Rich Hope

Rich Hope

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
BandRockBlues

He's one part hill country blues, one part rock 'n' roll, and he is "one of the best blues explosions since Howlin' Wolf." Backed by his tub-thumping partner, Adrian Mack, Rich Hope and his Evil Doers are a two-man quartet of trashy guitar-boogie. Rich Hope is gonna whip it on ya!

Biography

Rich Hope likes it dirty.

You can tell because he uses the word a lot – ‘dirty’.

And you can hear it in the “no-bass trash fest” he calls Whip It On Ya - his second album of Evil Doings. “I’ve always been drawn to that sound on guitar,” he says. “Dirty. Shitty. I want that amp to sound like it’s hurting. Like it’s really making a bad noise. Hound Dog Taylor’s guitar sound is the greatest thing to me. That’s dirty.”
2005’s Rich Hope and His Evil Doers signaled Hope’s descent into the belly of the beast, with half of its running length dedicated to the dirt and the shit that came to define his sound in the subsequent years. By his own admission, it was a conflicted record.

“I was caught between a collection of old songs that I was very sure of,” he explains, “and the new ones which were in a whole new direction

I was going, but not feeling quite at home.”

“I’m sure it’s what I should be doing now,” he adds.

Well, yeah. Three years of incendiary live shows have brought Hope and his erstwhile
tub-thumping partner the Cleethorpes Crasher aka Adrian Mack into their own idiom.
Part Mississippi hill country blues, part rock ‘n’ roll, and in all ways the work of a two-man trio, the Evil Doers you hear on Whip It On Ya is built on the Crasher’s swervy pocket, and Hope’s always capricious muse. In other words, it’s a live record.

“Shows were not about what song should be played anymore,” Hope states. “We just got in the space where we wanted to play boogie blues music and rock ‘n’ roll, the way Bo Diddley would play a show.”

On stage, Mack keeps a tight bead on his frontman, who habitually improvises through new variations on the one-chord dirge (“Rollin On’”), the cracker soulman persona (“My Baby Likes to Boogaloo”, “Mananimous”), or the Tex Avery hillbilly (“Ice Queen”). And to keep it honest, the pair showed up at the studio in early 2008 with a two-take only mandate and at least three songs that had never been played in their entirety before.

“Whip It On Ya” and “Blackbird Bakey Pie Blues” bookend matters with two shots of Evil Doing at its most concentrated. The first is urgent, demented, and “horny”, in Hope’s words – a hopped up, elastic shuffle that makes your eyes spin. The second puts a big backbeat behind Hope’s wrangling of a single chord.

“Death Bed Blues” meanwhile finds the pair laying back. “It turned out heavy,” Hope comments, about an idea – no more than a riff - he’d been noodling with for two years, live, nude, and right before people’s eyes. “It sat there wanting to be a song, and it never got to be a song,” Hope continues. “I put up the antennas one day.”

Same goes for “Let’s Jump Around Some”, which is Hound Dog, “Psychotic Reaction”, and “Milk Cow Blues” appended to Hope’s laundry list of friends, heroes, and fellow-travelers.

But the centrepiece of Whip It On Ya, and the purest expression of the Evil Doin’ manifesto - from its one-day turnaround, sly lyrical nod towards Son House, and it’s hefty spiritual weight - is the street-corner gospel “When My Light Comes Shining”.
“We just fuckin’ nailed it,” Hope says, with a hint of awe, as if something about its creation was out of his hands. “It’s not a light you want to close your eyes to,” he asserts. “It’s a light you wanna step into and see. And it’ll take all that earthly pain away. Everybody’s got shit, and anxiety, and sadness, and we all go through a lot of pain to get through life. Life is tough. Tough. That’s what it’s about.”

If these words seem a little jarring coming from an Evil Doer, please consider that Hope’s project has always been to do God’s work with the Devil’s music. “There’s a lot of bad juju out there,” he says. “We’re just kicking back at it. Let’s have a beer, let’s have a dance, it’ll be okay.” Turns out the Evil Doers are just taking the fight down there, so they don’t gotta do it up here, as it were.

“That’s right,” he says. “We’re just making a house call.”

Discography

Rich Hope & His Evil Doers - I See Trouble/Babylon Woman EP (2010) - video for "I See Trouble" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnBbhwpW1bk

Rich Hope is Gonna Whip It On Ya - Sandbag Records, 2009

Rich Hope and his Evil Doers - Maximum Music, 2005 (The single, My Love is a Bullet, has been licensed to air in the popular TV series, Defying Gravity.)

Good to Go - Independent, 1998

Set List

Sets are as little as half an hour if we're opening for someone like Electric Six, The Black Crowes or The Reverend Horton Heat, or 2 1/2hrs if we are headlining and the people just can't get enough.

Covers are usually soul or blues related, or at least interpreted that way...

My Love is a Bullet
Whip it On Ya
Miss Maybelle (cover)
My Baby Likes to Boogaloo (cover)
Mananimous
Let's Jump Around Some
You're an Ice Queen, Baby
Death Bed Blues
Shake This Joint Around
Blackbird Bakey Pie Blues
Sally, Your Parents Ain't Home
When My Light Comes Shining
Born on the Bayou (cover)