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Hoots and Hellmouth

August 30 • Southgate House (Parlour)

By Evan Wallis · August 23rd, 2010 · Sound Advice
Life is complicated and sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and slow down. In those times, turn to Hoots and Hellmouth, an Americana/Folk foursome from Philadelphia consisting of Sean Hoots, Andrew Gray, Robert Berliner and John Branigan. These foot-stompin’ fellas take two guitars, an upright bass, a mandolin and some spectacular vocal harmonies and wrap listeners in a blanket of uplifting music.

Blending a sort of mountain-revival sound with the modern Indie Folk music that has been gaining traction throughout the country, H&H’s songs tend to start of with a slower tempo but soon flourish into a mix of bluesy guitar picking and melodious riffs that are kept in time by sturdy upright bass, enthusiastic yells and stomping feet.

The energy that erupts from every song is felt not only in the music, but also in the lyrics.

Phrases in almost every song yearn for a simpler life: “Gather up your axes/Forget about paying your taxes/And hack your way to the root of the industry.” The band’s music and lyrics are like a refreshing mountain spring that will hopefully overflow into the turgid mainstream.

With two LPs to its name (The Holy Open Secret being the most recent), Hoots and Hellmouth has a growing following that’s been acquired by relentless touring. Playing at venues varying from the Philadelphia Folk Festival to Rock bars, this act can do it all. When they come to town this week, bring your friends and take a break from the iPods, Smartphones and reality TV. As Hoots says, those things get in the way of the “human potential to feel deeply and come together as a unified whole.”

Hoots and Hellmouth play the Southgate House Monday. Go here for venue details and tickets.



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