The Hellblinki Sextet
Hellblinki Sextet
plans multimedia extravaganza

By Steven Uhles | Staff Writer
Part cabaret act and part living laboratory, the Hellblinki Sextet's oddball antics, bleak and beautiful music and highly theatrical stage performances loom large over the Augusta music scene.

The brainchild of Augusta artist/performer Andrew Benjamin, who performs under the stage name A-, Hellblinki is often mischaracterized as a band. Mr. Benjamin said that although there is a Hellblinki CD being released Friday and a CD release party being held at the Imperial Theatre commemorating the event, the group is more an umbrella for Mr. Benjamin's multimedia interests and the interests of the characters who rotate in and out of the Hellblinki fold.
"It's really just kind of a platform," Mr. Benjamin said. "It's easy, because it isn't something that's defined and it is capable of taking whatever form it wants to. That's great, because while it is a catchall for all the things I do creatively, it can also incorporate anybody else whose input might start shifting the project."
Often a sextet in name only, a Hellblinki performance might feature a full band or it might be Mr. Benjamin alone doing triple time on vocals, guitar and percussion. The group's new CD, A Pirate Broadcast, features contributions by 17 musicians. Mr. Benjamin said that freedom lends to the project's natural evolution.
"A good example is Noel (Brown) and Henry (Wynn)," he said. "Both have played violin with us, but Noel has a more classical sort of style, while Henry has a more bluegrass style. Just that difference really alters the sound, and that's fine, because it makes it a new show every time."
Although the group has garnered a reputation as one of Augusta's more theatrical acts, Mr. Benjamin said the preparations going into the Imperial show outstrip previous performances.
"Whenever I start to do something, it just seems to get bigger and bigger," he said. "So this time we're just going to pull out all the stops and see how big and interesting we can make it. I love the idea of trying to do something in a Little Rascals big show manner."
Expanding the group to nearly 30, including eight musicians, actors, dancers and projectionists, it's by far the largest Hellblinki performance. Although he hopes the show entertains, Mr. Benjamin said he also wants people to be inspired by the multimedia extravaganza.
"The idea is to show people in Augusta that they can do amazing things," he said. "There is no point in looking at Augusta as inferior. We have all the things available to us that anybody else does."

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or

On stage
What: The Hellblinki Sextet, with the Goodies and Distal
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: The Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.
Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Call 722-8341.

--From the Thursday, July 15, 2004 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle