The Head Honchos review…December 16, 2018….

THE HEAD HONCHOS

BRING IT ON HOME

NOT FOR ME–OLD AND TIRED–WORK–COME STRONG–NEXT TO YOU–MEAN OLD WORLD–FIRE ON THE BAYOU–LUCKY’S TRAIN–WHISKEY DEVIL–THAT DRIVING BEAT–99 1/2 WON’T DO–GOING DOWN–SOUL FREE

Many of our readers who are old-school, long-time blues fans might recall a band from Chicago from back ’round 1988 called Howard And The White Boys.  Those guys were fronted by bassist/vocalist Howard McCullum, and the guitarist in those days was Rocco Calipari.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Mrs. Calipari had a baby boy, and they named him Rocco, Jr.  Well, he’s all grown up now, and Jr. and Pops have formed their own band, this one based out of Indiana, and they call themselves the Head Honchos.  They have just released an excellent set of thirteen slashing, hard-rocking blues cuts entitled “Bring It On Home.”  The obvious operative word here is hard-rockin,’–if you are a fan of Johnny Winter, SRV, or even Robin Trower, you will love this one!  All thru the program, both Rocco’s try and one-up the other, guitar-wise, and it makes for a helluva good show.

It doesn’t take long for this one to blast off into the stratosphere–dig the leadoff cut, as our heroes vow that workin’ to make others rich is “Not For Me,” with one searing solo after another.  The fellows let the funk hit the fan on a story to which many of us can relate—yeah, I may be “Old And Tired, but I can give my love to you.”  “Come Strong” has a fine Southern rock vibe, reminding us to always hang in, whether you’re right or wrong.

One of our favorites was the slow-burnin’, bump-and-grind of “Mean Old World,” a shout-out to Chess blues via this Walter Jacobs chestnut, and everyone gets to stretch out a bit.  Another favorite had a furious up-tempo beat built for the dance floor, as our heroes vow to “do the Pony, Jerk, and Twist And Shout,” with a horn section that kicks up “That Driving Beat.”  They stay in that danceable groove with a cool cover of a song we first heard by the Wicked Pickett back in the day, “99 1/2 Won’t Do.”  You can get on down with yo’ bad self on this cut, sho’ nuff!

The set closes with our final favorite.  Curiously, it brings to mind Warren Haynes-era Allman Brothers with the breezy, wistful “Soul Free.”

Rocco Calipari, Sr. and Jr. make a formidable duo as the driving force behind The Head Honchos.  With “Bring It On Home,” they hit on a winning formula for sure!  Play on, indeed, blues brothers!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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