Words and photos by Annie Bartholomew/KTOO
There really is nothing like seeing Hillstomp at the Southeast Alaska State Fair. Before this weekend I’d seen the Portland duo twice down in northern California, in my school’s school cafeteria. They were still loud and high energy then, but nothing like the screaming mosh pit of shirtless kids I had to fight to see them in Haines.
Being a guitar-drum pair with fuzzy vocals and amazing fret work, they get a lot of comparisons to the early Black Keys. But after you get past their equipment, Hill Stomp is a whole different band. The energy of a punk rock show, the soul of Mississipi Delta, and the grittiest country blues you’ve heard in your life. While other forms of American folk and country music have become more refined and pure, Hillstomp gets back to the roots with an unforgiving, in your face aesthetic.
The Haines Fair was the perfect venue for yet another peformance from Hurricane Henry and Lord Johnny Buckets. I know from personal experience there were sore necks and bruised knees Sunday morning from all the hair whipping and head banging that happened at the Fairgrounds.