Monday, June 1, 2009

Hoots & Hellmouth share their Secret

Alt-country trio Hoots & Hellmouth are set to release their second disc, The Holy Open Secret, this Tuesday, June 2nd. This is the first I've heard of these three and I imagine I'm not the only one as they seem to have flown fairly well below the radar after the release of their self-titled debut in 2007. I think their name needs mentioning now, however, because their new effort is worth a listen for its infectious and modern pop take on classic Americana. The boys use a combination of bass, guitar, and mandolin along with some stomping percussion to compliment their constantly harmonizing voices which convey equal parts politically charged and social conscious lyrics.

What's best about the whirlwind of countrified folk tunes on The Holy Open Secret is that it stays fun and light throughout, despite dealing with the aforementioned topics which could certainly be handled in a more heavy-handed manner. The result is an album that's easy to listen to and enjoy while simultaneously providing more to think about than you might find on a typical pop country record. Also, these guys have some serious musical chops and impressive pipes with which to deliver the good time they seem to be quite intent on presenting. On the upbeat side, highlights include the fiery opener "Roots of the Industry" and the soulful, aggressive "What Good Are Plowshares If We Use Them Like Swords." The band also provide several great ballads, especially the gentle "Ne'er Do Well" and the lovely closer, "Roll, Brandywine, Roll."

Hoots & Hellmouth's mix of blues, country, funk, and good, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll is something you won't want to miss out on, so take some time to give these guys a listen by downloading the track "Known For Possession" below or check out the band on MySpace to hear more.

Known For Possession (MP3)

I'm guess these guys put on a great live show, so be sure to take a look and see if they're heading your way soon!

Jun 3*The Square Room*Knoxville, TN
Jun 4*Levitt Shell @ Overton Park*Memphis, TN
Jun 5*Vernon Lanes*Louisville, KY
Jun 6*Off Broadway Nightclub*St. Louis, MO
Jun 7*Wakarusa Festival*Ozark, AK
Jun 7*George’s Majestic Lounge - Wakarusa afterparty!*Fayetteville, AK
Jun 9*The Redstone Room*Davenport, IA
Jun 10*7th Street Entry*Minneapolis, MA
Jun 11*Shank Hall*Milwaukee, WI
Jun 13*Ribfest Chicago - North Stage*Chicago, IL
Jun 18*Joe’s Pub*New York, NY
Jul 11*StageOne*Fairfield, CT
Jul 16*The Basement*Nashville, TN
Jul 19*Unplugged in the Park @ Park Tavern*Atlanta, GA
Jul 25*WXPN All About the Music Festival*Camden, NJ
Aug 5*Musikfest - Liederplatz Stage*Bethlehem, PA
Aug 6*Iron Horse*Northampton, MA
Aug 7*Infinity Hall*Norfolk, CT
Sept 11*The Ark*Ann Arbor, MI
Sept 18-19*Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion*Bristol, VA