Hot Buttered Rum
20th Century Theater
May 8, 2008
California’s Hot Buttered Rum continued with their history of a long line of memorable appearances in the Cincinnati, Ohio area at the 20th Century Theater on May 8.
Opening the show with "Amanda Lynn," the ensemble got right down to business, interchanging and trading solos and choruses to provide a balanced attack on the senses. Leaning towards jazz tinged refinement, HBR’s sense of humor quickly came into play as they skewed their laid back bluegrass, including a nod and wink on their ode to tobacco, "Copenhagen." The song earned a boisterous ovation from the faithful Rumheads on the floor.
Coming into Cincy in their "Well Oiled Machine" with a new live disc in tow, Live in the Northeast, Hot Buttered Rum offered a taste of the recording on the galvanizing "California Snow and Rain." Bryan Horne’s standup bass lines weaved through the scintillating grooves of "Jackmormon Mother." "Backrooms of My Mind" focused on Erik Yates’ circular banjo strumming patterns. And, the group paid homage to The Band, lifting "Up On Cripple Creek" beyond the basic cover, enabling HBR to put their own definitive stamp on the sing-a-long composition.
They returned to the live project with Nat Keefe’s expressive, war torn number, "Desert Rat." Hot Buttered Rum’s concentrated run of classic rock album investigations in the Queen City gave The Beatles ‘ Abbey Road the opportunity to shine on the cool May night. "Mean Mr. Mustard" had many in the crowd smiling and nodding their heads to HBR’s improvisatory rhythms. "Polythene Pam" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" soon followed, bolstered by Zachary Matthews’ mandolin soloing and Aaron Redner’s light touches on fiddle.
Leaving the room to an ecstatic roar, Hot Buttered Rum returned to their inspired setlist that brought it all home with the encore cover of Van Morrison’s "Into the Mystic."