· HEAD HONCHOS - BLUES ALLIANCE (GYR193) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. STUCK BETWEEN THE MIDDLE
02. MR. BAD
03. NUMBER ONE
04. SHE GOT THAT THANG
05. FIND ME A WOMAN
06. CAN'T BE SATISFIED
07. EVIL
08. MIDNIGHT RIDE
09. WE WILL WIN
10. ROCK N' ROLL
11. I'M A RAM


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR193 - $14.99

Excellent second studio disc by this authentic blues/rock band from Indiana featuring 11 tracks of tracks of top-shelf, soul-powered, twin guitar fueled blues rockin' six string excellence. On "Blues Alliance", the Head Honchos get down with pure blues power and rock their good mojo at the crossroads.

The Head Honchos are fronted by the impressive father/son guitar team of Rocco Sr. & Rocco Jr. Calipari who both land solid together as bad-ass axeslingers on a mission to keep the blues alive on their superb sophmore effort complete with the first-rate rhythm section of Mike Boyle on bass and Will Wyatt on drums. Diggin' deep with groove & swagger between a rock and a blues place, the mighty Head Honchos burn the house down and deliver a killer set of high-octane, old-school, blues-based, heavy guitar rock n' roll on this essential Highly recommended Grooveyard Records disc.


MP3 Sample Clips

01. STUCK BETWEEN THE MIDDLE
02. MR. BAD
03. NUMBER ONE
04. SHE GOT THAT THANG
05. FIND ME A WOMAN
06. CAN'T BE SATISFIED
07. EVIL
08. MIDNIGHT RIDE
09. WE WILL WIN
10. ROCK N' ROLL
11. I'M A RAM

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· reviews ·

Beginning with the first track, “Stuck Between the Middle,” the listener is given an immediate ‘heads-up.’ This is NOT going to be a passive listening experience. Head Honchos kick out electric blues rock in all its thundering back line and screaming guitar glory.

The band is made up of father/son duo Rocco Calipari Sr. and Jr. Rocco Sr. is a skilled guitar teacher and since 1995 has been playing lead guitar for Howard and The White Boys. He recorded with Buddy Guy on Howard and the White Boy’s CD, The Big Score. Additionally, he has played with Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Carl Weathersby, Son Seals, and many other famous artists. Rocco Jr. first sat in with Howard and the White Boys when he was just 15 years old. He attended the Guitar Institute in L. A. where he studied with Carl Verheyen (Super Tramp), jazz/blues great Scott Henderson, and famed blues instructor/writer Keith Wyatt. His approach to guitar, while grounded in rock and blues, is keenly aimed at a post modern interpretation of American roots music. Bassist Mike Boyle (Son Seals, Big Dog Mercer) holds the bottom down hard while drummer Will Wyatt (Bob Stroger, Mike Wheeler) provides a booming heartbeat.

This isn’t your grandma’s blues rock album. Blues Alliance is the epitome of rockin’ blues. The dual, shrieking guitar attack of the Caliparis combined with Rocco Sr.’s burly vocals is the fluffy, fiberglass frosting on a cake made of solid granite. The funk slathered “Mr. Bad,” followed by the all too short, anthemic, Southern rocker “Number One,” are brilliant in their early onslaught. Don’t let some of my descriptors turn you off. They’re meant to outline the genius of a band that has taken a solid blues base, and virtually launched it into the stratosphere.

“She Got That Thang,” brings the funk rhythm out in full force and creates a danceable track, while still maintaining the biting guitar licks for which the band is famous. The dual, harmonic guitar leads are reminiscent of early Allman/Betts or Rossington/Collins. The band also gives some to Wyatt and Boyle on this track allowing their individual talents to shine as they would at a live show. It’s a nice touch.

