HOT BUTTERED RUM'S FIRST STUDIO ALBUM IN 3 YEARS!
- produced by Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips)
- guest appearance by Jackie Green (Phil & Friends, Skinny Singers) on keys, Zach Gill (AOL), Tim Bluhm, and others
- first studio album since the addition of Matt Butler on drums
For more information, please visit Hot Buttered Rum's site.
WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING
"BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR! And I do not say that lightly. I host a radio program and hear many albums each week. This one blows everything else away."
"I received an advanced promotional copy of Limbs Akimbo. I am so motivated by it that I'm flying all the way from Montana to San Francisco for [the release party] at the Great American Music Hall."
Dennis Cook (Jambase)
Labels are sticky and often take great effort to remove. Somewhere along the line, Hot Buttered Rum got categorized as a string or quasi-bluegrass outfit. It’s a limiting, inaccurate descriptor that Limbs Akimbo eloquently removes to reveal the full flowering force of this happily unclassifiable band. Here we find skipping pop, African winds, anthemic philosophizing, swerving jazz inflection and, yes, some well plucked acoustic fare. What unfolds on the new album is akin to the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll, where many grand strains – the blues of Chicago and Mississippi, immigrant folk music, New Orleans jazz, toe-tappin’ radio ditties, mountain music and more – coalesced into a rangy, charming new beastie. Limbs Akimbo offers a juicy modern equivalent to wide swinging early rock, where the music feels fresh and immediate and ever so anxious to twirl you on a red brick floor.
The first Rummy offering of the Obama era carries some of the President’s forward rushing flush, the sense that we’re not captive of our past and more than capable of creating a brighter future. Hope’s a tricky thing and imparting it to others through song trickier still, yet HBR nail it repeatedly here. Their conviction, abundant chops, focused execution and increasingly savvy song-craft gel in a way . . . that’s just so inviting & refreshing, a gust of newness that picks one up from the doldrums of eight interminable Bush-ian years and reminds us there’s nothing more powerful than the human spirit on fire. And while politics in the specific can be a bit of a slog, HBR tap into the larger truths that surround the moment, finding pathways back to the many salty ‘n’ sweet moments that make us joyful and aid us in our quest for delighted incarnation. Even “Turning The Wheel,” written on Election Day ‘08, handles things with oblique nuance, more interested in the days ahead than in further rumination on the years just behind us – a, reminder that as we have been is not how we must be, and we might as well gulp down some “Honkytonk Tequila” and embrace one another while the dealer reshuffles fate’s deck anew.
The greatest shift, at least on paper, is the integration of full-blown percussion into their sound. Yet the experience of Matt Butler, the feel he imparts to these tunes, is so organic, so plainly right that you might not even catch that he’s in the mix at first. There’s no exaggerating the depth his drums bring to their sound, creating a springboard for the others to really soar. From the honeyed singing to the sharp picking, Hot Buttered Rum moves with appealing, grinning confidence, ready to abandon labels of any kind as they reach out towards Africa and Armstrong, Hank Williams and Queen Elizabeth, Brazil and The Beatles. Captured in a heady mix of modern studio technique and antique, old ribbon mics, and digital zeros ‘n’ ones swirling together . . . , Limbs Akimbo celebrates the freedom that’s rightfully ours – the freedom to congregate and create and travel as a citizen of the world, even if we only take the trip with our ears. Limbs Akimbo is the fruition of a long, singular path. Now get those shoes off and snatch up the hands of these beautiful loose cannons. We’ve got places to go. . . .