Hamilton Loomis Review by Grahame Rhodes

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 24, 2005

Warrington R&B Club, at Warrington Town F.C.

The supremely talented young Texan guitar-slinger –on his first visit to these shores – stopped off at Warrington R&B Club and delivered a most entertaining two hours of high-octane funk-flavoured blues, rock and soul!

Loomis – originally from Galveston, Texas, but now based in Houston – fronts an excellent band featuring fellow Texans – Vince Palumbo (saxophone), Robert Ramos (bass) and Ian Bailey (drums) – with the man himself being a triple threat, excelling on guitar, harmonica and possessing a fine voice.

Fresh from a triumphant set at this year’s Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne, Loomis and band certainly know how to work an audience – and we were treated to a complete walk around the room on the table tops while soloing and some flashy guitar tricks – but never too self-indulgent!

Currently promoting his Blind Pig release “Kickin’ It” – the two sets contained a large chunk of the CD – a heady brew of funky blues, featuring dynamite guitar work and some impressive harmonica – indeed Loomis manages to play guitar and harmonica at the same time by using a vacuum cleaner brush holder for his harmonica to enable him to get a tough Chicago-type tone.

Early treats were his ode to being lazy, the strident “Workin’ Real Hard” and the funky “No No No” – his lovely voice featuring along with great guitar and beautiful sax work from fellow Houston resident, Vince Palumbo. Indeed along with the Austin-based rhythm section the band were very tight, as you would expect from most Texas musicians.

Second set highlights were the soulful ballad “Suspicions”, and a brace of covers in the shape of the late, great Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Ain’t That A Bitch”, and a nod to latter-day Texas heroes ZZ Top with a storming “She Loves My Automobile” – cracking stuff! Loomis returned to the funk for another cut from the CD – the excellent “Get My Blues On”.

This was a brilliant night to kick off the autumn season at Ray and Barbara O’Hare’s club – and with the likes of Nicky Moore, Matt Schofield, Paul Byrd and The Cadillac Kings to come – the punters have many more storming nights to look forward to!


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