You know sometimes when you see a band for the first time, it sticks with you. Well, the first time I encountered Hillstomp was at the now-defunct Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest. This duo from Portland was a complete revelation to me not only because of the sound, but also because of the setup of the band. I was quite taken with the drum kit that consisted of buckets, roast pans, and other non-traditional percussion.
When the band sent me a message that it has a new album coming out, I sort of knew what to expect. I knew it would be full of gritty blues tunes inspired by the north Mississippi. Let me tell you that the band does not disappoint. "Life I Want" borrows from one of the great north Mississippi bluesmen: R.L. Burnside.
Then comes "Undertow," which is about as country as country blues gets. On this song, Henry plays a banjo part that would fit just as well in a bluegrass song while Johnplays a very minimal rhythm. This song is a bit like some of Steve Earle's songs.
If I had to pick a favorite song on this album, it would be "15 White Horses." Take some trance-blues guitar, add a train beat and some lo-fi vocals, and what you have is a song that is virtually irresistible. Seriously folks, if this one doesn't get your foot stompin', I have no idea what will. Then you hear the end of it and your foot will get stomping even faster. Holy moly! This song will give you a great workout.
This is another great album from Hillstomp - just as I expected. It is full of lo-fi blues that will get your feet stomping. If you like R.L. Burnside or Mississippi Fred McDowell, this album will fit right into your collection.
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