After Two but Before Five

by Robert R. Calder

26 August 2007


Henry Kammerer plays guitar and John Johnson drums on what the inlay photo of After Two but Before Five suggests is accurately called “bucket kit”. As on the previous issue by Hillstomp the singing is, like the guitar, subject to the roughish sort of distortion achieved by spending money on other things. “Roustabout” rocks about. “Poor Black Mattie” is splendid and gutsy but not, I think, an R.L. Burnside original. They credit “Shake ‘em on Down” to Bukka White, but in performance they don’t follow him or even McDowell (who did a marvellous one on his first album) on that. Hillstomp give it their own spin, with Philip Guttman joining in on harmonica and having an extended outing. Johnson’s drumming is especially socking on kitchen and paintshop vessels in “Landlord Blues”, and is the only accompaniment on “Stewball”, delivered like a worksong with presumably the audience clapping, and sometimes both Hillstompers singing over serves them for a pedal bass-drum. The two voices achieve a nice swing with only the clapping as their accompaniment. The audience attending the sessions plainly liked it. But of course!

After Two but Before Five


Topics: blues | hillstomp
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