The Hooten Hallers (from the album The Hooten Hallers)
Nestled into the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, The Hooten Hallers use words and music to reflect sight and sound. The Columbia, Missouri-based band bury their Roots into the life around them, their stories welcoming characters from surrounding agricultural and river communities as well as the college kids and tweakers that travel in the same hometown circles. Musically, The Hooten Hallers stage tales on their recent self-titled release with a soundscape that paints the backdrop with audio swashes of pre-war Blues, Punk Rock, Americana Gothic, Soul, Blues, and three-chord rock’n’roll rhythms. The Hooten Hallers sets the bar early as album opener introduces “Charla” and her fellow citizens of Lupus, Missouri, setting the scene in the small town annual chili festival that raises body temps with its tastes and oppressive summer heat. Guitar licks play tag with baritone sax riffs through “Garlic Dream”, as acoustic Folk Blues lazily sings from a lonely bed in “200 Scrap Pt. 2, The Scrapper’s Lament”, and drums pound like crashing waves as love tries to keep its head above water in “Further from Shore”.
The Hooten Hallers trio (John Randall-vocals and guitar, Andy Rehms-drums, Kellie Everett-saxophone) welcome guests from St. Louis. Mo. in their extended musical family with Ryan Koenig (Pokey LaFarge’s South City Three) on multiple instruments and the album’s label owner, Big Muddy Records Kristin Baricevic co-producing with Johnny Walker (The Soledad Brothers). Country Blues sways and shuffles along with “Staying Away from Joe”, scratchy guitar leads and hard hitting beats plow through “Rhythm and Blues”, slowing rolling rhythms keep “Gravity” afloat, and a deepset groove burrows into “Dig”. The Hooten Hallers have spent a decade taking irreverent rock’n’roll to the world, working their sound into a Punk Americana that sweetly sings a love song to “Albatross” and twangs Blues salvation as a welcome home in “Knew You’d Come Around”.