The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 7, 2014

Hoots & Hellmouth is something to holler about

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

— MILLHEIM -- They’ve performed at thousands of dive bars, a few farms and other various venues from Pennsylvania to California. Now the Philly-based band Hoots & Hellmouth is headed to Millheim for a show that will make folks hoot and holler.

Tomorrow night the Elk Creek Café will welcome the popular band for an evening of music that’s more difficult to explain than the band’s ambiguous moniker.

“We gave up trying to describe our music years ago. I can’t say it’s amazing — since it can be and can’t be at times,” said band member Rob Berliner.

The band’s music can be Americana and controlled discombobulation of rock to a bunch of different styles mixed into one,” he said. “What I can say about our music is that the proof is in the pudding.”

The group’s unusual name is a combination of a band member’s last name, Hoots, while the Hellmouth part is the nickname of a former member.

Put the two names together and you get a band that looks, sounds and is different than anything you might have experienced in the past.

For those lucky enough to have experienced their music, they would agree with Berliner’s comment on the difficulty pinpointing the style and vibe of the band that was formed about nine years ago.

Evolving, uninhibited and controlled frenzy are a few adjectives that come close to describing this hybrid form of music.

“Our shows are very energetic and a lot of fun for the band and the audience,” he said. “We play nothing but original music written by Sean Hoots. His songwriting skills are really good and that shows in the lyrics and the music we perform,” said a very laidback Berliner during a recent phone interview that found the Philly resident returning from the gym.

In addition to music being a creative outlet, for Berliner, it’s also his full-time job that he immerses himself in each and every day.

During their hectic touring schedule, the self-proclaimed road warriors often have a gig every night for six straight weeks as they bring their musical adventure to new venues and cities across the country, continuing to push the boundaries of music while resisting the demands to conform to any music normalcy.

“We all give our shows all the energy we have and we hope that by doing so, the people who come to see us will have a good time and enjoy the music,” said the 38-year-old musician who became interested in music during high school. “This will be our third time to Elk Creek. The place is amazing and we always look forward to coming back.”