Honey Island Swamp Band Demolition Day
Blues with a swampy edge and high kicking horns and a twist of latin rhythms and the music will make your day not demolish it that is for certain. Opening with How Do You Feel, an upbeat Honky Tonk driving number that brightens a day already smiling with the bands name Honey Island Swamp Band. Demolition Day is an album that captures over the eleven juicy tracks the sounds of New Orleans, the combining of a flavoursome cocktail of beats and dancing crochets and minims and deep moody chords. This is a sunshine album of blues roots fun. Demolition Day is their fourth studio album; the title is full of emotional sadness and joy. Harking back to the devastating hurricane Katrina a decade ago as it tore through the gulf coast, out of this mayhem four big easy evacuees found themselves marooned in San Fransisco and the story began as a new beginning.
The quartet makes a mighty fine noise, Aaron Wilkinson brings to the party vocals, acoustic guitar, and mandolin; Chris Mule vocals and electric guitar. The rhythm section is deep and drives the groove with bassist Sam Price and Garland Paul on drums and vocals. The sound is swampy with the honeyed tone that sets the band out from the crowd. The eclectic mix of tones and styles is not a chaotic mishmash of a band who cannot decide where to hang their hat it is one of accomplishment. There is no doubt that this clever mixology of blues is due to the careful handiwork of producer Luther Dickinson.
Each track tells a story, happy, sad, reflective and hopeful as any good blues album should. The funeral overtone of No Easy Way with the Orleans horns is a slow burning melodic journey. Within the southern vibe, the curling drawl of country can be heard and the mournful vocals as the lyrics unfold. The beat picks up with a drum intro and then the energy grows with Medicated as the beats and lyrics hark back to the fifties and rock n’ roll with an extra juicy beat so Medicated ain’t vintage it is contemporary. With a flick of the tonal pattern, we are treated to the stripped back acoustic Katie. This is a sit back enjoy and let the music flow over you . As you get to know pretty Katie, and the sorrow she caused!
Into the album is poured some hill country tones and boogie, with horns, keys, and vocals that power through the lyrics. This is music that warms and superb through your speakers but live Honey Island Swamp Band must be awesome. The slide guitar on Ain’t No Fun brings another shade of blue that adds another spring to your listening step. The mood darkens, the harp is haunting and the beat is menacing on the stand out track Through Another Day. The whole album has a freshness of recorded in a studio with integrity and verve. It is music that has an authentic tone and beats that makes you want so much more.
Closing with Devil’s Den. A real moody number that retells life’s troubles and hurts so that you end up in The Devil’s Den. The guitar moans, the drum keeps the beat tight and the vocals are storytelling at its very best.
The band has distilled into the moonshine vat experiences and musical influences that make Honey Islands Swamp Band stand out from the crowd. This is blues rooted deep into the landscapes of Southern States of America. Demolition Day, out of mayhem a band was formed and I want to hear more especially live.
Honey Island Swamp Band – Demolition Day – Ruf Records
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- How Do You Feel
- Head High Water Blues
- No Easy Way
- Watch and Chain
- Ain’t No Fun
- She Goes Crazy
- Through Another Day
- Say It Isn’t True
- Devil’s Den