Exposé Online banner

Burnside & Hooker — All the Way to the Devil
((Not on label) no#, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-10-25

All the Way to the Devil Cover art

Up on the banner of the Exposé website, it may say “Exploring the boundaries of rock,” but that’s obviously an oversimplification of our mission. We explore all sorts of boundaries, some of which have very little to do with rock: electronic, contemporary avant garde, jazz, and so on. Burnside & Hooker is a new American band that might be loosely categorized as folk-rock, so the boundaries they push involve American folk music, rock, blues, and (courtesy of some of the arrangements) chamber music. Some of their arrangements fit in the same general space as Robert Plant’s recent music, with thumping drums and acoustic guitar that build up to some tasty electric guitar work, but Burnside & Hooker throw in a really nice twist with the inclusion of Ted Graham’s cello, which is often closely aligned with Ken Fuller’s acoustic bass, but sometimes breaks out for a lovely variation of the rhythm part. In addition, Diana Mayne’s viola, while frequently operating in “fiddle” mode, also works with the other strings to give the band a sophistication and charm that more standard instrumentation might lack. Lead singer Rachel Bonacquisti has a strong voice, able to belt out the songs but equally effective on the quieter moments, where her voice takes on a quirky quality that is very endearing. Michael Vogus handles the guitar, equally adept at acoustic and electric, and he usually operates in a more supportive role, which is fortunate given the number of other instruments in the mix. Which is not to say that there aren’t standout moments, like the variety of imaginative tones and effects on “Iago.” Drums (credited to “Vuck”) provide the muscular impetus the music needs. The core of Burnside & Hooker’s music may be quintessentially American, but just as this is a nation of immigrants, their music reaches out to include Celtic and other flavors. In a fair world, a band like this could gain respect in Nashville, but that’s outside my sphere of influence, so I’ll speak to lovers of music that pushes boundaries and comes from a true artistic sensibility and say that this kind of roots music is nothing to be afraid of.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Burnside & Hooker

More info
http://burnsideandhooker.bandcamp.com/album/all-the-way-to-the-devil

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Z=7L – For those not familiar with Zao, they were the first true Magma spin-off band, formed by reedsman Yochk'o Seffer and pianist Francois "Faton" Cahen, at a time when their creative role within that band...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues