Buxter Hoot’n: BUXTER HOOT’N

Buxter Hoot'n Album Cover, courtesy sideways media
Sideways Media/Courtesy
With their self-titled album, the oddly-named Buxter Hoot’n have burst out of the finger-pluckin’ country-esque mold and have matured into a multifaceted style. Combining sensual melodies, screeching electric guitar solos, twangy harmonica and everything in between, the San Francisco group have evolved their sound to include electric swells and slow-building ballads while still adhering to their Southern roots.

Buxter Hoot’n have in no way changed their rustic Americana style in an extravagant way. The bangin’ banjos, bluesy violins and old-west vocals are all present and accounted for. The only difference now is that the Bay Area band has explored more aspects that expand their range beyond gritty folk twangs. The crisp, sometimes funky riffs that guitarist Ben Andrews throws down on electric guitar flow smoothly with the group’s aforementioned Southern vibes. The vocals of Vince Dewald and Melissa Merrill work well on their own, but their harmonies stand out as they sing their soulful lines. Tracks like “Mariel” and “Blue Night” showcase all of these new styles as they build from quiet croons to powerful refrains.

Just when the album lulls you into a bluesy groove, the group temporarily retreats back to its country roots. The simple melodies and lyrics bring the album down from the high points of the opening tracks to a melancholy droll. Going further into the record, however, Buxter Hoot’n continue to experiment with new styles. Andrews’ violin evokes a foreign, almost Middle-Eastern tune as the guitar strums elegantly away in the background. This musical exploration justifies Buxter Hoot’n as more than just a local country band. While not every track exudes originality, the S.F. five-piece’s latest effort is a stellar, refreshing album to go along with summer adventures from the bay to the backwoods.