The next time you clean your house, turn on The Hooten Hallers. The next time you’re partying until the break of dawn, turn on the Hooten Hallers. The band brings an energy that is impossible to ignore, no matter what you’re doing. Toe-tapping is involuntary. Then that toe-tapping turns into wild, fervent flailing of the limbs. Yes, it’s that powerful. There’s something about The Hooten Hallers’ ability to combine a certain rowdy playfulness in their songwriting with a deep, soulful sound and a dirty, gritty punk rock attitude that just makes you want to move.
This trio from Columbia, Missouri bridges genres with their distinctive punk-infused roots rock. Drummer & vocalist Andy Rehm and guitarist & vocalist John Randall started the band in 2007; they were later joined briefly by Paul Weber (of Roots N Blues artist Paul Weber and the Scrappers!) from 2013 to 2014. Today, Kellie Everett joins Rehm and Randall, adding a punchy, rockabilly vibe with her baritone and bass saxophones.
In the past decade, they’ve toured across the US and 11 countries in Europe, performed with Pokey LaFarge, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and others, come out with five self-released albums, signed with Big Muddy Records and released five studio albums.
Their latest, self-titled album The Hooten Hallers was released in April 2017. The band describes the album as being inspired by “the stories and characters they’ve been meeting on the road all this time.” In “Charla,” we’re transported to mid-Missouri to meet “the hippie queen” of Lupus; in “Staying Away from Joe,” Randall growls about needing to part ways with some guy named Joe. One of the band’s most renowned songs, “Rhythm & Blues,” has been captured audiences for years. It’s a Hooten Hallers’ classic, and now it’s been released on an album; it’s the perfect representation of The Hooten Hallers’ groovy, gritty sound and infectious energy.
It’s pretty clear that The Hooten Hallers have hometown pride for Columbia, which makes this band’s performance at Roots N Blues N BBQ even more special. In an interview with Vox magazine, Rehm talked about his strategy for playing local concerts. “You have to keep people excited. If there’s not something new happening, nobody’s going to want it.”
The Hooten Hallers perform for the third time at The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival on the Missouri Lottery Stage at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. If you’re ready to lose your mind to what is arguably the biggest band to come out of Columbia and dance your face off to a punk-blues mashup that you won’t see duplicated at the Festival (or elsewhere,) be there.