16 Horsepower were a Denver-based alternative country band that revolved around the unique songwriting and singing of David Eugene Edwards.
The band made its name with music that combined rural backwoods kitsch with edgy, off-kilter country-rock. Teaming up with drummer Jean-Yves Tola and bassist Pascal Humbert in the band's original lineup, Edwards lost the latter member when the band relocated to Denver from California, adding Keven Soll to the roster instead. The group's eponymous debut EP was released in 1995 on A&M Records and was followed a year later by the Sackcloth 'n' Ashes full-length, which featured a cameo from Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes) on fiddle.
Although Soll eventually left the band, Humbert returned to the fold in 1997, along with new guitarist Jeffrey Paul Norlander. PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish was drafted to produce the band's newest effort, and Low Estate appeared in early 1998. Secret South arrived two years later and was followed by a well-deserved break from recording. Guitarist Steve Taylor had joined the lineup before this point, his arrival coinciding with Norlander's departure. The live document Hoarse, released in spring 2001, marked the band's first release for the new millennium. One year later, the original trio got back together with Taylor and began writing and recording Folklore, which was released that summer through the New York-based indie label Jet Set.
A year later, Jet Set issued Olden, which collected 12 previously unreleased demo/alternate versions of classic 16HP material; six live tracks culled from a 1994 date in Denver; and two band interviews. It was followed in January 2011 by Yours Truly, a 25-track retrospective that featured a collection of 12 "popular favorites," all of which were chosen by fans via an online survey, as well as a second disc that included 13 B-sides and rarities. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Bradley Torreano, Rovi