool in the past is still in place.

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