Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi
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Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi

Olympia, Washington, United States | SELF

Olympia, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Idaho by Pete Bush & the Hoi Polloi"

The 8-song album leaves no moment wasted for filler or throwaway tracks. The opener “Ceiling Mirror” starts the album off perfectly as a fusion of all the group’s styles, arranged masterfully for maximum effect of the rock parts. It gives the listener an immediate display of the range of styles present on the album. Other highlights of the album include the croning jazz ballad “Montebean”, the pleasant closing title song “Idaho”, and a couple of strongly Latin-influenced numbers, “Sacramemento” and “How Apropoe”, the latter of which is built on a choppy, electric guitar riff.

Even with the release of the album the band still looks forward to their live performances to express their passion for music. Still, Idaho simultaneously captures the rhythmic flow of a well produced studio album while maintaining a sense of spontaneous improvisation usually reserved for the live performance.
- Keystone Rock Review

"Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi - Idaho"

Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” hovers at around eight minutes in duration. McLean’s “American Pie” sits at about eight minutes and thirty seconds on the minute marker. For some musicians, it would seem that their most memorable work directly corresponds with a lengthy production, like an epic poem set to a melody.

For Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi, however, one of the most distinctive songs on their debut release, Idaho, lasts only 41 seconds. “Manwhore” may not define their album as a whole, but for less than a minute it helps demonstrate the creative prose of the band in a very succinct fashion.

On May 7, Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi will perform at The Thunderbird Café to celebrate the release of their labor of love, Idaho. Hoi polloi roughly translates in Greek to “the common masses.” Aptly named, the band offers music with such a broad mélange of musical influences that they naturally appeal to many differing portions of the general public.

Among the numerous melodic nuances in their music, perhaps the most notable is jazz. Front man Bush, spent many years prior to the formation of this Pittsburgh-based band playing upright bass professionally.

Now joined by Jesse Prentiss on upright bass and support vocals and Christian Catone on drums, the trio intertwines their favorite eclectic flavors - be it jazz, hip hop, rock or folk - into a veritable smorgasbord of genres. This expansive approach to both their songwriting and overall sound has allowed the band to ripen expeditiously.

“I think we cater to the jazz, rock, indie, folk, punk crowd. We've played shows with a great variety of other bands and we've never felt out of place with anyone’s crowd,” said Bush.

The album’s third track, “Montebean,” reveals the more refined jazz facet of their music. With a lulling melody, the self-revealing ballad incites the mental ambience of a dim martini bar, featuring the triplet in matching suits, crooning effortlessly as the evening slowly fades around their sound.

Although the release of this album is a monumental step for the band and a joyous occasion for their dedicated following, it is their live performances that truly flaunt their passion for their music and their undeniable ingenuity as musicians.

“As much as I love the studio, the creativity it brings out, and the forever of recordings, I'd say we're geared more toward the live performances. It's just a privilege to play live and I love every minute of it. At the end of the night I'm covered in sweat, grinning like an idiot and feel like I got the world off of my chest. No feeling like it,” said Bush - The Pittsburgh Scene

"Reviews::Pete Bush East is the Past"

"Bush has come into his own as a song writer. He's not writing songs that sound like a song "x" would write and certainly not taking the easy way out with pop friendly ditties. He combines the building blocks of the great in innovative ways; complex guitar parts, frequent transitions, mood changing strings, and bouncing stand up bass lines all play an important role in his unique sound.

Very few musicians can incorporate a melting pot of styles and not leave the record sounding disjointed and lost. He can play a delicate singer/song writer effort like Fly Away Bird, and have it flow naturally into the slinky This Just In - probably the most infectious track on the record - or a traditional jazz number like Just Browsing and not lose the listener or never leave a song sounding out of place.
Mirroring themes and sounds resurface to help the record; Melissa's well placed vocals or enough strings and guitar burst/feedback to jump start a stand-up bass heavy track like Canary Wake. Heroine Sheik starts as a confessional, but explodes into a Toadies inspired freak out. Long Distance is the most enjoyable song about a stalker and a woman who loves being stalked you are ever going to hear. The pace and strings on Margaret have transformed a simple song into a fleshed out foot tapper.
Pete Bush has delivered a record that I truly enjoy. The songs will surprise you and fit into your collection, no matter what kind of music you like. That's something not too many artists can lay claim to, and something that makes Bush worth a few of your bucks."
- Bryan Acker

"Some New Music"

"If your in Seattle and have any sense, you'd be well advised to check out Pete's show" - Award

"Feel Like a Good Girl Review"

" Pete Bush has the wittiest song writing this side of Randy Newman" - Post Gazette

"The Record Report 12/17/08"

Pete Bush
East is the Past (self-released)
3 stars
If Tom Waits were to gorge on smores around a campfire, then belt out an impromptu collection of songs as a result of his sugar high, he would sound like East is the Past. Pete Bush’s John Lee Hooker-like voice is a striking contrast to ska rhythms that often dissolve into bluesy swing or haunting violin harmonies. The stripped production features Bush and back-up vocalist Melissa Montalto blending their voices in a series of rough rounds, as in “Fly Away Bird.” Their choruses weave together an otherwise disjointed series of songs, with the rhythms, tempos and instrumentals switching at lightning-quick speed. But that’s part of this album’s charm. This ensemble has found their groove, bizarre as it may be. RACHEL DOVEY
Standout tracks: “Fly Away Bird” - Seattle Sound Magazine


Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi- "Idaho"
Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi-"East is the Past"
Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi- "The Demo"



Rock 'n roll is born from the harshest emotions. Jealousy and heartache are the phases that launched a thousand songs and for Pete Bush, his muse is no different. Broken hearts started Pete Bush on this journey and guided his chord progressions, but Idaho is not about self-pity or anger.
Written during a cross country tour in support of his previous LP "East is the Past" that kicked off the night he departed Seattle after a five year stay, Idaho is a love story, one flawed from the start but still perfect. These songs, this girl; they are here to remind Bush that love doesn't need a shelf life and isn't a sick torture. Ultimately, this won't last but the sacrifice is one they both need to make.
Sonically, Bush and the Hoi Polloi combine elements of jazz and rock in such seamless manner, you ask why more bands aren't trying the same thing. Idaho was recorded with help from J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, The Channels) at the Magpie Cage and while the artists may not share the same sonic palette, the both share an intensity that allowed Robbins to get every ounce of Bush's emotion into the record and match the passion of the live shows for which the band is known.
The recipe is simple; little more than minimal combinations of stand up bass, electric guitar, drums and solid harmonies but the stark presentation is what gives these songs impact and makes Pete Bush & the Hoi Polloi as likely to find a home with fans of Cab Calloway as Tom Waits or Andrew Bird. The Hoi Polloi has shared stages with Brandi Carlile, Horse Feathers and the Old Canes, and all told, Idaho should help one of Pittsburgh's best kept secrets become the band you turn to when days are the darkest

Band Members