about | contact us | advertising | subscription services

Hot Buttered Rum

Something Beautiful

Like the holiday drink Hot Buttered Rum, the band is a complex recipe that cannot be easily replicated. Described on their website as “a souped-up, Left Coast string band,” the San Francisco group’s seventh CD Something Beautiful is a ten-track odyssey through bluegrass, jazz, folk, and soul. Erik Yates (vocals, banjo, and resonator guitar) and Nat Keefe (vocals and guitar) individually wrote nine of the songs, while the band, which includes Bryan Horne (upright bass and vocals) and James Stafford (drums, mandolin, and vocals) put its own spin on the standard “Lay Me Down A Pallet On Your Floor.” Guests Alex Sharps sizzles on the fiddle with Holly Bowling tickling the ivories on “Good One Gone” and Barry Sless laying down pedal steel on “The Trial Of John Walker Lindh.” Nat Keefe says, “‘The Trial of John Walker Lindh’ is one of my favorites from the album. It’s sort of a bluegrass waltz, but veers into some Buck Owens territory. It’s a song I wrote in the aftermath of 9/11, when they found an American citizen in a Taliban training camp. John Walker Lindh’s capture was a huge press story and became a propaganda piece and a referendum on the Northern Californian culture where he—and our band—grew up.”

P.O. Box 91
San Geronimo, CA 94963
www.hotbutteredrum.net

REVIEWED BY BILL CONGER