Chicago-born, New York based Drazy Hoops is an independent singer/songwriter/musician who has released 8 full-length albums, from 1998’s Straight To Black (produced by Kramer for Shimmydisc/Knitting Factory Records) to this year’s This Is The Sound Of… (Slow Burn Records). A compilation of Drazy’s songs called A World Away (First Flight Records) was released in Australia and New Zealand, and Drazy’s music has appeared in various movies and compilations through the years, most notably Hal Hartley’s “The Book Of Life” (starring PJ Harvey) and Next Stop Wonderland (starring Hope Davis). The name Drazy Hoops comes from the late, great Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band’s song “The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)” off of the seminal Trout Mask Replica album.
Drazy's latest release is a lemons to lemonade retelling of a night off the rails; an ode to the resilient spirit and the will to overcome life’s obstacles. This collection of hard living, painful truths, funny observations and a few self-inflicted wounds, tells a story that is mostly triumphant in the end and most certainly based on real events.
From epic betrayal and disillusionment to the crazy conversations one overhears deep in the bowels of New York City, This Is The Sound Of… is a unique slice of alternative Americana, brimming with Drazy’s own brand of optimism and sense of humor about it all.
Co-produced by Gary Maurer of the band Hem, the record features many long time collaborators like guitarist Sean Eden (Luna, Elk City), pedal steel guru Bob Hoffnar (Loyd Cole, Iggy Pop), violist extraordinaire, Karen Waltuch (Wilco, John Cale) and singers Brooke Behmke & Dawn Landes. The rhythm section is Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith) on bass and Mark Brotter on drums, enlisted from Hem along with lead vocalist Sally Ellyson (who sings on the Devo cover “Whip It”) & Lauren Balthrop (who sings on the Brian Eno song “Golden Hours”).
iTunes’ declared of Drazy’s last record, Into The Red, “There is much to love here…. Hoops’ lyrics are strong, his melodies even stronger, and his muddiest growl and bluesiest arrangements can’t hide the joy in his amazing songs”.
Drazy Hoops - singer/songwriter/guitars
This Is The Sound Of... - 2013
Into The Red - 2008
Hey Sunshine - 2005
That Which Doesn't Kill You - 2005
Good American - 2003
Bring On The Hate - 2002
The Infinite Starlight - 2000
Straight To Black -1998
A World Away (Australia) - 2003
I Am Going To Bring You Together
Oh My Love
I Ain't Never Pressed To Bother
This Is The Sound Of One Heart Breaking
This Is The Sound Of..." album review
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Drazy Hoops - THIS IS THE SOUND OF…-(SLOW BURN)-I’d never heard Drazy Hoops before This is the Sound...Drazy Hoops - THIS IS THE SOUND OF…-(SLOW BURN)-I’d never heard Drazy Hoops before This is the Sound of… and am unlikely to forget ‘em. The new album from the New York City-based group is wryly amusing, creative, and likely to endure. DH’s brilliantly sexy cover of Devo’s “Whip It” makes me smile, and several tunes, including opener “Baby You Gave Me More,” feel like tongue-in-cheek spins on alt. goth country inflections. While DH doesn’t sound much like Captain Beefheart, I’m not surprised to learn it’s named after that phrase in Beefheart’s “The Blimp.” It obviously aims for a similar combination of heartfelt ingenuousness with wit and artistry. Highly recommended; perhaps starting with standout “I Am Going To Bring You All Together.” The chord changes on that verge on the sublime. Oh, and another hint: Giant Sand fans are likely to heart this. www.drazyhoops.com MARY LEARY
This Is The Sound Of... album review
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The eighth full-length release from New York City's Drazy Hoops (named after the Captain Beefhea...The eighth full-length release from New York City's Drazy Hoops (named after the Captain Beefheart song "The Blimp"). Hoops is backed by an extraordinary cast of musician pals here including Sean Eden, Bob Hoffnar, Karen Waltuch, Brooke Behmke, Dawn Landes, Jason Mercer, Mark Brotter, Sally Ellyson, and Lauren Ballthrop (whew!). There's a lot to sink your teeth into here...fourteen tracks total that clock in at close to forty-four minutes. Twelve of the tracks are originals while two are interestingly chosen cover tunes. Drazy chose to include his versions of Eno's "Golden Hours" and Devo's "Whip It"...both of which come across surprisingly well and fit perfectly within the context of this album. But the original songs are the real meat here. Hoops writes well-crafted laid back songs that are memorable and real...and he's got a great unpretentious voice that really pushes things to the next level. Cool reflective cuts include "Baby You Gave Me More", "I Am Going To Bring You Together", "Baby Jesus" and "Oh How It's Good To Be Home".
I Am Going To Bring You Together - song review
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Sometimes you don’t have to go very deep to get heavy. Some songwriters feel the need to throw thic...Sometimes you don’t have to go very deep to get heavy. Some songwriters feel the need to throw thick vocabulary and complex rhyming sequences into their compositions in an effort to craft something they consider meaningful. I’m not disrespecting those folks: many times these types of songs succeed at what they’re trying to do, or at least make their intentions clear. But it’s not the only way.
