This highly melodic and rhythmic unit joins the Grateful Dead and Phish in terms of pure spirit, jam banding, populist sentiments, and rock-centered orientation. However, unlike those esteemed groups, Hot Buttered Rum dwells much more in the It's A Beautiful Day, Jethro Tull, Jefferson Airplane, Marshall Tucker vein nailed down into a roots fundament incorporating swing, bluegrass, and country blending seamlessly with modern influences. The Live in the Northeast CD is a kick yer heels up affair of infectious grooves and high spirits.
The quintet is a young ensemble destined, judging from just this one gig, great things. Listen to the tight interplay, especially when banjo player Erik Yates drags out that flute alongside gypsy jazz inflections in a cut like Metrosexual, then cut over to their cover of the Dead's Cumberland Blues. The crowd loves every minute, loudly appreciative and joyous. These guys take Loggins and Messina's, Poco's, and God only knows who else's best ideas and advance them quite a bit. Once the ensemble drops into the pocket, which it's forever engaged in, a crowbar can't get them back out again and the sparks fly, pickin' 'n grinnin' taken to an Orange Blossom and breakdown level in perpetuity. It's small wonder these cats see 150 dates a year. Everything about them is tied up in a smiling, bouncing, hip shaking joie de vivre that's innately tribalistic on a utopian level matching their heartfelt socialized attitudes…and this band is very socio-political, emphasis on the socialistic: the audience is encouraged to record the concerts and, during multi-night stands, HBR puts together kid events and community get togethers emphasizing respect, harmony, cooperation, and positivity. In view of the retrogressive nonsense of most rock and roll since MTV, we sure as hell could do with a lot more of that. Expect to hear a lot from and about this marvelous enterprise in the years to come.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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