Roger Hoover
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Roger Hoover


Band Americana Rock


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"Roger Hoover & the Whiskeyhounds"

Out of the gate on his second release, Panic Blues, Roger Hoover displays a brash, full-force vocal that recalls the warm, throaty tone of John Fogerty. At other times, he's in possession of Southern-rock drawl that's uncommon for these times. During the first few cuts here, you get the feeling that this band could've easily been a radio staple alongside such rootsy fair such as The Allman Brothers, Van Morrison, CCR, and The Band. Interestingly, and not surprisingly, Levon Helm is working with this Akron, OH quartet on their follow-up recording, and that certainly leaves some strong indication as to what kind of impression this self-produced release has given. Hoover's songs possess a humbled sense of maturity and honesty whether he's working an intimate or fiery mood, and this fine release works everything in between. (Bandaloop Records)
- Miles of Music

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

Released earlier this month, the debut CD from Akron, Ohio foursome Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds, "Panic Blues" (Bandaloop Records) is already earning well-considered critical praise. While many music critics will
over-zealously throw in references to Dylan, Westerberg, and Waits just to capture a reader's attention, those nods to hallowed names certainly apply when it comes to Hoover's evocative and imagistic lyrics (with maybe a little John Fogerty thrown in for good measure). Likewise, The
Whiskeyhounds' roots-and-rumble style of playing references the work of such freewheelin' players as The Band and CCR. The band has reportedly begun working on a new recording with Band vocalist/drummer Levon Helm which may
just launch them into the stratosphere of "critical darlings."
- Buffalo Art Voice

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

The blues needn't always be a three-chord copy of some Delta master. The blues can simply result from the right songsmith crafting tales of love, loneliness, sadness, or madness. Roger Hoover is such a figure, with engaging songs and a credible, Dixie-tinged vocal persona. His partners, the Whiskeyhounds, generate a simpatico sound, by turns joyful and mournful, behind Hoover's sorties; they may be the best southern band in this half of the country. - Cleveland Scene
- Cleveland Scene

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

Once you get past the fact that singer Roger Hoover sounds uncannily like the original singer from the Marshall Tucker Band, the Whiskeyhounds really start to grow on you. Comfortable in the twang pop vernacular, they wander
down adjacent audio hallways with confidence. Ironically, Hoover did suffer from panic/anxiety disorder, which led to bouts of hard drinking, which in turn led to subject matter not at the disposal of the average songwriter.
Sure, "Ain't Working For The Man" could be The Band after a few shots, but "Almost Grown" and "Be My Queen" (among others) are knockouts.
- Pop Culture Press

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

Playing a mixture of country, rock and blues, the Whiskeyhounds have a narrative style that's garnered comparisons to everyone from Van Morrison and Bob Dylan to Dylan Thomas. Hoover doesn't just concern himself with
catchy choruses and refrains -- he composes with a sensibility that recalls Nebraska-era Springsteen or present-day Steve Earle.
- Free Times

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

With a too-big-for-his-frame voice and songwriting talent to match, Roger Hoover has been gaining visibility as a solo act and while fronting The Whiskeyhounds. After a couple of self-released efforts, Panic Blues is the first of three albums slated with their new label, Bandaloop Records. The backbone of the group is the combination of Hoover on vocals and guitar and Freddy Hill on guitars, with the current incarnation including brothers Dave and Doug McKean on bass and drums.

Hoover calls it Rock 'n' Roll, but Panic Blues plays out across a variety of Americana Roots forms: Folk, Blues, Alt-Country, even a touch of Rockabilly. Hoover and the boys run in the vein of groups like the Grateful Dead, the Band, and Wilco, who bend and span genres, defying categorization. It's not like the style is unheard of, but execution is everything and they bring it.

To his credit as a writer, Hoover knows how to say what he wants and then get off, but an unfortunate pitfall with the lyric-driven songs is that they end too soon. There aren't a lot of gratuitous solos, extended jams, or instrumental verses to stretch things out. While the sharp writing makes up for the brevity, it often feels like the song hits a groove and then is suddenly over.

