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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Odin - SWF Session 1973 & Live at the Maxim – Along with the reissue of this quartet's amazing self-titled debut album from '73 (which originally appeared on the Vertigo label), Long Hair has released these two collections of archival recordings,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues