Rich Hope
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Rich Hope

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Rock Blues


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



"Chart Attack Album Review"

There seems to be an influx of great, punky coming out of Vancouver. Maybe it's because of the west coast's main city's proximity to the prairies (or the Calgary Stampede, for that matter). Call the spiky twang a reaction to the gray doldrums of Van City, perhaps — and Rich Hope (along with his band, the Evil Doers) is one of the main men bringing it.

Longtime fans of Hope's energetic performances will be relieved to know that his sound has translated very well to album, particularly on the first half of ...Is Gonna Whip It On Ya.

Sure, recordings can't exactly capture the sweaty good times of a live show (the reek of PBR notwithstanding), but "Let's Jump Around Some" will definitely inspire the listener to do just that in their living rooms. The title track drips with old-time harmonica, and it's really hard to keep one's head from nodding along to the honky-tonk piano in "You're An Ice Queen, Baby." Yet one of the hallmarks of good is a drowsy blues influence and, true to its title, Hope's "Death Bed Blues" fulfills this requirement considerably.

At nine tracks, ...Is Gonna Whip It On Ya is pretty much the perfect length — long enough for a burst of uplifting southern soul, but not so long that it gets tedious or repetitive. Granted, those who are already biased against twang-rock aren't going to be swayed much by Rich Hope's exuberance, but if you need a soundtrack for your next hipster hoedown, then this music will fit like a perfect old cowboy boot. -

"Georgia Straight Article"


It’s a tad surreal visiting the Commodore Ballroom in the light of day, with no one around but the coming night’s performers and a handful of staffers. I’ve seen countless shows here since my first, KISS, in ’76, but the historic venue seems totally foreign without the welcoming roar of a juiced-up crowd.

Memories of fave Commodore shows come flooding back as I take a seat near the stage, where local singer-guitarist Rich Hope and his drummer “the Cleethorpes Crasher” (also known as Straight contributor Adrian Mack) work through a 20-minute sound check. When Hope cranks up his vintage Paul amp to deliver a raunchy blues lick, it recalls killer gigs here by the likes of Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In the wake of Hope’s reverb-laden fretwork, famed SRV protégé Kenny Wayne Shepherd strolls across the fabled dance floor playing catch with a bottle of water. The blond Stratmeister is the main attraction tonight, but as opener Hope points out, he’s “gonna make him work for it”.

After running through several rowdy numbers while an ultra-patient techie gets the sound levels balanced, Hope pulls up a chair to discuss his brand-new album, Rich Hope Is Gonna Whip It on Ya. But before we get into the actual music—which he describes as more focused and “sonically refined” than on his previous CD, 2005’s Rich Hope and His Evil Doers—I want the lowdown on this cool dude’s physical appearance. With his tattooed limbs, pompadoured hair, and rail-thin frame encased in a white wife-beater, his look is reminiscent of a certain Long Island rockabilly trio that tore up this joint back in ’83 or so.

“I loved the Stray Cats,” Hope explains, as predicted. “I got beat up at school for that a few times. I remember wearing my Stray Cats T-shirt at Hillcrest Junior High in Edmonton, and that was the era of every kid wearing Ozzy and Iron Maiden shirts. A couple of them were like, ‘You fag!’ and I was like [in a nerdy, high-pitched voice], ‘Shut up!’ ”

Besides possessing a risky fondness for Brian Setzer and company, Hope grew up with a passion for the rough ’n’ ready style of his musical hero, the Clash’s Joe Strummer. “When I heard Give ’Em Enough Rope for the first time, it just did something to me,” he says. But the music he’s currently immersed in owes less to ’50s revivalists and politicized punks than to North Mississippi hill country bluesmen like Fred McDowell, who gets name-checked—along with the likes of Jimmy Reed, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding—on the raucous track “Let’s Jump Around Some”. Turns out those are the artists who get him and his toddler son, Waylon—whose outlaw-inspired name is tattooed over Hope’s heart—leapin’ around their living room.

“I wrote that song the day we recorded it,” he says. “I just suddenly got an idea to write about the records I love. I feel like those guys are good-time entertainment—you go to a show and there won’t be a lot of tears. And that’s how Crasher and I feel right now. We go to play a gig, and we want it to be like a Bo Diddley show or something. I’ve got lots of sad songs, but I don’t feel like playin’ them anymore. Or not right now, anyway.”

The furthest Hope gets from raw, butt-shakin’ boogie on Whip It is with the gospel-tinged “When My Light Comes Shining”. He originally tried recording it with three female singers, but they’d never worked together before and couldn’t combine for the sound Hope had in mind. It wasn’t until he googled “Vancouver gospel trio” that he discovered the ideal accompaniment.

“The first guys that popped up were the Sojourners,” he recalls, referring to vocalists Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders, and Ron Small. “So I looked at them and then I realized, ‘Oh, they played with Jim Byrnes.’ I listened to their stuff, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic!’ ”

Whether he’s searching out a particular gospel vibe or laying down the type of dirty juke-joint blues that Hound Dog Taylor would hike a mile for, Hope delivers everything on Whip It with a truckload of soul. He’s an inspired choice to open this weekend’s Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival, sharing the stage with legendary headliner Smokey Robinson.

“That we’re on the same bill as Smokey is just crazy,” Hope raves. “I can’t say enough about that gig. And I’m a huge fan of [neo-soul stylist] Sharon Jones too, so it’s gonna be excellent.” - The Georgia Straight

"Metro Album Review"

Rich Hope
Album: Rich Hope is Gonna Whip It on Ya
Label: Sandbag/Fontana North
Rating: *** 1/2

Rich Hope needs only an electric guitar, harmonica, a few overdubs and a solid drummer by the name of Adrian “the Cleethorpes Crasher” Mack to remind us how good truly authentic R&B-tinged rock ’n’ roll can be. This is raw, ragged and reeking of leaky oil pans. Hope wears his influences on his sleeve — Son House, Bo Diddley, ’60s R&B singer Don Gardner and guitarist Gordie Johnson. This album has the taste of Jack Daniels and the feel of the Burnaby, B.C., basement it was recorded in.

- MetroNews


Rich Hope & His Evil Doers - I See Trouble/Babylon Woman EP (2010) - video for "I See Trouble"

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



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.”