Hamilton Loomis review…September 5, 2017….

HAMILTON LOOMIS

BASICS

HAM-BONE RECORDS  HBR 109 CD

SUGAR BABY–IF I WOULD’VE–CANDLES AND WINE–REASON–AIN’T WHAT IT AIN’T–BREAKING DOWN–LOOKING INTO A DREAM–GETTING SO BIG–CLOUDY DAY–COME AND GET ME–LOVE CAN DO–PRAYER–FUNKY LITTLE BROTHER

Hamilton Loomis has been on our blues radar since we first saw him at B. B. King’s Nashville ’round 2003 or so.  Even back then, you knew he was somethin’ special, with his soulful vocals and ability to play virtually any instrument.  His myriad of talents are all on display with his latest release for Ham-Bone Records,”Basics,” thirteen cuts all written or co-written by Hamilton.  And, fans, there ain’t been this much pure funk on a platter since Bruno Mars went uptown.   Hamilton is playing for a cause, too.  His three-year-old son has hyperinsulinism, (HI), which causes dangerously-low blood sugar.   He dedicates the sweetly-funkalicious opening track  to Congenital Hyperinsulinism International,  as their researchers continue to work to combat the disease.  This tune is a cool single-chord progression named  after what doctors call children with this disease, “Sugar Baby,” featuring Hamilton on some sweet harp!

Hamilton knows a thing or two about love and relationships, too, both the good and not-so-good kind.  “If I Would’ve” traces the “coulda woulda shoulda” of a love affair that never was, because he wouldn’t “take that chance.”  But, everything’s gonna be alright when you find that special one that “makes the sun come out,” “Reason.”  It follows a breezy, summery groove, as does his story of growing up as a child, then having kids of his own, and just how fleeting life really is, “Getting So Big.”

The pitfalls of being in a long-distance affair feeds the funk of “Cloudy Day,” and Hamilton busts out his best Prince Rogers Nelson falsetto vocals.  “Prayer” goes out to all the families with children who are all, ’cause “all we can do is try.”

We had two favorites, too.  A clever play on words closes the set, as Hamilton and several of the Houston-area youngsters he mentors give a  spirited, hi-octane read of “Funky Little Brother.”  And, if you want a straight blueser, then cue up the harp-and-guitar driven look at an affair on the rocks.   Yup–when “she ain’t thinkin’ ’bout you no more,” the best thing to do is man up, ’cause “It Ain’t What It Ain’t, it is what it is, so let it be what it’s gonna be.’

A great man once said, “It’s too funky in here,” and Hamilton Loomis has showed up and showed out by going back to the “Basics.”  Plus, he’s on a mission to spread the word on HI, making this one a definitive “can’t ,miss!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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