While “Can’t Be Satisfied” is not a cover of the Muddy Waters classic, “Evil” is an ass-kicking, 3-minute, hard-as-nails cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s blues standard. The Wolf was known to scare the hell out of those who were seeing him play for the first time, and the same may be said of Head Honchos to the uninitiated. Wyatt creates the sound of an entire percussion section and the guitar work takes on a whole new version of haunting.

The whole world of Blues Alliance takes an incredibly unexpected turn with the album’s final track. The only time, it seems, that the band takes a breath is with their acoustic, front-porch, bluesy cover of Al Green’s “I’m a Ram.” The recognizable thunder-clap of drums is traded for the rhythmic playing of what could very well be boxes and paint buckets, while the father/son Calipari duo exchange their howling electric guitars for slide played resonators. It’s not only a palate cleanser to end the album, but a testament to the Head Honchos versatility.

Released on September 1st via Grooveyard Records, Blues Alliance is the consummate blues rock experience for 2020. With all the bad stuff that’s gone on this year, this album refreshes my blues lovin’, little rock ‘n roll heart.

JD Nash / American Blues Scene (September 2020)
 


Intense and impactful, HEAD HONCHOS's Blues Rock comes to us from Indiana with a second album that will delight lovers of beautiful guitars, especially. Composed of Rocco Calipari Sr and Jr on guitars, which gives a more than explosive family duo, the band is completed by Mike Boyle on bass and Will Wyatt on drums. And the four of them, they have a resume long as their arm... and it gets along!

Hot boiling, the quartet is based on the Chicago Blues to which they booked shock treatment. On ′′ Blues Alliance ", no truce but twin guitars to lose their minds, hyper-effective solos and riffs to fall on the floor (′′ Mr Bad ", ′′ She Got that Thang ′′). For his second album only, HEAD HONCHOS holds the reins of his Blues Rock.

After working in almost every Blues register, HEAD HONCHOS has created a beautiful alliance whose goal seems to revisit and modernize gender. Big guitars sometimes Folk, sometimes Heavy, imperial rhythm and a more true and authentic song, the American quartet sets the bar very high and seems to have fun like kids... A treat!

The four Bluesmen form much more than an alliance and are able to sink into very Rock 'n' Roll titles like others purely Blues. From ′′ Evil ′′ to ′′ We Will Win ", Americans delight and honor the two guitarists as virtuososo as well. HEAD HONCHOS also sinks into very Southern (′′ I'm The Ram ′′) landslides as well as heavy riffs. Happiness!

Rock N' Force (September 2020)
 


Head Honchos’ sophomore album is a bucket of blistering blues/rock. As much as I enjoyed last year’s Bring It On Home, I find Blues Alliance to be even more satisfying on a physical and emotional level… these guys are letting it all hang out. I love the blues, especially when they rock, and Indiana’s Head Honchos deliver with room to spare.

‘Alliance’ is defined as “an association formed to advance a common cause”, and Head Honchos are breathing heaping amounts of rock & roll into their blues. The band is Detroit’s own Rocco Calipari Sr. & Jr. on guitars, and this time out they add the nimble bass work of Mike Boyle and some serious drumming skill by way of Will Wyatt. Listening to this album is like getting mugged by The Kentucky Headhunters’ Live At Ramblin’ Man Fair last year, like a blues street fight. The muscular riffs are huge, the lead guitar (Rocco Sr. or Jr.?) dangerous, and the rhythm section is just steaming. The bass playing of Mike Boyle is particularly noteworthy, in a jaw-dropping John Paul Jones kind of way- articulate and expressive with some jazz articulation.

Even with a title like Blues Alliance it’s sure tempting to treat this disc like straight up rock & roll; after all it does have that kind of oomph, but there’s no mistaking the blues heart that beats within this beast. No production notes with this one but whoever was calling the shots came up with a righteous mix; dense and chewy in an immensely satisfying way. Somewhere, the ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughan has a huge grin on his face over this one.

