Straight from the powerful opening cut ‘Don’t Forget it’, this duo of Nathan James and Ben Hernandez tell you that they know exactly what they’re doing with their huge original sound that they have created and made their own. Packed with an array of textures and spices all placed in their right spots, this Album closely represents what this team does live. Each song transports you to a different place with each perfect formula of tones, and rhythmic placements. If you have witnessed this talented duo live then you can believe that they can make all this sound at once, between the two of them. No drummer here, but the persistent fancy foot work of James, working his vintage suitcase. The back beat done with his own invention, the coffee can foot snare. Efficiency and simplicity enable him to travel on their many road excursions with his clothes packed in this dual purpose tool! When it’s time to really “ kill” the audience with something rarely seen or heard, Hernandez will pull out his 2 gallon whiskey jug to blow into adding yet another layer of low end funk to the game- as demonstrated on the tune ‘My Backyard’. Giving the people what they want, but in the artists own originality, is how each live show ends when Hernandez goes from a church revival meeting to pick up the washtub bass, as James takes over vocal and harmonica duties, accented with masterful delta slide guitar work. This couldn’t be displayed better then on the cut ‘My Special Rider’, a song cut completely live just as performed in front of a crowd.
Having a major focus on what any soulful music should have, this album showcases many honest vocal performances, and original songs throughout. Staying true to their acoustic roots, is the folk ballad ‘Lonesome Hobo Blues’, penned by Hernandez and sang in a breathy almost spoken tone. This tune is a chosen for great contrast and diversity to a tune like ‘Hollerin’!’, the albums high voltage electric title track, with real juke joint crowd noise captured from one of the duo’s sit in’s during the night of their International Blues Challenge win in Memphis TN! Another trademark and strong point is the harmony singing these two pull of so well. This is done on several cuts including the love song waltz penned by James entitled ‘Sweet Mama’. the singers take turns backing each other up with vocal support as Hernandez does on this tune. For the closing cut is a true gem with the accapella Hernandez gospel song ‘Can’t Wait For That Glory Day’, with James answering harmonies to his partner’s expression of his true belief in salvation! The listener can really feel the soul being captured into the one ribbon mic placed in a small room on this cut as the duo Nathan James & Ben Hernandez gives the final touch to their abilities on this soon to be classic album, ‘Hollerin!’, released on their own label, Sacred Cat Recordings.
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