Riddled with Rust Belt disappointment, the 15 tracks on the disc are all originals, penned by Hoover. (Five of them were released on the out-of-print Golden Gloves.) He's honest enough to tell stories that matter, but vague enough that he's not telling anyone's secrets. While twenty-something angst runs throughout the disc, the sadness is balanced by some almost-love songs and a little Rock 'n' Roll rebellion.

Highlights: Clocking in at less than three minutes, "Like Dylan Thomas" gets the coveted Golden Repeat Button award. Ultimately singable, the bouncy tune belies the gravity of the lyric. That's a beautiful quality in a song and here it's done right. In a similar way, there's something charming about "Caroline Street Stomp," with its heavy bass line and slide riffs.

"Vagabond" captures the essence of Hoover's blue-collar hometown, with its strong sense of family history and a tradition of punching the clock.
- Blueswax

"Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds"

Traditional blues rock played the way it ought to be played...with sincerity
and style. The Whiskeyhounds were formed in 2001 by Roger Hoover and Freddy
Hill. Shortly after forming, the band released their first album, Golden
Gloves. From that point on, the band has done nothing but move forward. After
signing the band, the folks at Bandaloop combined five tracks from Gloves with
ten brand new tunes...releasing the newly titled album Panic Blues. The album
features passionate playing and a nice clean produced sound. Most pleasing,
however, are Hoover's deep soulful vocals...which make virtually all of these
tunes sound like home runs. Some might call this Americana...others might call
it blues the end, descriptive terms matter little. It's the music
that counts...and this album is full of kickass material. Memorable cuts
include "Keep Me Away From You," "Bridge," "Vagabond," "Nashville City
Limits," and "Dead Man's Shoes." (Rating: 5)


Jukebox Manifesto - 2005
Panic Blues - 2005
Golden Gloves - 2003



The Whiskeyhounds are an Akron, Ohio foursome built around the songwriting and vocal talent of front man, Roger Hoover. Their sound is seductive, rural, classic, founded on their roots and injected with the right amounts of flawless rock, heart and soul. Roots range from early blues and country, '60s rock and folk, but The Whiskeyhounds aren't indie-rock, alt-country or garage. The Whiskeyhounds are a circus-like group of troubadors crossing highways on instinct and classic, American rock and roll.

The Voice - Roger Hoover's distinctive rasp and range are delivered in much the same way as that of Van Morrison, yet there's more to this voice; in Roger's case it evokes memories, images and stories that are relative to all of us. Then there's the world of lovers, losers, lifers and nine-to-fivers that form the underbelly of Roger's songwriting.

The band's guitarist Freddy Hill said in Cleveland Free Times, “Roger's gone through some real shit. If you listen to his lyrics, he really is singing about everything that he knows about. I don't think you'll find another act that believes in the songs they've written as much as we do.”

The Band - Roger's world would be a lonely one without the core lineup comprised of Freddy Hill (guitar) and Dave McKean (drums). They don't merely support Roger's songs; they exist within each recorded/performed track.

Roger reiterates, "I need a fellow cast of vagabonds to be able to relate to my actions and, more importantly, the music. I couldn't use just any musician in this band. Freddy and Dave know exactly what to do when I ask them to play something "as if they were waist deep in drying concrete with their hair on fire."

The Music - Bandaloop Records released The Whiskeyhounds' first national release, Panic Blues, in February 2005. They are relying on a heavy dose of touring and grassroots promotion to get the word out about Panic Blues.

"We're excited about this band," says Bandaloop chief Bill Hutchison. "Roger Hoover is an unbelievably talented songwriter and lyricist, and the whole band is top-notch. The world really needs to hear these tunes."

Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds are in the studio now finishing up the follow up to Panic Blues and another album in the works. In between recording they're touring extensively and working with legendary drummer/vocalist Levon Helm of The Band. You'll find that you can't pin this band down - geographically or musically - you'll just have to drop in on them at their next tour stop and have a go at them for yourself. Their show starts now. See you at the next stop.