“Out of Norman, Oklahoma, witty guitar guru Hosty and his side kick, two piece drummer, Michael “Tic Tac” Byars, entertain as the Hosty Duo with a tour schedule of 250 shows a year. Hosty simultaneously tears through gritty slide leads, blows harmonica and or Kazoo and uses foot pedals to stomp bass lines. His guitar collection includes an 8 string instrument that allows him to thump three bass strings with his thumb while he fingerpicks guitar. The Hosty Duo has developed a huge underground following of bikers, sorority gals, hippies and truckers.”
Billy Block’s Western Beat Monthly -May 2003 Edition
Golden Country Hits…………Loud Magazine
Despite the title, which seems ripped from Ween’s “12 Golden Country Greats,” there is little else to this release that is unoriginal.
After purging himself with the sprawling “ Un Hombre Malo,” (a career best) and “live in Denver,” an album that shows what Hosty can do as a One man Band when left to his own creativity, mike Hosty and trusty companion Mike Byars (aka Tic Tac) are back on this release, their most adventurous yet.
“Golden county Hits” eschews the regular blues that Hosty usually favors for a pan-American overview that is similar to Ry Cooder’s “paradise and Lunch” and “chicken Skin Music.”
Hosty skillfully hits spaghetti western theme music, hillbilly rock, country rock, acoustic blues, spoken word folk, Tex Mex, Hawaiian and traditional blues. In all of these songs, Hosty proves why he is not only of OKC’s finest musicians, but songwriters, too. The Hosty Duo is one of those outfits that need to be supported at every turn. Here is a good place to start.
Patrick Crain Loud Magazine June 4, 2003
Right On: In Times of Trouble, there’s nothing Quite like the Hosty Duo …………….Loud Magazine
If, around 1972, Little Feat’s late, great resident guitarist would have decided to fire Roy Estrada and Bill Payne and kept going with only drummer Richard Hayward, they probably would have sounded like the Hosty Duo.
A wild blend of blues, country, rock, Dixieland, gospel and Rock-a-Billy, guitarist Mike Hosty and Drummer extraordinaire Mike Byars (aka Tic Tac) prove nothing short of Oklahoma originals.
Despite the fact that Hosty is probably one of Oklahoma’s finest guitarist, the comparisons to Lowell George don’t stop at his instrument of choice, however, Hosty also maintains a surreal songwriting style that can fluctuate between a tale of a Cleveland County Drug bust and a heart felt ballad without sounding smug or sappy on either.
In a way, Hosty also resembles Dan Hicks, what with his droll, wry stage delivery and all. From his comparisons of his set list to the Kama Sutra to his lamentations on the demise of moonshine stills for meth labs, Hosty is that type of artist who could be doing double duty with a newspaper column. Of course he he’s probably happy right where he is, as his day job and his web site give him plenty of material, time, space to experience and write about anything and everything he pleasures.
Of course the Hosty Duo would be nothing ( well not nothing, just Hosty) without Mike Byars who makes economical drumming look so easy. With his locomotive like momentum he makes Hosty’s Slide guitar and path bass plucking (played on a wicked bass/guitar hybrid) rock like hell.
Hosty also showed that he and only one other person could brilliantly pull off a strong, creative authority. If they can do it at all, it takes other blues rock bands four or five people to get it right.
If goes without saying that only a person with a true heart of stone could dislike a band that plays kazoo and a washboard, performs weird o trucker anthems and odes to the impure thoughts of Linda Cavanaugh. Since they can be found playing almost every weekend, it shouldn’t be a task for one to find some time to kick back and relax with the Hosty duo. Go for a CD, shirt or hi-larious road tale, check out www.hosty.com and then go to a venue near you. Go get swallowed up in their Glorious, country blues rock soaked strangeness. Mike and tic Tac the Third will love you for it.
Patrick Crain Loud Magazine March 5, 2003
Drum Picks Album Review: Hosty: Live in Denver……Drum Magazine
Music: This is the easy part. Like a hungrier, crustier George Thorogood, Hosty plays lovingly raw blues that showcases greasy slide guitar at its centerpiece. Now here comes the tough part – Hosty is the one man band alter ego of Michael Hosty from Norman, Oklahoma, who writes in his cryptic correspondence that he had no alternative but to tour as a One man Band: “My drummer broke his Leg and I had no choice.”
Drumming: One can understand why a drummer might resort to faking a fracture to leave a band that requires little more than the “boom-chucka-boom” all night long. But in the context of hosty, such a hardscrabble drumming is a masterpiece of invention. You forgive and even adore when the bass and snare slur the tempo. After all, Hosty covers those parts with his feet while playing the bass and guitar with his hands and soloing on the harmonica with his mouth. WOW.
