The Hanna Barbarians were formed in Fort Worth, TX by Raef Payne, Alex Zobel, Tyler Fleming, Mickey Hensel, and Jay Cooper in the Winter of 2009. The group was originally an informal collective of musicians who were writing material in the House of the Rising Sun. The band acquired vocalist Blake Parish who opened as a solo act at their first show. Parish provided the vocals that finally put The Hanna Barbarians on the right level. After working with several instrumentalists including a keyboard player, viola player, trombone player and new bassist, The Hanna Barbarians eventually found their most comfortable line up and recorded their first full length album, Syzygy (2011), as Blake Parish (vocals, harmonica), Alex Zobel (guitar, vocals), Raef Payne (guitar, vocals), Tyler Fleming (drums, percussion), Chris Evans (bass), and Kris Luther (guitar, percussion, mandolin, etc.). Syzygy was recorded on 1 inch tape with Robby Baxter at RedStar Recording Studio in Arlington Texas. They have since received praise for both their studio album and their energetic stage show by the FW Weekly and are nominated for "Best Live Show" and "Rock Album of the Year."