Hamilton Loomis’ latest is a mix that puts all your favorite roots music into one bag and adds a bit of hip-hop to spice up the groove.
Loomis shines on guitar, keyboards, harp, and vocals. His music can be soul, as on cuts like “Legendary,” with slide guitar that has tone big as the Rockies. Or it be a relaxed groove like on the aply-named “Slow Lover,” where he blows a fine harmonica while Scott Free takes the guitar lead. Hamilton’s mentor, Bo Diddley, makes an appearance on “You Got to Wait,” where tremoloed guitar pushes the song along. “My Pen” is a pop tune that throws a few curve balls; slightly distorted rock chords mix with a big, funky 9th-chord workout and a big-toned solo that sum up Loomis’ style. Anyone who has tried to write a song will appreciate the lyric.
Most of the tunes here are written by Loomis, and it’s obvious he gets it. From the New Orleans feel of “Best Worst Day” to the soul of “Good Enough,” it’s apparent he has learned his lessons well. His choice of covers is nice, too. A take on Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Bow Wow” he keeps the inherent funkiness of the original, he also adds a bit of a rock flavor to it with a solo that’s about as far from Johnny’s sound as you can get. But it works nicely.
While there’s nothing earth-shattering here, Loomis is a force to be reckoned with. Anyone so young who can play so many instruments this well and write fine songs is sure to be at the front of the line for awhile.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.