The Hellboppers
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The Hellboppers

Band Blues Acoustic

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"Johan Akkermans review of Hellectricity?"

When they handed out prejudices, the Good Lord knows, I wasn't last in line. I was probably standing way out in front of you, dear reader. It doesn't make this task easier of being critical, because as soon as this CD started off, I got covered all over with goosebumps. I seldom heard anything striking not just 'a' chord, but 'the' chord. This is blues from Down Under and a bulls-eye it is indeed. It's three (more or less elderly) gentlemen coming from the award winning rock and blues band 'The Bellhops' (did you get the pun? - switch 'b' and 'h'), forging a blues trio that, according to their website, "allows them to play some acoustic blues in the style of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker etc". They perform on the traditional instruments: harmonica, acoustic guitar, dobro, resonator (and a lot of those two!), mandolin and washboard. Some friends help out with extras, like an additional harmonica, some bass, a classical guitar-solo (nylon strings) and the odd percussion. What I really like about it, is the total lack of pretension or bombast. You hear unassuming traditional acoustic blues ('Can't Be Satisfied', 'Walking Blues', 'Hey Hey', 'Nobody Knows You') along with own compositions ('Midnight Train'- with a nice dialogue between harmonica and slide - 'Right Hand Man', 'Running Shoes' a.o.) and first rate compositions at that. The three musicians are very well schooled - I take it that their regular band will have something to do with that. The cover-arrangements are inventive but they show respect to the originals. Craftsmanship oozes from all songs. The vocals are convincing and the instrumental solos manage to have the right dose of country feel with just enough sophistication. Their playing is clear and decisive with practically no stop-gaps. What more can I say - if you're an acoustic blues lover, don't hesitate, this is a must have!
Reviewer: Johan Akkermans
- www.bobtjeblues.com


Discography

Hellectricity 2006

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Bio

The Hellboppers trio consists of two members and one former member of Sydney's multi-award winning Kings of Rockin' Blues and Swing, The Bellhops.

The Hellboppers format allows the guys to play some acoustic blues in the style of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker etc.

The repertoire covers all of the classic blues tunes plus a fair smattering of originals.

The Hellboppers CD "Hellectricity" is in stores now.

The line-up is:

John Russell: Acoustic, lead, slide, Dobro guitars
Steve Trew: Vocals, multiple harmonicas
Ian Dittman: Vocals, acoustic, resonator guitar, mandolin

This line-up can expand and contract according to the venue.