Keys Lounge in Fort Worth Texas. If you want to hang out and have a beer, maybe dance a little and listen to some good music than this is your place.
Hamilton Loomis and his band which features “Mike Meade” on bass, “Fabian Hernandez” on the Saxophone and “ Mando Aussenac” on drums put on a great show this evening. It was the CD release party for Hamilton’s 7th CD “Basics”.
As soon as the band started playing people hit the dance floor. It was a great fun atmosphere and Hamilton showed off his Harmonica, as well as his guitar skills throughout the evening. There was not one dull moment and all evening the dance floor was packed. Loomis owned the audience and he controlled them like as if they were under a magic spell. A highlight was when he started his guitar solo standing on top of the table and then starting to go from table to table rocking right in the middle of his fans. What a great way to make a connection with the audience. It was so much fun watching Hamilton perform and his music just gets you rocking right along with him.
Hamilton took the time to talk to BackStage360 and also tell us a little more about his new album and himself.
BackStage360: “Tell me a little about yourself”
Hamilton Loomis: “I was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. I grew up in the Houston blues scene and got to meet and play with Bo Diddley when I was 16 Years old. He sort of took me under his wing. This was probably one of the coolest things to be able to have met him and spend time with him. We became friends and recorded together and performed together and he gave me a lot of good advice. He was the one who encouraged me to be original. He said “you got to innovate, not imitate”. That was the beginning of my journey. So I decided to start writing music and it just came out as a mixture of all the styles of music I grew up listening to. I grew up in the 80’s MTV generation, pop music was huge but at the same time my parents had the record collection of classic rock and soul and funk and blues. So it’s a combination of all that stuff. My stuff was sort of bluesy, funky, rocky with pop melodies over the top. It’s hard to categorize.
My latest project is different in a way then all my other recordings. It is the most personal one I have ever done. It’s called “Basics” and there are a lot of different angles, and lots of different ways that the basics theme runs throughout the album. My son was born 3 Years ago and he inspired a lot of the album and being a first time dad a little bit later in life and him coming in to my life was the first time where I thought of the whole basics thing. I was actually pushing him as a baby in the stroller when I thought of the basics thing. How life gets complicated but when you strip away everything it’s pretty basic. Life, love, family, music, harmony etc. It’s very basic. And so I kind of built the whole project on that theme. On the album itself a lot of the melodies are basic, the lyrics are basic, much of them are autobiographical. Not all but at least half of the record is autobiographical. The instrumentation is very basic. There is a lot where there is just guitar and drums. There are three songs that don’t even change chords. One chord throughout the whole thing. On the songs that have a lot of chords the melody is pretty basic. Even the art work is in black and white. There is a lot of stuff that goes into the Basics theme.
BackStage360: “Are most the songs on “Basics” written by you or are they a collaboration with others”
Hamilton Loomis: “A lot of them are by me. I got to collaborate with the great Tommy Sims. If you are not familiar with him, he is a bassist, a wonderful song writer who won all kinds of Grammys. Do you remember “Change the World”, Eric Clapton and Babyface? He wrote that.
BackStage360: “Which song did you get to write with him together”?
Hamilton Loomis: “There are five of them that we wrote together on the CD. They are listed in the liner notes. He played bass on my last record “Give it back”. He was a great collaborator. Also two of the guys in the band Mando wrote music for two of the songs and Fabian (the Sax player) wrote one of them as well and I put lyrics to them. There are some collaboration’s on there that I am really proud of. Again it is just really personal. Another thing about this record is that I encourage everyone to read the liner notes as well. My son has a condition which is called hyperinsulinism which is like extreme hypoglycemia and there is not a lot of recognition about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of ignorance about low blood sugar, but information on high blood sugar is all over the place. Diabetes is nothing to take away from that, it’s definitely something that people have to suffer with. We are definitely trying to raise awareness about hyperinsulinism and there is a blurb in the liner notes where you can go to. There is a wonderful non profitable organization called congenital hyperinsulinism international (CHI). It’s congenitalhi.org.
The lead track called “Sugar Baby”, sounds like sugar this and sugar that and poor some sugar on me, but it’s actually about blood sugar. All the lyrics in there talking about ’take it higher’ and ‘love on the rise’ are talking about blood sugar. Also “Sugar Babies” are what CHI calls kids with Hyperinsulinism. They call them sugar babies, so that song is dedicated to them and there motto on their website is “Be my Sugar”; so I had to use that line “let me be your sugar sugar baby”, that’s the chorus. We just raise some awareness and like I said, “a blurb about that in the liner notes” and it’s something very personal to me and my wife.
BackStage360: “Do you ever do benefits to where you raise money”
Hamilton Loomis: “Yes, absolutely. We just recently played one in Fort Worth actually.
BackStage360:: “Will you be touring to support this album”
Hamilton Loomis: “Yes! Actually next Week we are going up North to play some shows. We are excited to play the DeadWood Jam again in South Dakota, which is a huge festival and Cheap Trick is the headliner this year. So we are doing a short Tour and then we are going to Europe again. Most of November and December is going to be in Texas, where we live, but come January we are probably going out to the west coast and do some more touring to support the CD.
There is a lot of fun stuff on the CD. There is a tune that closes the cd that’s called “Funky little brother” which actually wasn’t originally going to be on the cd because it’s a little different from the other songs. It is a lot more serious and Funky Brother is kind of a song that’s sort of tongue and cheek. I had this little Claymation video in my head of some little guy that’s funky he kind of had that Midas touch but instead of everything turning to gold, everything that he looked at or touched turned funky. But I kind of took it a step further. I have some funky little brothers, quote unquote musicians that I play with and I work with. I guess you can say I mentor them on and off, they are all about the same age and they are great guitar players and I feature them on that track; like every line they answer each other. There is three different sounding guitars throughout the song and they all have contrasting styles as well. That was cool to kind of feature them as well and the song kind of fades out and fades in with a group of young musicians that I’ve done some jam camps with in my hometown of Galveston.
BackStage360: “Is there anything else you would like for your fans to know”
Hamilton Loomis: “My website is Hamiltonloomis.com. Hopefully you dig the cd.
Go and get the new Hamilton Loomis album “Basics” and also check out his other albums. I promise you will love it.
Keys Lounge in Fort Worth Texas
Reviewed by RacerX
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