The Hotfoot Specials – Kickin’ Up The Dust Cd Album Review
Firstly I have to state a conflict of interests here, this is my brother’s band, BUT and it’s a big BUT (that’s why I put it in capital letters!) he and you should know that I am utterly and independently critical and will not pull my punches, hold back from the truth, or as he knows all too well, restrict myself from telling it like (I think) it is.
Frankly this is a whirling dervish of Cajun music, as authentic as Cajun gets outside of Louisiana. Leader and Melodian player Chris (my Bro) Murphy is an American born, but most importantly American folk culture bred, Cajun Melodian player with a deep and dark history as keyboards player in various bands, signed bands, pro bands, really proper amazing Pop bands with US tours and stuff.. he comes from a long line of musical family and swore that he would never perform live again (after years of torturing himself in Los Angeles). Thank GOD he met Kirsten Hammond one of the best Violin (Fiddle to you Folkies) players I have ever seen heard and enjoyed who encouraged him to leave the swamp of his front room Bayou and, with her, move into the real mainstream world of performance again.
Together and with Dan Stewart a fine Guitar player (he plays other stuff in other bands including ‘Fiddle’ and Banjo), Grant Allardyce a choice drummer of subtle stylings, who is a teacher of drumming, an also session player and chief drumming personage from Brighton Sussex band ‘The Mountain Firework Company’, and my Mom, Mary Murphy, ace triangle player, they have formed a truly kick arse Cajun outfit that could get your dead Granny up out of her seat and two steppin’ ’till the break of day.
They all live in East Sussex and hail from far and wide geographically and culturally, but they sound like the band members could’ve all been born and raised on Shrimp (go on say it without sounding like Forest Gump!). There’s a lot of touting people as the best sounding ‘British’ Cajun band, the most this, the most that, the most authentic, yawn, snore, break wind, but, and I know I’m saying it myself, they are the best UK Cajun band I have ever heard… and yes you would have seen me at too many Womad festies in the 80s and checking out ’nuff folk music far and wide..
Check ’em out, they seem to be playing just about everywhere these days, Gloucester, Cantebury (opening the Cantebury festival) the North Shropshire Cajun Weekender Broadstairs Folk Festival, Cecil Sharpe House’s File Gumbo club, their home territory of the South Coast and the Cajun Barn in Tunbridge Wells and probably somewhere near you.. soon.
The cd is cheap, the cd is fab, the cd, particularly track 10 – Opelousas Two Step ( a nod to Cory) will have you twirling on a higher plane, in an outer body experience, rapt with the hypnotic sounds of the Hotfoot Specials.
You can buy it via their website. – http://www.hotfootspecials.co.uk/item/kickin-up-the-dust/
Hear some of it here – http://www.hotfootspecials.co.uk/player/?playlist_id=2
The cd is a well recorded ‘live’ recording and really captures the sound of the band going to it. Well balanced and most importantly well played it let’s the players talents and skills shine forth, there are no in studio histrionics, effects, no overloading the ‘mix’ with production values and to all intents and purposes it’s a Mono recording, with EQ left to do the work of pulling the instruments out of the mix. A little compression and off to the pressers it went. I should know I mixed it.
Kickin’ Up The Dust
PRICE £11.50 inc Postage & Packing UK Mainland
1. Two Step d’Amédé
2. Eunice Two Step
3. La Valse Criminale
4. Les Flammes D’Enfer
5. Port Arthur Blues
6. La Valse d’Orphelin
7. Bosco Stomp
8. Tits Yeux Noirs
9. Opelousas Two Step ( a nod to Cory )
10. Johnny Can’t Dance
11. Jolie Blonde
12. Tout Ca Cest Dur A croir
13. Acadian Two Step
Total Running Time 52mins