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Houndog

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 16, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This collaboration between Los Lobos's multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers/Canned Heat vocal vet Mike Halby strips off the varnish that adorns much modern blues revivalism, cutting through to a murky, minimalist framework that recalls the Delta and Chicago's South Side without being a slave to either. The tracks here offer up often dirge-like grooves so thick and lugubrious that, if this were a vinyl disc, one might check the turntable's speed. Against Hidalgo's languid, skeletal riffs and shuffles, Halby drawls and moans his way through eight originals and the collection's only cover, Junior Parker's "Change My Style," with a voice so angst-ridden and surreal, it reportedly prompted Bonnie Raitt to comment, "This is great! But is he gonna be all right?" Dub on some crackling, ticks, and pops, and Houndog would make a pretty convincing replication of four and a half great lost blues 78s. --Jerry McCulley

Review

When Bonnie Raitt first heard the debut CD by the duo Houndog, her initial reaction was "This is great! But is he gonna be all right?" The "he" she was referring to was vocalist Mike Halby, formerly of Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Halby does infuse a good bit of pain into his vocals. Houndog, which also features Los Lobos' multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo, pays tribute to blues singers like Jimmy Reed, Junior Parker, Bob "Bear" Hite, Jesse Ed Davis, and Henry Vestine.

--- JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. No Chance
  2. I Brought The Rain
  3. I'll Change My Style
  4. Down Time
  5. Lonely Dying Love
  6. Eddie's Gone
  7. All Fired Up, All Shook Down
  8. Somebody (Stop The Bleedin')
  9. Killin' Me


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000I5XX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I'd be willing to check out just about anything that Tommy Waits recommended, but I stumbled upon this one with only the Lobos connection. Now my ears are pleased, and I cannot get enough of this album. Captures the blues grit in a way that has been forgotten these days as blues get commercial. Musical drugs. Serve with whiskey.
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Format: Audio CD
this is the sound of:
walking down a dirt road. a dry, dry dusty dirt road. there is no water to drink. it is august and hotter than august should be. and dry. you swallow and it hurts. you sweat and your head hurts. the dry heat pounds.
so you find this old 45rpm record at the side of the road. in the dust. the dry dry dust.
you take the 45 with you and you come home and go inside your shack. you put the 45 on your turntable. maybe not all the dust is blown off the record. but your turntable is broken and only plays back the 45 at 16rpm, maybe 33rpm now and again.
that is the sound of this Houndog record, and I love it. love it dry like that
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Imagine if you combined the low-down, gritty, soulfullness of Tom Waits, the electric fiddle of Papa John Creech, some excellent bottleneck and slide guitar with some dark-alley, 2AM lyrics? The answer: Mike Halby and David Hidalgo's homage to weltanschmerz, Houndog. Houndog really is bare-bones blues, as unpretentious and honest as it gets. Again, like Waits, the musicians sound as if they are on the tail end of a three day heavy binge, but can muster just enough strength for one more song. This will definitely not appeal to all Hidalgo fans (not your daddy's Los Lobos fare here). With Waits afficianadoes, however, it is can't miss. It is definitely the type music listened to late at night. In fact, the later the better. Will probably move to five stars after I give it a few more listens.
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Format: Audio CD
Haunting, beautiful, dark, profoundly lonely and infused with regret...this CD captures exactly the raw emotion that made me start listening to blues in the first place. Its blues for grown-ups. Stark and atmospheric, the only other thing that comes close is some of Ry Cooder's earlier stuff. Listen before you buy though because its unlike much else.
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This will take you on a ride for your life. Just put it in your CD player and do whatever you like, write, draw, paint or feel your own pain. It will get some weird looks from other people, but then, you were getting those anyway....
Give them something to feel about, and enjoy these blues from Mars! Ric
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By A Customer on November 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Dark and hypnotic and smoky and, occasionally, fun and even funny. Probably the most amusing thing about it is that they pitched the entire CD down -- it sounds as if they recorded the vocals and music on tape, slowed the tape down, then dumped it onto the CD. Just listen to the drums -- they sound like an extreme slow-motion film sequence. Anyway, the playing is very tight, but the sound is rattle-trap brilliance.
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This is the first music in many years where I just stopped and went "Wow! What the hell is that?" It's unlike anything I've ever heard. A great, slow rolling feel to the whole thing. I can't stop playing it. Always interesting to see where the Los Lobos members travel. A+++
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By A Customer on April 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this is a real nice record. flashes me back to tom waite-ish style... especially good is change and no chance. anyone familiar with los lobos and/or latin playboys will adore this. good choice for slow blues
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