Now Playing: Head Honchos’ ‘Blues Alliance’

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The Head Honchos just dropped a new album on Grooveyard Records. It’s titled Blues Alliance. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.

Head Honchos

According to their official website, The Head Honchos are an Indiana-born band with a family feel. The blues-rock band’s roster includes Rocco Calipari Sr. (guitar and lead vocals), his son Rocco Calipari Jr. (guitar), Will Wyatt (drums and backing vocals), and Mike Boyle (bass).   

Rocco Calipari Sr’s “previous alliances” include Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Howard, and The White Boys, Carl Weathersby, and more. He is an international performer who has often played at Chicago’s internationally-acclaimed Blues Festival and other major festivals from Hawaii to Canada’s famous Tremblant International Blues Festival.  

His son, Rocco Calipari Jr. has attended the Guitar Institute in Los Angeles. There he was instructed by the likes of Supertramp’s’ Carl Verheyen, Tribal Tech founder Scott Henderson, and L.A.-based guitarist, instructor, and writer Keith Wyatt.

Completing the musical picture, Mike Boyle has worked with the likes of Son Seals and Big Dog Mercer. Will Wyatt has worked with such other artists as Bob Stroger, Mike Wheeler, and Joann Parker.  (You can read the review of their premiere platter here.)  

Signature sound

The Head Honchos’ signature sound is an eclectic mix of multiple music genres including hard rock, Chicago-style blues, southern rock, soul, and funk. ‘It’s what Calipari Sr. calls “Blues for a New Century.”

Blues Alliance

This is the group’s second release. The disc includes 11 tracks and has a running time of over 43 minutes.  

Track by Track

The album opens on “Stuck Between The Middle.” It’s an effective and immediate audio indication of what the band’s been doing since their debut disc dropped and what the listener is in for here on the new CD.

The second selection is “Mr. Bad.” Not to be confused with the 2001 song of the same name by pop-rock act AV8, this is a HH original. It’s also an early fan fave.

“Number One” is next. No, it’s not a cover of the 1978 song by The Rutles. This is no Beatles parody. It’s a southern rock-soaked blues bit that really moves. 

“She Got That Thang” is another early fan fave. It’s made for a live audience. You can almost picture the scantily-clad gals bopping about in the summer sun at some festival somewhere.

“Find Me A Woman” follows here. The band continues to demonstrate what fun can be had with a skilled quartet and some solid songwriting.  

The next number is “Can’t Be Satisfied.” Thus far the songs flow well from track to track as the boys in the band work it. Still, this cut might be overshadowed by its playlist neighbors.

This “Evil” is not a cover of the 2018 Interpol track. This, like all the other tracks, is an original. It’s a cautionary cut. Unfortunately, this is the kind of overpowering evil that draws you into the mix. You know how it is, safe might be better than sorry but it’s not nearly as fun.

“Midnight Ride” might evoke images of a lone wolf motorcycle bandit racing for his life. It’s also custom made for a wild Red Bull-fueled road trip. So throw your s**t in the trunk and let’s go. It rocks!

“We Will Win” serves up another heapin’ helping of the band’s energetic music. Something about this one is oddly familiar but yet it’s totally new and comes complete with refreshing lead vocals.

“Rock N’ Roll” is what it is. What else do you need to know? Rock out, man, as they play you through rock n’ roll history in this tuneful tip of the hat to those who came before.  

The closing cut is the swampy “I’m A Ram.” Yeah, before you go, the Head Honchos are gonna give you one final example of what they can do and make you want more.    

Overall . . .

Overall, the songs focus on several different subjects. What seems to be the unifying factor to this group of songs is the band’s solid, recognizable signature sound. (Well, OK, they sound like they’re having a good time in the studio, too.)

Most importantly, this disc is the latest proof of how this band continually works to creatively refine their signature sound “for a musically astute 21st Century audience.” So check out the Head Honchos’ Blues Alliance and you just might decide that the band is “Number One.”  

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W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has also appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including AXS, Add To Bucket List, Examiner, Vacation Travel Deals, American Live Wire, Leisure, MAAFBox, Today's Recipe Pro, Passport Stamps, and other websites. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such print publications as the ​Daily Collegian, ElectriCITY and the ​Los Angeles Times