Playing Around 

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Red River Saloon, 32 S. Tejon St.
Saturday, April 2, 8:30 p.m.
Free, 955-5664

This ain't yer uncle Buddy's blues. Hillstomp hails from Portland, Ore., a city typically known for its sordid past with flannel-laden rock bands, and not for its blues. But people, this is raw, dirty, fun blues scene. Borrowing from the various music scenes that they love, whether they live there or not, the guitar and percussion duo of Hillstomp is heavily influenced by the north Mississippi trance blues scene and fueled by a punk D.I.Y. ethic. Henry Kammerer's vocals are mournful and muffled, his guitar appropriately sliding and at times psychedelic drippy. Keeping it all in line and on beat is John Johnson's sorta-drum set, a crazy compilation of buckets, cans, barbecue grill lids and a well-worn kick drum. Their album, One Word, shows what these boys can do, but to really get it, go see them live at the Red River Saloon.

-- Kara Luger


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