Hot Buttered Rum – Lonesome Panoramic
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and born out of a mutual love for acoustic music, Hot Buttered Rum has graced stages around the country for nearly two decades. The five-piece band independently released its sixth studio album, Lonesome Panoramic, on July 20, 2018, showing a true mastery of their craft. The record provides all the elements of a great album; everything from musical versatility to incredible songwriting to that simply elated feeling that you just can’t seem to find the words to describe… you know the one I mean.
The album kicks off with two traditional-style, foot-stompin’ bluegrass tunes, starting with “You Can Tell” and ending with an emphasis on vocal harmonies in the outro of “Sittin Here Alone.” “Country Tunes and Love Songs” slows things down quite a bit but begins what will become a trend of the minimalistic use of the dobro throughout the record. It is very refreshing to hear the dobro utilized so elegantly. “How Short the Song” is made for a campfire sing-along, but the recorded version adds a new texture with deep, bellowing, orchestral strings. “Treasure Island Blues” rocks a funky, laid-back groove and brings back the dobro. The fast-pickin’ “Never Got Married” paves the way for the dark, soulful “The Spirits Still Come,” featuring haunting fiddle in between verses. “Sleeping Giant” feels like a time-lapse in a painting, truly providing the imagery of the High Sierra ingrained in the music. Creeping towards the end of the album, we find the love song “Leaving Dallas” followed by some good ol’ gospel-grass in “When That Lonesome Feeling Comes.” “Mighty Fine” rolls out a feel-good, toe-tappin’ tune which takes a hard turn into a hypnotic bridge that digs deep. The soaring fiddle melody is the icing on the cake of the opus that is “The One That Everybody Knows.” Finally, “Deep End” features a mesmerizing banjo that lulls the listener into a stupor to finish off the album.
There is no doubt about it. Hot Buttered Rum is a force to be reckoned with, and Lonesome Panoramic proves their talents from every angle. The record is out now on all major platforms.
Hot Buttered rum is made up of Bryan Horne (double bass, vocals), Erik Yates (banjos, guitars, woodwinds, vocals), James Stafford (drums, percussions), Nat Keefe (guitar, vocals) and Zebulon Bowles (fiddle, vocals). Lonesome Panoramic was recorded at Panoramic House Studio in Stinson Beach, CA and was self-produced by the band.