Drazy Hoops knows that other way, as his songs clearly demonstrate. The NYC-based songwriter doesn’t use a lot of bells-and-whistles laced grammar on his song “I Am Going To Bring You Together,” but he doesn’t need to in order to create something powerful. As he sings at various points throughout the song, “I was going to wait on this/but it’s hard time or eternal bliss/and I’m gonna’ to bring you together…and in the valley of my way/echo the words I used to say/and with this painful price we pay/I’m happy for another day…”with white shirt and shiny shoes/hard time and a burned out blues/I’m gonna’ to bring you together.” Say what you will about it, but in our modern day post-recession society the song’s sheer, against-all-odds optimism is comparable to that of “All You Need Is Love”46 years prior.
Hoops intones all of this with a low, breathy vocal delivery that seems to roll like molasses across his lips and through the speakers. The rest of the band churns along in an understated Americana-laced groove that utilizes some well places electric guitar lines and vibrato heavy organs to create a backdrop that feels appropriate to his voice and the songs subject matter.
Originally from Chicago, Drazy Hoops has recorded eight LPs since 1998 and his albums have been released as far away as Australia and New Zealand. His latest album is called This Is The Sound Of… and was co-produced by Gary Maurer of the band Hem. In addition to him, the album features the talents of Sean Eden (Luna, Elk City), Bob Hoffnar (Lloyd Cole, Iggy Pop), Karen Waltuch (Wilco, John Cale), Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith), Mark Brotter, Sally Ellyson & Lauren Balthrop (Hem), and Brooke Behmke & Dawn Landes. Not a group to be taken lightly.
Drazy Hoops This Is The Sound Of…is set to be released on April 9th through Slow Burn Records.
Into The Red review
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"Little known singer-songwriter Drazy Hoops' seventh full-length release "Into The Red" is a real ge..."Little known singer-songwriter Drazy Hoops' seventh full-length release "Into The Red" is a real gem that in a perfect world would sit on all the hip critics' rear end lists. There is much to love here, with shades of artists like Tinderstick, Uncle Tupelo, Richard Buckner, and Ryan Adams mixed and stirred with Chicago/New York/ singer/songwriter Drazy Hoops' own alt.country stylings. Tracks like "Don't Be Fooled" and "We Love You All" have a gritty, moody feel recalling the early days of alt.country, but then a track like "I Have To Admit I've Got A Problem" comes along like a sassy younger sibling: it's a back-to-basics pop song, with Hoops singing barely above a whisper, until the guitars and rhythm section slowly move from a trot to a gallop, and his dry, flat tone takes on an airy cheeriness in a ridiculously infectious chorus. When you hear "This Is Real Love" for the third time, the tune wraps around you like an old friend, with the warm slide guitar and Hoops' denouncements begging for a sing-along: "Well, if you don't mind, i just won't try to deny, This is real love, and not just time passing by..." Hoops' lyrics are strong, his melodies even stronger, and his muddiest growl and bluesiest arrangements can't hide the joy in his amazing songs."
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"Drazy Hoops…..charms a crowd without the indignity of trying to do so: he respects his audience eno..."Drazy Hoops…..charms a crowd without the indignity of trying to do so: he respects his audience enough to spare them the boringness of shtick. Rather, he just straight ahead performs captivatingly pretty, sometimes hilariously acrimonious... and sometimes emphatically rocking melodies.... equipped with surprisingly sumptuous, breathy vocals that span soul falsetto to that VU grumble growl... Drazy and his band...warbled, strummed, and drummed through a handsome edifying set full of subtle virtuosity. Drazy sort of purred, twanging with infectious world-weariness. Rich, deep, and skilled, his voice assumes an emotional stance with amazing facility…I was struck by the hard country timbres……and by the gorgeous falsettos."
The Village Voice
Bring On The Hate review
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" Cosmic cowboy Drazy Hoops melds punk, roots rock, blues, and alternative pop on Bring On the Hate,..." Cosmic cowboy Drazy Hoops melds punk, roots rock, blues, and alternative pop on Bring On the Hate, a wandering collection of songs brimming with spirited performances, understated melodies, and romantic yearning. Rendering his musings with a relaxed baritone that floats above the music, Hoops views the world through kaleidoscope eyes, preaching psychedelic bliss in " The Moon Lies" and warning anyone who'll listen of the perils of reckless sexual abandon in "Feel the Snake." Not hesitant to display syrupy sentiment in the title track or a dour bottom-of-a-shot-glass take on the futility of life in "A World Away," Hoops revels in his role as a philosopher and a crooner. With a rhythm section that punctuates Hoops' daydream beliefs via crisp solos and lush textures, Bring On the Hate is a genre-transgressing disc that catches the listener off guard."
4 stars ****All Music Guide
Straight To Black review
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"Whether It's a tune by Tindersticks, Son Volt or an old Stones ballad, there's always room on your ..."Whether It's a tune by Tindersticks, Son Volt or an old Stones ballad, there's always room on your mixed tape for a lonely song, and guitarist Drazy Hoops stands to be crowned the genre's king. Hoops is a graceful, confident song-writer, and Straight To Black sounds like the end of the party - a great one where not much got broken and the pretty girl with the tattoo stayed and almost seemed to like you.
…a Beatle-ish blend of sophisticated melody, sing-along choruses and la-la-la ginger bread…with none of the cliches and all the poetry befitting an adept artist...Cue this up and feel your loneliness take heart."
Drazy plays both solo or with a band (and various combinations in between). A typical set is about a dozen songs in 45 minutes. Drazy covers Bowie, Eno, Neil Young, Devo and others but mostly does his own songs.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.