Houndog, featuring David Hidalgo and Mike Halby – Houndog (1999)

Los Lobos guitarist/accordian player and all around musical polyglot David Hidalgo got together with vocalist Mike Halby (Canned Heat, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers) to create this fantastic chunk ‘o blues.

Hidalgo, as usual (not only on the Los Lobos records but also on the very cool Latin Playboy’s releases) plays every stringed and non-stringed instrument available. The results sound like a cross between Delta and Chicago blues with a smattering of other influences. Halby sounds like Tom Waits’ weird cousin (if you can get your head wrapped around that!) All of the tunes were co-written by Hidalgo and Halby with the exception of a sweet, sweet cover of Junior Parker’s “I’ll Change My Style.”

Truth is, I’ll listen to anything with Hidalgo on it. Many years ago, Los Lobos received piles of critical praise for their How Will The Wolf Survive? I liked that record but was really won over when I saw them perform at a blues festival at Great Woods amphitheater, back before every freaking venue had been renamed after a financial institution, product company or erectile disfunction drug. It was clear at that show that not only was David Hidalgo the backbone of Los Lobos, he had the desire to make some hideous noise with that danged guitar.

Dig yourself up a copy of Houndog. It’s perfect for sittin’ around the back porch this time of year, sippin’ on a lemonade, or something stronger if you’d like.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • jesselun

    THis band was amazing…listen to this as a companion piece to Colossal Head…and freak out