|Dypsomania, The Hometown Gamblers
El Toro Records ETCD7031
The Hometown Gamblers came into the music scene in 1998 when brothers Guy and Yves De Caluwe decided to set up a rockabilly band. Rockabilly and rock 'ní roll was their music since they were youngsters. Yves an Guy came into this music by listening to their fathers record collection and by the influence of their good friend Rockin' Rudy. Rudy is a DJ in the Rockabilly scene and he helped them to dig deeper into American roots music. The music they fell in love with was Rhythm and Blues, Country, Western Swing, Rockabilly, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll. Guy and Yves were influenced by artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Johnny Burnette Trio and many, many more.
In the early years of the Hometown Gamblers, the line-up changed a few times until the right people were found in 2002. After a while they sorted out together that there was no room for drums in this band. The only instruments they use are double bass, lead guitar, baritone and steel guitar, harmonica and rhythm guitar. The setlist back then consisted of classic tunes only. But the Hometown Gamblers had more up their sleeve, so they began to write their own original songs. Yves turned out to be very good at writing, and with the help of his brother Guy and Jurgen they wrote many songs in a short time. These songs were included in their live perfomances and were very much appreciated by the audience. The Hometown Gamblers first CD, "Takin' Care Of Busines" (2005), also on El Toro Records, is one of the best selling CD's on this label. Their music has developed since then to the great vintage style and sound which is now their trademark. This new album "Dypsomania" has the traditional sounds from Country to Rockabilly, with a high dose of Honky Tonk and Western Swing and a touch of real Blues. It contains 15 selfpenned original songs.
If you are into the old traditional style of the late fourties, early fifties Honky Tonkin' Rock and Roll, with the blues played by an old man sitting in porch, 1947 pick-up truck parked next to his old wooden barn, this is the album for you. Listen to this album, close your eyes and you can almost smell the haystack... And this is made by four guys out of Belgium! They sure know how to make this style of music.
It begins with "Pretty Baby", a mix of Rockabilly and Blues and differs from the rest of the songs. Next they asked the bartender 'cause they "Have no Place To Stay", and "Drunk Tonight" are nice Honky Tonk tunes in which you never mis the drums. I must say that I never have missed the drums, probably Guy de Caluwe's fault, he plays that stand up bass pretty tight throughout this hole CD. "Cruising Across The USA" is in the style of Johnny Cash, beautifull music, great steel guitar, nice story. For all boppers among us, move your feet at "Fly Away", Rock and Rollers can go mad at "Fooling Around".
Time for the sad "Cry Of Distress" with a big part for the beautifull harmonica and vocals to drift away by. "It's Goodbye" has influences from Johnny Burnette Trio, especially the bass part, great! "Shooting Star" is just a nice Rocker with again a great steady beat, something completely different than "Gone And Left" which gets you that Mr. Cash feeling again. A little Country with "Little Lisa-Marie" and followed by the uptempo "Love you Tonight". These guys can mix the Blues and Country and Western Swing like no other, proof in "Tattoo" and "End Of Me". Last song is "This is your Day". This is my personal favourite because it's uptempo, steady beat, great harmonica and beautifull guitarplaying. And it's sung good too! Well, despite it isn't my favourite music style, I can say that the Hometown Gamblers did a very good job with this album. I think there will be many Rockers that would buy it, and I can't blame them...
The Hometown Gamblers are:
Reviewed by Rockin' Kees, 2008