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November 2004

H.E.A.R. Honors Hillstomp

"A musician not protecting his hearing is like a painter staring at the sun."

H.E.A.R. is delighted to honor Hillstomp, Portland Oregon's finest North-Mississippi-style Bucket and Slide punk blues duo, as Artist of the Month for October 2004.

Hillstomp is known to dish-out a refreshing yet curiously traditional blend of minimal trance blues on an assortment of plastic buckets and metal cans, balanced with some crazy slide guitar. The singing is pretty good too. Percussionist Johnny Buckets notes, "Sometimes folks look at us funny, but it works. Nobody quite knows what to call it, but they like us just the same."

Hillstomp's first full-length CD titled "one word" (self-released) has been met favorable comparisons to influences such as RL Burnside, Jon Spencer, The Black Keys, North Mississippi All-Stars, and Bob Log III. But while some groups are satisfied with imitating their heroes, Hillstomp rises to the challenge of writing original songs that often equal those of their heroes. Then they play like hellhounds on speed. In only a couple of years, Hillstomp has managed to create their own spot in the decades-old tradition of North-Mississippi blues, and the kids like them too. Kids young and old that is.

Hillstomp has been causing quite a stir around Oregon and across The West Coast this year, playing most of the major festivals around Portland, including the Waterfront Blues Festival, The Bite of Oregon Festival, and KBOO's legendary Pickathon Roots Music Fest.

They took some time to talk with us about the importance of protecting your ears (and to get a warm meal). Henry from Hillstomp says, "A musician not protecting his hearing is like a painter staring at the sun. Don't endanger something more important to your music than your equipment, or even your hands! We play it with those things, we love it with our ears."

Mr Buckets adds, "One time I went to a really loud show and afterwards I couldn't sleep for a couple days due to the enormous roar in my head. A lot of clubs can get extremely loud so it's really important to wear earplugs. People need to remember to protect themselves, bringing their own earplugs, because hearing protection is not always available when you go out."

Seems that the children conceived during Hillstomp's infamous Portland, Oregon CD Release party in January are about to be born. In celebration, and to avoid DNA testing, Hillstomp is hitting the road again, hoping to pawn off a fresh batch of their highly-acclaimed "one word" CD along the way.


  • Monday Oct 18 with Scott Biram at The Twilight Cafe, Portland
  • Wednesday Oct 20 with Split Lip Rayfield at John Henry's, 77 West Broadway, Eugene OR, 7pm
  • Thursday Oct 21 San Francisco CA, The Hotel Utah Saloon, 500 4th St, $6, 21+
  • Friday Oct 22 KDVS 90.3 FM Davis CA on Cool As Folk with Cornelius, 11am or so, http://www.kdvs.org/
  • Friday Oct 22 Santa Rosa CA, A'Roma Roasters, 95 5th Street, 8pm
  • Saturday Oct 23 -- HEY GIVE US A SHOW !
  • Sunday Oct 24 Los Angeles CA, the echo, 1822 sunset blvd, 5pm "A BBQ & Redneck/Outlaw/Punk/Country-rock for Change," http://www.concertsforchange.org/kintera_show.php?id=41
  • Tuesday Oct 26 Lake Forest CA, The Gypsy Lounge, 23600 Rockfield, 8pm, 21+
  • Wednesday Oct 27 Phoenix AZ, Emerald Lounge, 1514 North 7th Ave, 8pm
  • Thursday Oct 28 Las Vegas NV, Double Down Saloon 4640 Paradise Road, 10pm, 21+
  • Friday October 29 Salt Lake City UT, Club Halo, 60 East 800 South, 9pm, $7, 21+

Hillstomp Rocks! Here's an exclusive live recording: Download the live recording of Hillstomp -- Graverobber's Blues (3 mb)

Or here's a little bit of the regular version: sample of Hillstomp -- Graverobber's Blues (280 kb)

Visit their website at www.hillstomp.com


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