“If blues, soul, and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the center of it”, says Guitar Player Magazine. An apt description, as young Loomis is one of the young artists at the forefront of bringing blues based American music into the 21st century and redefining it for a contemporary audience. Spanning youth and tradition, Loomis bridges the gap between generations of music-lovers both in the U.S. and around the world.
Whereas similar aged acts like Black Keys, Robert Randolph and White
Stripes play American rock music with heavy blues influences, Loomis
plays the inverse. His is an undeniably blues based artist escalating
into what All Music Guide calls "...a mixed bag of modern blues, modern
funk, and slick soul."
Much like fellow funkster Lenny Kravitz, Loomis played every
instrument on his debut and ‘Ain't Just Temporary.' The debut entitled
‘Hamilton' was under Grammy consideration, an impressive feat for a
self-released debut indie record.
Sure, Black Keys songs are in Levi's commercials, but Hamilton landed
a part in a VH-1 movie playing opposite Gene Simmons.
Think about it. In a
genre admittedly confined, how many blues artists claim to be Prince
fans? How many blues artists today listen to metal and gypsy jazz
from the 40s along with their B.B., Buddy, Kings and Collins? In a
recent hometown Houston Chronicle feature Loomis and his band were
succinctly labeled "blues-rock-funk-groove-soul band."
Hamilton Loomis' December 1, 2009 Live In England release captures
Loomis masterfully blending his myriad of influences into his live
performance, at once forging ahead into hip musical territories
while maintaining a strong connection to the blues legends that took
him under their wings at a young age.
Born and raised in Galveston, Texas, Loomis was first hooked on
music through his parents' extensive collection of blues, rock, and
soul records. Loomis honed his multi-instrumental chops early,
learning drums, piano, guitar, bass and harmonica by his early
teens, and toured regularly as part of his family's doo-wop group.
At age sixteen he went backstage to meet Bo Diddley, and before the
night was over Loomis was onstage playing alongside the legend.
Since that meeting, Diddley quickly became a friend, mentor, and
supporter. "INNOVATE, DON'T IMITATE"...Diddley's words continue to
inspire Loomis and fuel his desire for originality. The Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame member said of Loomis, "You got to put some
seasonin' in what you're doin', and this boy's got the whole salt
One of the young artist's fondest memories was when Diddley took his
iconic hat off mid-show and crowned it on his head, as if
figuratively passing on the torch and proudly declaring Loomis as
the legitimate heir in line.
Bo Diddley first appeared on Loomis' debut. And Diddley's last ever
recorded song is "You Got To Wait," from Loomis' 2007 Blind Pig
release ‘Ain't Just Temporary.' The co-written track featured both
Diddley's unmistakable voice and tremolo guitar for the last time.
Other Texas blues legends such as Joe Hughes, Johnny Copeland,
Gatemouth Brown and Albert Collins schooled Loomis early on in the
finer points of the music, recognizing the youngster's talent and
potential. By the time he turned eighteen, Loomis had performed in
front of thousands at the Delta Blues Festival, and he was writing,
arranging, and performing his own material. A series of
self-released CDs followed, including 1996's ‘Just Gimme One Night,'
1999's ‘All Fired Up,' which the UK's Blues Matters said was "so
strong and confident that it has your vote two bars in." Loomis'
2002 release, ‘Live-Highlights,' captured what his crowd-pleasing
show "is all about, and that is powerful Blues, Funk and Soul,"
according to Twelve Bar Rag magazine. "There is not enough room here
to point out all the good things about ‘Live-Highlights!'"
Loomis' first Blind Pig Records release, ‘Kickin' It,' released in
2003, presented his innovative approach to an audience hungry for
something new in roots music. Said Blueswax, "Loomis really gets it,
and he is only in his twenties! Don't just dust off those old
hackneyed Blues, create your own style of funkified soulful music."
Southland Blues raved, "'Kickin' It' is one of the best CDs of the
year. This kid's got most all of it and then some. More than worth a
listen." And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted, "Loomis displays
a polished vocal, guitar and songwriting knack that could win him
the sort of crossover audience that Robert Cray and B.B. King
Within Loomis' live show and thus the new record, listeners will
enjoy funky rhythms, booming horns, powerful yet refined harmonica
and Loomis' soulful vocals coupled with his stellar guitar work. As
has been his trademark, it's another refreshing approach that
manages to avoid blues clichés while staying true to the heart of
Touring non-stop since 2001, Loomis has brought his funk-i-fied
Texas music to audiences all over the U.S. and the world, recently
earning two "Best Artist" awards in England and Wales.
Live In England captures Hamilton Loomis' deft balance of his blues
roots and exciting penchant for experimentation and originality.
Loomis has guaranteed his place at the head of the pack of young
artists changing the face of modern blues from within.