Donned in all white clothing, Houndmouth appeared on the stage of First Avenue last evening to a sold out crowd. It’s been a familiar sight for them, with all four shows sold out so far on their tour, and Minneapolis was no exception. The band has been working on a new album, thetitle still yet unknown to the world. Even their tour didn’t have a tile to it. The name of the tour on my press pass was simply “Houndmouth: A Tour”
Fans of Houndmouth were in luck last night at First Avenue. The first was that the band was debuting new songs on this tour from a forthcoming album “Due out in a couple of months” said drummer Shane Cody. Road-testing new songs can be tricky for a band, but well worth it in the end. Bands are able to decipher which songs get people dancing and singing along, and which songs people grab a beer to.
As loose and open as the band is in the studio, it is almost the exact opposite on the road. The band still has fun jamming, but the band is tighter, and everyone knows where to go in each song. Matt Myers Is emerging as one of the more soulful guitar players out there, with technical, soulful rhythms, and bluesy solos where it counts. Fans were also treated to the talent of dual saxophones, played by Graeme Gardiner and Drew Miller. The saxophones really added to the songs where a brass section was previously unheard, and the fans had a fantastic reaction to every sax solo throughout the night, especially during “Honey Slider”
Highlights throughout the night included “Sedona” which brought us Minnesotans from six inches of snow, to six inches of warm desert sand. “Say It” had the crowd bouncing up and down, and shouting the chorus along with the rest of the band.“Darlin” closed out the end of the first set along with a couple of new songs, and then “My Cousin Greg” topped off the show.
Houndmouth can be linked to a lot of the roots rock, or country sounds of the late sixties and seventies, singing songs with eccentric characters and the stories that shape them, combined with messy harmonies and instruments that are just out of tune enough to make the songs fun. There are many things that can only be made better through interpretation, and right now, Houndmouth is approaching a peak.
Words and Photos by Casey Carlson