One piece on this band said, “Imagine Tom Waits meeting Hound Dog Taylor in Bourbon St, New Orleans and you’re getting close,” but this needs some unpacking. Don’t expect Tom Waits vocals, but you can expect lyrics in that style.
Hound Dog Taylor was a Chicago man, so Bourbon St seems to be at cross purposes. This band was described as “perhaps not schooled, and certainly not slick” but I think that is old news. This a piece of very well-honed musicianship.
Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie is the brainchild of life-long friends and former Steve Boyd & The Preachers bandmates, Paul Fiddes on drums, and Steve Boyd on lead vocals and guitar – augmented by upright bass, brass, and Hammond organ.
That mixture really comes together on Hoodoo Hipshake, with some excellent tracks. Some growl at you, and others are at the other end of the spectrum – can you have “smooth blues?”
Hoodoo Hipshake is their first full-length album and will officially be launched 28th April 2018 at The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, following performances at Blues at The Briars Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Docklands Blues Festival, and a monthly residency at Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Bar, not to mention headlining Sleepy Hollow on the 25th March.
Reviewed by John “Dr John” Lamp