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Hornbuckle- Howard and the White Boys

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Hornbuckle
Virtue & Vice

(Self released)

Known more specifically in their Denver home stomping grounds as the Michael Hornbuckle Band, Hornbuckle is a blues rock foursome consisting of namesake Michael Hornbuckle on vocals and guitar, his brother Brian Hornbuckle on bass, keys man Alexander "Ace" Baker and drummer Lance Crane. Everything here is original, mostly penned or co-penned by Michael, but Brian also gets in on the writing credits with the funky money love of "Slave to the Benjamins" in which he also affords himself a popping bass intro. At 16-songs the set is generous and covers lots of styles; "Lip" is a John Lee Hooker-style boogie, "Moment in Time" recalls Santana and "One Foot in the Grave" is an all-out Bad Company-style rocker in which Hornbuckle sounds a lot like Paul Rodgers. Virtue & Vice sets the band up nicely for wider recognition beyond their regional fan base.

Howard and the White Boys
Rosa's Lounge

3011

When Howard McCullum sings about his "heat seeking missile" in the album's opening cut there's no question as to what his metaphor actually represents and this album of original material, recorded live at Rosa's Lounge in Chicago, is packed with sexy, sweat-inducing music. Highlights include the slow and smoky, Lord-help-me "Strung Out on the Blues," "Trouble Follows You" with its slinky slide guitar riffs and Bo Diddley beat and the B.B. King-recalling "What Would I Do." McCullum is horny and proud again on the slide guitar rave-up "Black Cat" but fed up with his squeeze on "The Last Time," and completely over her on the self-explanatory "Walk Away," a lengthy and soulful blues-as-southern-rock cut that, at more than eight minutes, gives the band's two guitarists plenty of room to solo.

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