Verdict: in the most sweaty, beer drenched, wacky sense, this CD Rocks
Drum Magazine September 2002
Album Review: Un Hombre Malo Mike Hosty …….Nightflying
Sub titled “ Mike Hosty Anthology” this covers a collection of Hosty Originals from 1996 to 2000. I reviewed an album of his years ago. Un hombre Malo means a “bad man”. Mike Hosty rocks on, writing and playing songs mellow to madcap, getting down right jazzy at time.
NightFlying Arkansas Summertime 2001
Album Review: Live in Denver Mike Hosty……..Nightflying
Hosty is here again and once again he has changed and metamorphosed and transfigured into something new: this time it is a One Man Band. This is a recording that got made by sheer dint of luck and a bit of chutzpah and it happens to be probably his best album since his first. Mike Hosty has been around for a while now and he is not afraid to try new tricks, or for that matter old tricks in new forms. One of his cuts on the cd is closer to rap than to a song and nobody shot him or anything so it must have gone over with the folks at Herman’s Hideaway, which is where he played the gig that is preserved on this record. I need to add that one of those songs was recorded at Sticky Fingers, which is in little rock, not Denver Colorado.
NightFlying Arkansas July 2002
Rockn’ Red Dirt hosty Live in Denver…………..Urban Tulsa Magazine
Solo performers in small venues are known to do strange things. Some will employ an electronic backing band on a sampler while they sit and play guitar. Others might attempt to play two instruments at once. But Norman OK’s Mike Hosty must be one of the most inventive. While his drummer was recuperating from a broken femur, Hosty traveled the southwest playing solo gigs, performing on guitar with additional bass strings, pound a drum with his feet and using his mouth to sing and play the kazoo. The result was truly an unusual live album, Hosty Live in Denver.
No doubt that it takes coordination and natural rhythm for a musician to tackle a drumbeat, a bass line and a guitar fills at once. But it takes raw feel for the blues to come up with a gritty, red dirt sound like Hosty’s.
Driven by thick slide riffs and thumpy rhythms, Live in Denver is a sweaty, tooth and nail hike through the woods of roots music. Hosty’s gruff vocals accent the dementia of Dark Country Tales like “the Devil sent me you” and “Dead and Gone.” The most interesting moment is a stream of conscious cover of “She Said”, in which Hosty rambles with gusty musical vigor.
After hearing this record, one can’t help but picture this devoted picker perched in a dimly lit Denver bar, guitar/bass in grasp, drum at foot and kazoo in to mouth. It must have been a heck of a show
Joseph Felzke Urban Tulsa Magazine September 2002
Hosty Takeover: Oklahoma’s Hosty Duo is funny and fit for Public Consumption… Phoenix New Times
The Hosty Duo may be the only band to have an album inspired by Charles Bronson.
Eric Waggoner Phoenix New Times October 17, 2001
Hosty Duo and Roger Clyne/Peacemakers at VZD’s……………. Norman Transcript
The Hosty Duo’s (HD) Mike Byars comes by his love of music honestly. His Grandma used to go honky-tonkn’ in the days when Johnny Horton and Hank Thompson played the ol Wagon Wheel roadhouse west of Blanchard. His mom had all the vinyl. She listened to Motown, western swing and soft rock.
“ My neighbor had a drum kit and he gave me access.”
When he was 7, Mike started getting his brother’s cast off guitars.
It just seems right that Byars has been laying down the rhythm with Norman’s premier red dirt jump blues band for years now. On the dance floor, rivers of sweat have dripped from the chest of sorority girls from this boys beat.
When asked who they would bring back from the Great Beyond for one more concert Hosty: “Box Car Willie, he would crash through the window in a truck and yell HOO HOO randomly as he sang. Byars :”Baby Dodds from New Orleans, he played wood blocks for Louis Armsrtong.
Their cures for heartache: Hosty, “Cold Beer” and Byars “ A trip to the races.”
Byars was tight as a full tick on a ranch dog’s ear. His power bursts are amazing. Hosty played kazoo on several numbers, announcing Cryptically after one , “Mr. Boots Randolph on tenor sax.” He whistled the porno western trumpet line ( as played by Victor Rook) for “Gunfighter.” They played a Dick Dale visits noble instrumental punctuated by exclamations of “ Chewbabcca.”
Doug Hill Norman Transcript August 18, 2000