George Thorogood by way of Jerry Lee Lewis and the old blues masters, Matt Hill also catches Chuck Berry on the upside while wheeling 'round in a cherry-red hot rod to jet on down to the corner dance hall for a bit of in-the-dust heel kickin'. Don't be surprised to see Brian Setzer pull up alongside and cut a wicked grin, hollering' for a race for pink slips. On the Floor, ladeez 'n gents, is a return to the 50s in blooz and rave-up barn rock, sassy and J.D. from the git-go. This CD is from a time when life was a bit rougher, more redneck, less hopeful, and not very pretty. In case ya needed to know, Bob Margolin, whose golden and Fugs-ish Why the Fuck (Do You Think I Cuss) Hill covers, approves, and that's a pretty good goddam nod, Bertram.
The hardtack Hill is a brash motherfucker who goes the limit, taking the Presley times more to Jerry Lee (Clark Stern acts up like a fiend on the piano in Hellz Bellz) / James Brown / Little Richard showmanship live, much of which can be intuited here. On the Floor is blues indeed, but sweaty and reeking of animal lusts, thank God. On the other hand, Poor Circle (especially the second version, the acoustic one, cut 14) shows how true to the foundations he can be, companioning T.S. McPhee as a gent who knows whence his inspirations issued and isn't loathe to pay loving tribute. With just guitar and riven voice, he nails the listener to the floorboards.
And the guy plays a 100% authentic axe, Jeremiah, cranking out chords and leads like a back alley teacher learnin' the youngsters a thang 'r two (and Hill is himself an intense looking sprout), slathering the classroom with mud, dust, tar, and a sizzling summer's sun, the essence of the stank of blues. Griddle Bread Boogie yields a solid unalloyed look at that side of the fence, every cut harboring its soul and crust. Thus, o ye of the whiskey bottle and switchblade night, get ready for a bout with the swamp and Tennessee Williams in On the Floor, 'cause the rambunctious Mr. Hill embodies a Brando-ish Streetcar musical personna and will not be denied……y'all.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles