Wednesday, December 1 • Doors 7pm • Show 9pm • $15 Flat • Over 21 Only • Buy Tickets
Hot Buttered Rum, one of the hardest-working and fastest-rising acts in acoustic rock, began in the San Francisco Bay Area with five uniquely talented singer-songwriter/instrumentalists setting out to create a new Northern California sound. The Bay Area claims credit for producing dozens of bands, from Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Old and In the Way, to the Mother Hips, Green Day, Metallica, and beyond. From this fertile ground sprang Hot Buttered Rum’s own infectious blend of American styles—folk, rock, jazz, and newgrass—all informed by the landscape of their home.
Shunning stagnation in any form, Hot Buttered Rum diligently continues to hone their sound through 150+ live performances a year, with each show boasting a unique setlist and feel. Often referred to as a rock band with bluegrass instruments, the band recently has blended drums and electric instruments into their otherwise acoustic folk-rock live performances. This evolution will lead Hot Buttered Rum into the studio in January to further refine their sound.
Hot Buttered Rum’s progressiveness can only be described as organic. The band’s vibrant egalitarian structure, in which all five members contribute equally, results in an energetic exchange and magnetic chemistry seen most clearly in the band’s transfixing live performances. These same democratic underpinnings characterize Hot Buttered Rum’s virtual presence and the band’s relationship with its multigenerational, nationwide fanbase. Multi-night appearances often include organized community get-togethers and kids’ sets in nearby parks, creating a productive “meeting space” for band members and fans to exchange ideas and support. Hot Buttered Rum encourages audience photography and audio recording of their shows, but the band also turns the cameras on their fans, taking “View from the Stage” photos of the audience and posting them on the website for all to see. The website itself is a virtual “meeting space” where the band and fans can stay in touch. Band members use the content-rich site to share blog entries from the road; to host a fan discussion forum; to simulcast their shows to internet listeners (while providing a chat room so internet listeners can enjoy each other’s company during the show); to showcase in a Green section the band’s eco-friendly tour bus and enviro-/socio-political resume; and to provide sundry other regularly rotating media that help ensure a participatory, creative experience for all involved.
The Lee Boys are one of America’s finest African-American sacred steel ensembles. This family group consists of three brothers, Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals) along with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (7-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). Each member began making music at the ages of 7 and 8 in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, FL. Here they underwent a rigorous course of training in a variety of musical instruments, including lap and pedal steel guitars. Born and raised in Miami, each of The Lee Boys grew up in the church where their father and grandfather, Rev. Robert E. Lee, was the pastor and a steel player himself.
“Sacred steel” is a type of music described as an inspired, unique form of Gospel music with a hard-driving, blues-based beat. The musical genre is rooted in Gospel, but infused with rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and ideas from other nations. Influenced by the Hawaiian steel guitar fad of the 1930’s, brothers Willie and Troman Eason brought the electric lap steel guitar into the worship services of the House of God church in Jacksonville, FL. The Pentecostal congregation embraced the soulful sound, and over time this unique sound became the hallmark of the church. The pedal steel guitar was added to the mix and soon became the central instrument. The Lee Boys are part of the fourth generation of musicians in this faith.
The press has caught on as well, as evidenced by the USA Today review of their set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May 2008: “The Lee Boys, from Miami, rocked the blues tent with their rollicking ‘You’ve Got to Move.’ The song started slow and low but steadily picked up pace, taking on the feel and sound of a runaway train. As guitarist Roosevelt Collier plucked at his pedal steel guitar, an electric guitar mounted on a stand and played from a sitting pos ition, audience members danced in the aisles, jumped up and down and waved their arms to the mounting melody.” As well in March 2009, Billboard Magazine wrote: “The band’s dexterity with multiple genres is its strongest point; it combines folk, soul, funk, blues, country and gospel into upbeat, steel guitar-led performances that can’t help but inspire secular and sacred revelry.”
The Lee Boys have been in the studio with The Travelin’ McCourys completing a joint album entitled “Meetin’ In The Middle” which illustrates their amazing bluegrass/sacred steel festival shows. The 6 song EP debuted at MerleFest 2010 and is now available.