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

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anekdoten - Nucleus – Especially after great shows at a couple of the Monster Prog shows in the last year or so, Anekdoten's follow up to the much heralded Vemod has surely been one of the most anticipated prog releases of...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues