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There must be something in the waters of Chicago, because the Windy City keeps spewing out these wonderful bands who have skill, style and sense – and Burnside & Hooker are no exception.  All The Way To The Devil, their second full-length release, is ripe with tasty guitar hooks, great and lush vocals and melody galore.

Starting with the title track, which has some semi-accapella vocals, it segues into “The Graveyard”, which has some neat acoustic riffing but builds into a heavy rhythm and the interplay of Rachel Bonacquisti’s lead vocals and Diana Mayne’s secondary vocals is simply great.  “Someday (I’m Gonna Leave This Town)” is pure American – a combination of folk, bluegrass and odd jazz inflections – all with a mix of guitar, violas and a lot of energy; “Momma Said” sounds like Jet (!) and just rocks at about 100 m.p.h., which definitely throws you for a loop, but this band definitely doesn’t play cute or rootsy all the time and “Rivets” is a low-key but intense acoustic instrumental that makes you imagine an Old West massacre about to happen.  “Mistaken” is heavy, feedback laden – bordering on Alice In Chains-isms, but no less powerful and an absolute standout; “Red Betty” is a rollicking piece that has a swing-revival vibe and “Mistaken Reprise” is a fiddle-driven hoedown with fine slide guitar runs.

Fourteen songs is a rarity and a treat and not one weak track in the bunch.  Yet again, I find myself marveling at having my senses sharpened by a band of this ilk.  Burnside & Hooker are not to be overlooked – they’re to be embraced  – and quickly.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

All The Way To The Devil is available now

http://www.burnsideandhooker.com/