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

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Frágil - Avenida Larco – Peru’s entry into the symphonic rock genre came in 1981, when Frágil (named for some obscure British prog album) made their recorded debut, now reissued by Rock Symphony. Stylistically,...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues