Reviews: Hurricane Blues

Rowdy House is a collective group that has taken it up itself to create meaningful, thought-provoking music.  Their latest single, “Hurricane Blues,” certainly isn’t an exception.  Presenting a fresh single in traditional blues style – 12 bar blues format in the key of G – Rowdy House cultivates a masterful experience, in which the band conveys the tragic beauty of hurricanes and captures the experiences of hurricane survivors.  The anonymous source of music again produces a solid, dignified track that seems to take on a different role amidst any negativity in the music industry.

Rowdy House immediately portrays the hurricane atmosphere with the introductory moan, whaling harmonica, and echoing of the Dobro; all of which are traditional blues instruments. Perhaps what conveys the sorrow and the struggles hurricane presents best is the vocals: a beautiful mixture of empathy for survivors and desperate need to convey to listeners just how traumatic the impact can be.  The music remains emotionally-driven, strongest at its instrumental breakdowns.  What allows the audience to emotionally reflect amidst the strong connectivity and solitary is when Rowdy House is at its best.  The soothing whaling of the harmonica solo and orchestral elements give a sense of gloom surrounding victims, allowing listeners to hear and see from their perspective, as if they are too preparing for the winds to crash upon their homes and fall victim to the storm.

From a lyrical standpoint, Rowdy House expertly vocalizes and illustrates the fury of a hurricane.  The lyrical journey transitions from the preparation stages of the hurricane, “Wake up mama, I think it’s time to go. Water’s rising, ‘ wind’s blowing down your door.” to the actuality of the storm striking the narrator, “No telephone, no food, no ice, no gas.  That’s the reason why they’re leaving town so fast.”  The perspective not only distinguishes listeners to feel for the narrator, but to also understand previous victims’ perspectives.  “Hurricane Blues” is a realistic song that many will be able to connect with on a personal level.  This song is about real-life and from the lyrics to the beautiful instrumentation, Rowdy House masterfully conveys all aspects of hurricanes and those who are forced to come to terms with the effects of such a powerful, tragic occurrence.

Rowdy House intends to stop the poor political responses to Hurricane Season, as we’ve seen in the past, and “Hurricane Blues” is an impeccable step in the right direction.

Artist Name: Rowdy House
Song Name: Hurricane Blues
Review By: Alexa Spieler
Rating: 5 stars out of (5)

Rowdy House is a band known for their songs that touch on social and political issues.  “Hurricane Blues” is probably the only song that deviates from their norm.  The song really focuses on the effects of the storms by the people that are left behind in their wake.

As the title suggests it’s a blues number, complete with the sad sounds of the harmonica, and as always the lyrics to the song are spot on.  If any band could convey the feelings of a group of people after a storm, it would be Rowdy House.

“The lines are long – and you can’t get what you need.”

Those lyrics definitely echo the feelings of many on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

“Hurricane Blues” is also one of the only Rowdy House songs that isn’t upbeat. Anyone familiar with the band’s music knows that while the songs may be about hard hitting topics, they are fun to sing along to.  The subject matter and the genre of “Hurricane Blues” puts this song in a different category.  This is one song that you simply must listen to, rather than sing along with.

What does stay the same with “Hurricane Blues” is the superb musicianship and stellar vocals.  It is easy to visualize the band sitting on a porch playing the song as they survey the damage.  Also in true Rowdy House fashion, the band delivers a message that reminds us that these storms are devastating, most of the time long after the media stops covering them.

The song is smooth and moody, just as a good blues song should be, but there should be no doubts when it comes to songs by Rowdy House.  They only deliver quality music.  So sit back, listen and become more informed.

Artist: Rowdy House
Single: “Hurricane Blues”
Writer: Andrea Guy
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

“Hurricane Blues” begins with a low levee moan, a squalling harmonica, the lonesome call of a dobro.  The scene is set for the rumbling winds to come.  Slowly but surely, every modern convenience is peeled away – and then things that matter far more.  People are left without television, without phones, then without food.

Waiting for help, all that’s left is a mood of stoic despair.

Rowdy House’s rootsy, 12-bar blues sound perfectly in keeping with the disjointed aftermath of a coastal storm, with the defeated and forgotten finally left to simply “sit in the dark, singing these hurricane blues.”

Of course, this being Rowdy House – a group of anonymous, non-partisan professional musicians working to highlight government waste and corruption – there is a larger message among the misery.  Their web site, at, details a series of mishandlings of these situations, from politicians scamming storm money for their own ill-gotten gain to the various and well-documented bumblings of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

That information, whether new to listeners or a powerful reminder of this legacy of incompetence and greed, serves to provide a deeper relevance to “Hurricane Blues,” giving it a purpose beyond the lyric’s frank and sobering imagery.

However, even those who choose not to delve into the track’s backstory will be moved by its orchestral sweep, and its emotionally direct approach.  This is, alas, a blues for the modern age.

Artist: Rowdy House
Single: “Hurricane Blues”
Reviewer: Nick DeRiso
Rating: 4

Rowdy House is back at it again with in-your-face lyrics about social and political screw-ups in the United States.  “Hurricane Blues” is a song that is built around the aftermath of a destructive hurricane with a depressing, bluesy and Americana-tinged musical setup.  The sauntering tune is slow, but relatively engaging with deep guitar stylings, deep vocals, and mixed percussion with varied instrumentation overall.

“Hurricane Blues” begins with an amalgamation of squawky percussion, harmonica, bluesy guitar, and tambourine.  The ruddy, bluesy, and earthy male vocals echo the spirit of Southern folk music.  The vocals are accompanied by reverberating harmonica, a few clangs of percussion, and deep, guitar stylings with punchy tambourine and train-horn like noises.  The string drones resemble a nyckelharpa.  The music is relatively slow with a typical bluesy style indicative of Southern folk music.  There are punctuations of harmonica, drones, clangs, and string sounds permeated with acoustic and slide-like guitar sounds.  For the most part, drums are absent.

Rowdy House’s “Hurricane Blues” is a bluesy anthem of a natural disaster, but the result is anything but a disaster.  The eerie and quirky instrumentation follows a deep Southern drawl with poignant vocals and inspirational lyrics.  The description of a disaster put to song is rather intriguing and Rowdy House succeeds admirably.  Anyone with an interest in Southern blues, folk, country, and alternative folk should find comfort in the vocals and instrumentation.  The lacks of drums are not particularly deleterious.  The odd percussive squawks, creaks, and tones are top-notch.  If fans are looking for a Doomsday Preppers theme song, this one might take the prize.  However, this song mainly describes the aftermath of a hurricane.  Nevertheless, “Hurricane Blues” will blow you away!

Artist:  Rowdy House
Song:  “Hurricane Blues”
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating:  5 stars (out of 5)

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