By Dave Resto
Virginia based blues-rock band, Revelator Hill (with Ron Holloway) cracks 2018 with an outstanding compilation of blues-rock tunes with a rock edge. Live by the Creek (Root Nine Records) to be released January 26, 2018, chronicles the band’s inspired performance before an audience of two hundred on a hot summer night in 2017.
Masterful guitarist/singer/songwriter, Bobby Thompson, has been a fixture of the Washington D.C. regional music scene for years. In that time, he’s gone from sought after sideman to accomplished band leader. Live By the Creek features tenor saxophonist, Ron Holloway, who is known for his work with Dizzy Gillespie, and as a working member of The Warren Haynes Band. He is often seen as a guest of bands Tedeschi-Trucks and Melvin Seals.
Live By The Creek is a first rate blues-rock album with stellar musicians, including Bobby Thompson on guitar and vocals, Seth Morrissey on bass and vocals, Gary Crockett on drums and vocals and Wes Lanich on keyboards.
The first three songs on Live by the Creek—“Bad Luck Goodbye” “Gets Me Over” and “Look at You Now” are from the band’s 2017 studio release, Atlantic Detour. The studio versions of these songs are powerful but concise. The performances here, with the live setting and the addition of Holloway, are more improvisational.
“Bad Luck Goodbye” is a rockin’ mid-tempo showpiece to highlight the band’s exemplary musicianship. Bobby Thompson’s dirty wah-wah pedaled guitar riff, played over a cow bell count-off, sets a surly tone that the band gamely jumps in on. Thompson’s smooth and soulful vocals blend nicely with the rhythm section and drummer Gary Crockett (a fearlessly inventive percussionist) – keep things steady but sloshy. That leaves Thompson, keyboardist Wes Lanich and Holloway to takes turns expanding the melodic boundaries. Holloway’s sax solo is exquisite.
“Gets Me Over” is a soulful blues rock gem that starts with a trudging back-beat and some fine fingerpicking by Thompson. Morrissey runs a tasteful bass line underneath, as Lanich layers in the keys with a light touch. In the fashion of all good horn players, Holloway lays out until called upon. By the end of the song, as the band has cranked up the intensity, Holloway’s sax is on fire and the spotlight is his.
Video Premiere “Look at You Now”