Honey Creek – Rattlesnake and the Junkyard Dog | Album Review

Honey Creek – Rattlesnake and the Junkyard Dog

Kawumm Records


CD: 10 Songs, 48 Minutes

Styles: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, All Original Songs

Good news, blues fans: Germany’s Honey Creek has produced an above-average hard rock and heavy metal album as their third offering. The bad news? Only one song, the catchy closer “Honey Creek Groove,” can remotely be classified as the blues. Number nine, “On the Road,” comes devastatingly close but doesn’t quite make the cut in this magazine’s favorite genre. Don’t get me wrong: The guitars are loud and proud, as are the gritty, no-nonsense vocals by leading man James Boyle. The band also keeps itself versatile as it alternates between explosive ballads like the title track and slower numbers such as “Alley Cat” and “All That I Want.” They may lean so far to the rock side of blues rock that they nearly topple off the edge, but take heart. Honey Creek’s got some blues accolades to back up their blistering “blues metal” musicianship.

To wit, their live shows have been celebrated by audiences and press alike, including gigs at SWR Television at the prestigious “Matinée am Schloß [Schloss]” in Saarbrücken, and twice at the “Total Flame Festival”, the largest blues festival in Russia. Countless club gigs and festivals round out their resume. Honey Creek’s debut album, Devil’s Lullaby, hit # 1 in the international download charts in 2016. In January 2017, it climbed back up to second place, just behind the Rolling Stones. After being released, the CD spent over six months in the Top 100, was CD of the Month for July 2016 at the Blues in Germany radio station, and Guitar & Bass Magazine’s Act of the Month in February 2017.

Honey Creek consists of James Boyle on vocals, guitar, mandolin and harp; Michael Reufsteck on electric and acoustic guitar & sitar; Sebastian Mitzel on bass, and Martin Donner on drums.

In the third decade of this digital century, traditional definitions of musical genres are being stretched far beyond their conventional limits. Time and again, with every album we listen to, we ask ourselves: “What is the blues? What should and should not be considered characteristic of blues music? How much can other musical genres and sub-genres be included without the original one being diluted?” In the case of this band, it issues a challenge to fans far and wide. It’s up to individual listeners to decide where this German ensemble resides in the hive populated by king and queen bees like Muddy Waters and Etta James. This Creek’s honey may be sweet indeed!

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