This outfit is led by Detroit's Rocco Calipari Sr, who will be known to some as the lead guitarist of Howard and the White Boys who recorded with Buddy Guy; he has also worked with Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry and Carl Weathersby among others. In this outfit he trades fiery licks with his blues guitarist son, Rocco Calipari Jr, with the lineup completed by the experienced Mike Boyle on bass and Will Wyatt on drums.
"Stuck Between the Middle" makes for a loud blues rocking opener with plenty of screaming guitar work- ditto track two "Mr. Bad". "Number One" has something of a classic rock sound, albeit driven along by a slide guitar riff, and just over six minutes long, the celebratory "She Got That Thang" adds a fine funky approach to the mix, whilst the pulsating "Find Me a Woman" and "Can't Be Satisfied" (an original by the way) are more in a traditional "Blues rock" bag.
"Evil" is indeed the Howlin' Wolf song, though this version owes more to Wolf's psychedelic cover than the original.. "WE Will Win" leans more than a little to southern rock, and "stay close to the rock and roll" is the advice of the song "Rock 'n' Roll" does just that, before the blues takes over. The volume goes down for the acoustic based blues closer, "I'm a Ram."
As some old vinyl albums used to say: "Play Loud." The Head Honchos have certainly taken that to heart here! But then, they don't take any prisoners here.....
Norman Darwen Blues Rock Review
Bring It On Home, the debut album from Indiana newcomers Head Honchos,
is a family affair. Father and son, side by side, guitars in hand and the blues in
their hearts. The elder of the two, Rocco Calipari Sr, ain’t no new kid on the block,
time already well served with respected outfit Howard And The White Boys. The
younger - you guessed it - Rocco Calipari Jr, is his father’s equal, the mix of youthful
exuberance and maturity serving the pair well as they blast out a smart mix of originals
and covers. Aided by drummer Scott Schultz and alternating bass-men Roberto Agosto
and CC Copeland, where this outfit truly make their mark is through their chosen
blues-attack. Long known for its serious, maudlin, ‘heavy’ outlook, here the blues
are delivered with a glint in its eye and the intention to bring the good times.
Sprinkling a little funk here, a slice of soul there and some mighty fine fret frolics
just about everywhere, the one thing you’re assured by the time the thirteen tracks
have had their way with you, is that you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. “Lucky’s Train”
even alluding to that fact, the lyrics talking of a shit eating grin as a deep harmonica
fuelled groove thunders into the station.
Whether it’s the more familiar tones of “Fire On The Bayou” and “Going Down”,
or the brand new and undoubtedly spanking “Not For Me”, with its tribal beats,
and “Whiskey Devil” and its darting guitar and horns, there’s an irresistible up-tempo
vibe that runs so deep through these songs that you just have to give in to it. The mix
of the album from Mike Regan assures there’s also a clear picture of exactly what’s going
on, while the mastering work from Grooveyard Records regular Stavros Papadopoulos is
remarkably bright. Although the sheer force of the kick-drum and bass guitar in the
opening pair of cuts on this album, does, at volume, dance maybe just a little too
readily in your chest.
That, however, is the only minor quibble as “That Drivin’ Beat” careens past with
no little precision and poise, and “Work” hits home with real force and passion.
With Rocco Snr possessing a hugely convincing vocal bark and a serous flair on the
frets, it’s Jnr who locks in tight with the rhythm men, as they lay down the unmovable
foundations and allow the melodies and solos to weave their spell. Bring It On Home is
exciting, it’s vibrant, but most of all, this debut from the Head Honchos is damn good fun.
Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (September 2018)