Rock Doctor Music Reviews – DEMOLITION DAY Honey Island Swamp Band (Ruf)

This is the 4th long player for this 10 year old group that originated in New Orleans.  Embodying the eclectic spirit of the city they call home the title is a reference to Hurricane Katrina, which threw together four evacuees from the Big Easy in San Francisco of all places.  The result is an album with plenty of heart and miles of soul.Honey Island is Aaron Wilkinson on acoustic guitar, mandolin and vocals, Chris Mule on electric guitar and vocals, Sam Price on bass and vocals and Garland Paul on drums and vocals, adding Trevor Brooks on keys- Hammond B3 and what sounds like Fender Rhodes. Demolition Day is a fairly laid back album, spiritually speaking.  While there is some blues in the mix it isn’t particularly greasy or nasty stuff, and there’s a sort of country charm to some of these songs too.Laid down at The Parlor Recording Studio in New Orleans with producer Luther Dickinson (ex-Black Crowes guitarist, leader of The North Mississippi Allstars), Demolition Day took just 4 days to record.  “We had a very tight window to record” says Luther, “so we had to minimalize in places and really pack a lot of emotion into each take. (I) call it ‘the freedom of limitation’ and it really served us well on this album.”  That thinking reminds me of high school, when I’d have 2-3 months to do an essay or assignment, but would always end in up in my room the night before it was due, long after midnight, hammering the thing out.  That sort of pressure was inspiring for me, and it seems for Honey Island Swamp Band too.Of all the things the supplied bio calls this album, “New Orleans Swamp Funk” seems to suit it the best.  Though not as volatile as I was expecting, under the right circumstances this is a very satisfying listen, reminding me somewhat of some of my old Atlanta Rhythm Section records.  Solid stuff.ESSENTIALS:  How Do You Feel, Medicated, Through Another Day

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