With the brute force at play here, Blues Alliance is a wrecking ball of an album. For the solos in a track like Evil, you can practically see the Caliparis standing with feet wide apart and looking skyward as their eyeballs roll back in their heads when they let ‘er rip. Hard guitar-based rock & roll is one of my very favorite things, and when you combine it with the blues as Head Honchos have done here, I’m hooked. If you like your blues hard and fast, you won’t find a better album this year than Blues Alliance.

KEY CUTS: Evil, Stuck Between The Middle, She Got That Thang

John The Rock Doctor / Gonzookanagan (September 2020)
 


The Rocco Brothers (Father & Son guitar team) are here to stay! Listening to Head Honchos’ latest release is a joy — a relentless pleasure that starts at climax and finishes off there as well. This is top-notch blues-rock that starts fully formed from the get-go, but once these two guitarists unleash their chops, watch out! This is “take-no-prisoners” guitar work. To me, this is a two Stevies kind of thing: SRV meets Steve Vai. That is to say that while one Rocco has the soul and mood of Stevie Ray, the other has the chops and pyrotechnics of the Vai Man himself! Some creative harp playing thrown into the mix, too. Loud riff counterbalanced by funk, and even one soft song, acoustic blues, emanating great feel and guitar nectar that oozes into your ears. Mostly original tunes, this CD is has polished songs with an air of improvisation — the best of both worlds! My favorite track: ‘Evil’ is done to perfection, not in terms of emulating Wolf but in picking up where Cactus leaves off. And that’s what these guys have perfected — taking the roots of blues and rock and melding them together, adding a hard edge, virtuosity, and transforming it into new music that has the vibe of the ages. Blue-rock at its best.

Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (September 2020)
 


"The Blues are a dynamic art form, and when they are rocking they are even better. Head Honchos truly deliver on both accounts..." LA Music Critic

IndiePulse Music Magazine has listened to the new album by HEAD HONCHOS, which titled, BLUES ALLIANCE is the culmination of talent that is not only enjoyable but inspirational. BLUES ALLIANCE was released on September 1st, 2020 on Grooveyard Records.

HEAD HONCHOS combines the talents of Rocco Calipari Sr. and Rocco Calipari Jr. the skillful bass of Mike Boyle (Son Seals and Big Dog Mercer) and the world-class drumming of Will Wyatt (Bob Stroger, Mike Wheeler and Joann Parker). Rocco Calipari Sr. has worked with notable groups such as Howard and The White Boys, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Carl Weathersby and others. BLUES ALLIANCE reveals the ‘common cause’ to be a ‘Blues for a New Century’!

This amazing 11-track CD, is a testament to the brilliant talent of all the artists involved and is in itself a majestic musical powerhouse that demands attention and should be enjoyed by all, with a foundation in classic blues but with modern interpretations and a no nonsense attitude towards a perfect sound.

From the first track to the last, the album BLUES ALLIANCE is magnificent, with an exciting opening track “Stuck Between The Middle“, which has a late 60’s / Early 70′ electro-funk appeal and powerful lyrical presence, this album just bangs ’em out, one after the other, and the hits keep coming.

BLUES ALLIANCE has been called a ” joyfully active listening experience”, and it surely is, toe tapping and head swinging, some tracks, ‘Mr. Bad’ have a hard rock flavor, then the band flips it with the track “She Got That Thang’ which takes on a New Orleans revival feel.

HEAD HONCHOS blows you away with a Hard Rock Anthem track ‘Evil’ which is a free for all and filled with fire. the album concludes with a triumphant finish with the band’s exceptional interpretation of the quintessential blues number ‘I’m A Ram’.

BLUES ALLIANCE is THE essential Blues CD release of 2020 to add to your collection.

Joseph Timmons / IndiePulse Music (September 2020)
 


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.

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.

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. It's a cover of a Howlin' Wolf song. 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, 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.”

Will Phoenix / HVY Journalists (September 2020)
 




 


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