Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish

Trolling the Hootchy

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AllMusic Review by

The official blues party band of Martha's Vineyard steps up to the plate with this debut disc featuring 13 tunes from the band's voluminous set list, including four originals from the pen of bandleader/harmonica man Johnny Hoy. Johnny's wife Barbara plays a rock-solid, nuthin'-fancy bass that drives the rhythm section, even with no less than three different players occupying the drum stool during the recording of this session. Jeremy Berlin's boogie piano is exceptionally fine, and he just may be the secret weapon on this album. Co-producer Danny Kortchmar contributes great guitar on six tracks, while Buck Shank provides a twangier approach on "Little Upsetter," "Johnny McEldoo," "Young and Restless," "Hidden Charms" and a duet between the Hoys on Willie Dixon's "Howlin' for My Darling." The originals stand up nicely against the set staples, and the singing is fresh and invigorating (particularly compelling is Hoy's chromatic turn on "Tennessee Waltz"), making this one potent party album.

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