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After Two But Before Five

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Album Review

Recorded live over two nights in August 2006, After Two But Before Five offers a snapshot of a blues-rock band performing before an appreciative audience. A small unit, Hillstomp feature the electric guitar work and vocals of Henry Kammerer along with percussion and vocals of John Johnson and, on occasion, the harp work of Philip Guttman. Even with this small lineup, Hillstomp are capable of raising the volume on songs like the opener, "Goin' Down South," and its follow-up, "NE Portland 3am." While Kammerer switches between straight electric ("Lucy's Lament") and slide guitar ("Mr. Charlie III") and Guttman augments the soundscape of songs like "Rollin' and Tumblin'," the main dish on the menu remains swampy electric blues. Hillstomp work well as a unit and perform these songs with passion. Nonetheless, the band seems limited in both the narrow range of material it relies on and murky vocals. The songs are simply too similar, relying on a steady groove that seems to stand still at times (very much a "hill stomp"). The murky vocals reinforce these qualities. For fans who are already familiar with the band, After Two But Before Five will work as a dedicated memento; for blues-rock fans unfamiliar with the band, the album will lack the necessary spark to separate Hillstomp from many other electric blues bands. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Formed: 2001 in Portland, OR

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s

When Hillstomp members Henry Kammerer and John Johnson met in 2001 in Portland, OR, at one of Kammerer's solo shows, Johnson had never been that interested in the blues. He was, however, interested in the self-taught slide guitar music that Kammerer was playing, and though he had studied jazz saxophone in school and was playing bass for local alternative rock bands, he agreed to play drums with Kammerer. Using a homemade kit, Johnson, with Kammerer on vocals and guitar,...
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After Two But Before Five, Hillstomp
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