Head Honchos: Head Honchos’ Review

With their debut release, the Head Honchos demonstrate a high level of musical maturity and provide a truly enjoyable album from their cover of the Freddie King Standard “Going Down” until the final note on the seventh and last track, “99 ½ Won’t Do.”

The album starts off with a nice cover of Freddie King’s tune “Going Down.” All throughout the album, influences of King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan can be heard, but the Head Honchos maintain an original sound. One thing that separates this band from many in their genre is their exceptional, tight arrangements of songs that still allow each musician to add their own individual voices to the record. There are lots of rhythmic figures and kicks that the rhythm section hits together, but there are also a handful of bass and drum fills that add a strong sense of improvisation and individuality to the tight arrangements. “Fire on the Bayou” has a trading section and a great breakdown and may well be the crown jewel of the album. Similarly, “Good Love” has a nice piano part and the B3 is strong throughout the album. Maintaining a sense of individuality in any style of music with tight arrangements is a difficult test that the Head Honchos pass with flying colors.

While every tune on the album is well done, there are a couple of faults with the album itself. First, every song has a somewhat similar groove. There are no ballads, no traditional blues tracks, no jazz blues or country or gospel blues tracks. Every song is a driving, straight ahead blues rock chart, which doesn’t add much variety to the album. In addition, the Head Honchos use a horn section to spice up “Whiskey Devil,” “That Driving Beat” and “99 1/2 Won’t Do,” which would be a better touch if the horn arrangements weren’t rather simple, cliché and somewhat boring, sounding more like an afterthought than a real part of the album.

This album is an outstanding debut album. While there are some ways that the band can grow, this debut makes it clear that they are a talented group of players with a surprising amount of musical maturity.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Going Down
– Fire on the Bayou
– Good Love
– That Driving Beat

The Big Hit

– That Driving Beat

Review by Nik Rodewald

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