The Scene

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Columbia’s own revs up the Blue Fugue

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The Hooten Hallers never fail to disappoint with their rowdy, fun, loud performances. They took over the Blue Fugue Saturday night, yelling, hollering and reaching pitches I didn’t think possible for a crowd of 30 to 40 gathered tightly to the stage.

“I’m ashamed and it won’t fade away,” they yelled. “And I’m lying here waiting for the break of day.”

John Randall and Andy Rehm, the twosome that make up this rockabilly-bluegrass band, were almost conversing with the audience as they chanted out their lyrics in time to the heavy drumbeats and repeated guttural sounds into the mics that almost sounded like a pair of didgeridoos.

“Lord won’t you help, oh have a little mercy on me,” Randall and Rehm sang from the title of one of their tracks.

The crowd raised their mugs and pumped their fists in approval.

At the very end of their set, Rehm asked whether he and Randall should continue on with two or three more songs.

“Four!” someone yelled.

“It’s your show! It’s your show!” called a man definitively, clad with a glow-stick necklace and positioned in the front of the crowd.

And indeed it was. Randall captured the group as he cried out with his signature wail while Rehm pumped along a powerful beat that left the structure shaking. Keeping the variation going, they started out some new tunes slowly and submissively but grew into a full-on roar that charged into the crowd relentlessly, refusing to give way.

The sheer power of the Hooten Haller’s unique sounds makes them one of the most interesting and intriguing bands to listen to and to watch – their interaction with the audience and the responses they got to their bellowing were true to the duo’s coarse, raw style. Their unique quality lies in the honesty of their voices – they aren’t hidden behind anything.


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