Hot Damn digs the roots of Southern rock.
When I was a teenag—that is, first turned 21, my friends and I were very fond of a type of cinnamon schnapps called Hot Damn. It’s not that we were huge fans of schnapps; we just liked the name and had no real frame of reference for choosing spirits. Almost three decades later, I hear about a band in Chattanooga called Hot Damn, and without even hearing them I already kinda liked them.
It is a good name, after all.
Then I heard them.
Hot damn, they’re good!
The band’s lineup consists of Hope Treider on vocals, Jack Corey on vocals and guitar, Mason Tanner on bass, the illustrious Jon Wimpee on electric guitar, and on drums, well…I marvel at how a band that seems to have gone full Spinal Tap on its percussion section still manages to sound so tight—but I suppose that is a testament to the band and the drummers they know. Joe Rogers Jones, Ivan Garcias and Jonathan Susman have all sat upon the Iron (drummer’s) Throne now occupied by Kelly “Jelly” Turner.
Sonically, the band has a ’70s ensemble feel. Their Reverbnation page describes them as Allman Brothers/Stones/Big Brother and the Holding Company et al, but personally I’m going to have to add a distinct Grateful Dead vibe to the mix (particularly on the tune “Willow Garden”).
It’s unashamedly “summer afternoon in the lawn chair with a cold one music” though I’ve no doubt it becomes “jump up and shake your butt” music once the sun goes down. It’s good old Southern roots rock. It definitely isn’t country, but its granddaddy was, and you can still hear that underneath, which is a lovely touch.
The band’s success to date has almost been a little startling. It seems as though one day I heard there was a new band calling itself Hot Damn—and then for the next nine months the band was absolutely everywhere, gigging like there was no tomorrow.
These days there isn’t much on the upcoming gig calendar (besides a private Halloween party I kinda wish I was going to…) but it isn’t for any terrible “well, that’s the end of that band” reason. To the contrary, after running themselves ragged all spring and summer long, the band is now ready to settle down and start work on their first album.
If they manage to carry the momentum of their performances into the studio, there is no doubt it will be a phenomenal piece of work when all is said and done.
I have to admit: I wish I had written this piece six months ago so I could direct you to a performance near you, but at least Hot Damn has a good online presence. You can find videos and tunes at their Reverbnation and Facebook pages, as well as at hotdamnmusic.com.
There may not be a whole lot of live to tide you over for now, but there is certainly enough online to whet your appetite for more—and the moment that new album is ready to go, you’ll hear about it here.