The Hellhounds

The Hellhounds
Halfway Between Something and Nowhere

Deltabilly Music DELT 7240

By Rick Sanger
January 2007

The Hellhounds come charging out of the gates of purgatory with their teeth gnarling on their debut recording, Halfway Between Something and Nowhere, and there’s no way in hell you can’t move your body to most of this record.

The Hellhounds have been honing their craft of Delta-billy for more than four years in West Palm Beach, Fla. When Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T and the MGs heard them live in a club, he knew they had to be recorded.

The opening track, “Downtown,” starts out with vocalist and harpist Vince Flora shouting out: “I don’t care what people say.” Then the band rocks hard with distorted harp and over-the-top vocals along with their Delta-billy beat.

On the Run” begins with a motorcycle revving up; then the song speeds off. This is bayou rock at its finest with Flora blowing a fuse on harp again, behind guitarist Johnny Beemiller’s mean slide guitar.

The up-tempo continues with the fast boogie “2 Inch Ball Hitch.” Once again, I dare you not to move your body to this.

Things settle into a groove on the anti-marijuana track “Smoke that Stuff” with the chorus: “I don’t smoke that stuff/You never get enough.” Believe it or not, the Hellhounds lend some “street cred” with some rap on this cut, along with more slide guitar.

“Blackened Tuna” is catchy with a “Who Do You Love?” feel, and the refrain “I like blackened tuna/In the can.”

Within the disc’s up-tempo songs there is a change of pace with the mellow “Everything.” Unfortunately it sounds too familiar—a combination of Blues Traveler and the old Doobie Brothers’ song “Blackwater.” But that’s just a breather because the Hellhounds are breathing fire on “Gwendolyn Brown.” Flora really shows his harmonica chops on this one.

Deltaville” closes the disc with stories of their homeland, with a country feel.

The only downside to the record is that there is one of those annoying hidden tracks 10 minutes after “Deltaville” ends. It’s a waste of time, unless hearing the sound of someone snoring is worth your wait. This must be an inside joke within the band, but I don’t get it.

After listening to Halfway Between Somewhere and Nowhere, you just know the Hellhounds cook live. Put this on, and it will put a devilish grin on your face and let all hell break loose.

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